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Otto Insurance Review

otto insurance
Picture of Written by <a href="https://rateretriever.com/about/katie-dee/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Katie Dee</span></a>
Written by Katie Dee
Picture of Reviewed by <a href="https://rateretriever.com/about/alyssa-dicrasto/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Alyssa DiCrasto</span></a>
Reviewed by Alyssa DiCrasto
Published on 2024-04-25

Otto Overview

Quality of results/rates shown:

Number of results:

1

Spam risk:

Option to sell you a policy:

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How results are generated:

Ads from sponsors

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Aids from sponsors, quotes from partners, verified rates

Our Criteria and Methodology

For each car insurance comparison website we review, we evaluate several factors including user experience, risk of spam, the variety and relevancy of results, and more. We tested and evaluated results for 3 different driver profiles. The opinions expressed below are based on this experience as well as our team’s knowledge of the insurance comparison industry. Our editorial team follows a rigorous editorial policy and works independently from our insurance partners. Read more.

Table of Contents

What is Otto?

Otto Insurance is an insurance comparison site that claims to have “helped millions of people save on insurance.” As a lead generation site, Otto collects information such as your zip code and the car you drive and then shows you your best option for insurance among their paid sponsors that service your area. 

The homepage states that Otto is here to do all the work for you so that you can find “the best quote fast and free.” However, since the results of Otto’s quiz are highly dependent on your location and the companies they partner with, the providers you are matched with at the end of the quiz are likely not comprehensive. It is also worth mentioning that Otto presents a very high risk for spam as it collects both your phone number and email address. 

Insurance Products:

  • Auto insurance
  • Home insurance
  • Pet insurance
  • Life insurance

How does Otto Insurance work?

This tool, and others like it on the market, works by partnering with insurance providers and other insurance comparison sites and then matching you with one of these partners based on your responses to their 5-minute comparison quiz. The site collects information such as your age, gender, and location and then shows you the partner that matches your profile. 

Otto also collects your phone number and email address as a part of their quiz experience. By clicking through to your end results, you are providing consent for Otto Insurance as well as their affiliate and marketing partners to reach out to you via emails, phone calls, and text messages. With that said, the risk for spam is high with this tool. 

How Otto Insurance makes money

Otto earns commissions when you click on one of the paid partners on your results page after going through the quiz. Because their ability to make money relies on the companies they are partnered with, your results may be biased or limited to favor these companies over others that could give you a better deal. 

It’s also worth noting that nowhere (that I was able to find) on Otto Insurance’s website does it mention a spam free promise or directly address the way they handle your data. This, combined with the already high risk of spam leads me to believe that Otto may also earn money through the sale of user data. However, this is not confirmed on the site. 

Pros & Cons of Comparing Car Insurance with Otto

Pros of Otto:

  • The quiz was simple and straightforward  
  • Offers the option to speak with a live agent

Cons of Otto:

  • Results were extremely limited  
  • Very high risk of spam 
  • No quotes displayed at the end of the quiz

Find the Right Car Insurance for You

Our experience with Otto

First impressions of Otto

At the risk of sounding too harsh, as soon as I landed on Otto’s homepage, I got the feeling that it might be a more spammy and less reliable tool. The main heading on this page is, “LET OTTO FIND YOUR SAVINGS FAST!” and it is followed by additional text about using the tool to access savings.  

While there is nothing wrong with this messaging, the combination of random capitalized words, promises of saving all this money, and the lack of a spam free promise left me feeling wary that it may be too good to be true.  

Moving further down the page, there is a section titled, “How Otto Works.” This section emphasizes again that the tool is free and will provide you with the best quote quickly. Still, there was no mention of a privacy or data protection policy, so my apprehension grew.  

otto intro

Directly under that, were a couple of paragraphs which gave a quick overview of how the tool works. It says, “We’ll work our magic and deliver quotes in seconds based on your information.This made me feel more confident that – at the very least – I would be seeing quotes at the end of the comparison quiz. The “based on your information” bit also made me more hopeful that I would be shown companies that are personalized to me rather than just the most lucrative partner for Otto Insurance.  

otto intro

The bottom of the homepage touts the tool’s “over 17 million satisfied customers” with a few user reviews displayed under the heading. As far as I can tell, these are not verified reviews, but for our purposes I’m going to assume they’re legit. Many of them highlighted the amount of money Otto Insurance helped them save, and this did make me trust the tool more. I was excited to see what kinds of results it would offer me. 

otto community

In the very last section of the homepage, there was a disclaimer where data privacy was finally addressed. Unfortunately, it did nothing to make me feel less wary about the potential for spam. It listed an email and explained that you could send them an email with your phone number and email address if you would like them to delete your information.  

otto disclaimer

Quiz experience

To get an in-depth idea of Otto’s comparison experience, I tested three different driver profiles in three zip codes to see how the results would change. The information that Otto Insurance collected was exactly what I would expect: my age, gender, the type of car I drive, marital status, and more. 

There are three aspects of this quiz that may take some people by surprise. The first is that it didn’t ask any questions pertaining to discounts I might qualify for. In my experience, comparison quizzes usually ask questions about driving history or military affiliations in order to search out deals you may qualify for. Otto did not ask any of these questions, which was surprising to me. 

Next, I was required to enter my credit score before seeing my rates. Since I am fairly familiar with how car insurance rates are calculated, I know that credit score can be a good indicator of risk for an insurance carrier. However, you may not expect this, and there was no explanation provided for why it was asked.  

otto credit score

Finally, it is definitely worth mentioning that Otto required both my email and phone number before I was allowed to see my results. Whenever a comparison site asks for this information, an immediate alarm bell for spam goes off in my head – especially when there is no spam free promise on the site. I was incredibly wary of providing this information, but since there was no other way to get to my results, I input my details and hoped that Otto Insurance would prove my assumptions wrong.  

However, after reading the disclaimer directly under the submit button, my hopes were much lower. It explained that by clicking through to my results, I was providing written consent for Otto Insurance as well as an undisclosed number of affiliate and marketing partners to reach out to me via phone calls, text messages, and/or emails.  

otto disclaimer 2

Otto's Results

There are good things and bad things about the results that Otto provided me with. To start with the positives, for two out of the three tests I ran, I was provided with an actual insurance company at the end of the quiz. Since there’s always a risk that comparison sites will only return other comparison sites, I consider any real insurance company result to be a win. Despite this, there are some other factors that made Otto’s results fall short of my expectations. 

For the first profile I tested (a 50-year-old man from Boston) I was returned only one result. While the result was a real insurance company, it was USAA – which I would only be eligible for if I had a military association. Since Otto’s initial quiz didn’t ask about military or veteran status, I had assumed that USAA wouldn’t be an option, so seeing it returned as the only one was a bit confusing. Moreover, there was no actual quote or rate estimate shown on the results page. 

access your quote

When I clicked through to access my quote, I was redirected to USAA’s website and immediately asked if I had a military association. When I said no, I was prompted to confirm all of the information that I had entered on Otto’s site and then told I would be contacted with additional matches. Overall, the process for this first profile was a bit clunky.  

The second profile I tested (A 30-year-old man from Buffalo) also provided me with only one result. However, this time the result was not an actual insurance provider. My only match at the end of the quiz was Experian (another comparison site), and there were no quotes or rate estimates available for me. I was once again redirected and had to confirm all of information again before being shown rates. 

otto experian

Finally, for the third profile I tested (a 20-year-old man from Texas) I was given the best result of all my tests. While I was still only matched with one company, this time it was Progressive. I was happy to see that it was a real insurance company and that it didn’t have the stipulation of needing to be associated with the military to be eligible for service. However, there were still no quotes or rate estimates available on the results page and I was redirected to Progressive’s site to confrim my info before I was given access to them. 

otto progressive

Another thing about these results that feels worth mentioning is that even though I entered a different zip code for each profile, and I received unique results for each one, the heading of each results page said, “cheaper rates below for Rochester, NY.This is most likely due to geo location technology on the site, and I do still think they took the zip code I entered into account, but I could definitely see how this could be confusing if I were looking for insurance rates in different locations and seemingly kept getting results for my current location instead.  

Lasting Impressions

Overall, my impression of Otto Insurance is that the results were not comprehensive enough to justify the high level of spam risk that this tool presents. While I was happy to see actual insurance companies on the results page most of the time, I was only offered one result per profile and my results never included quotes or rate estimates. 

When a comparison site collects my contact information and opens me up to spam, I tend to have higher expectations for the results.

Is Otto Insurance worth it?

This question really depends on you and what you are looking to get out of your insurance shopping journey. Since the insurance comparison market is not lacking in tools, Otto would not be my first choice. I typically look for a tool that provides more than one result, displays rates right on the results page, and only shows insurance providers rather than other comparison sites. 

However, if you are looking to be matched with only one provider so you don’t feel overwhelmed by choice, Otto Insurance may be a good tool for you. 

How Otto stacks up against other comparison sites

Otto vs Insurify

One key difference between Otto Insurance and Insurify is that Insurify is an insurance marketplace while Otto is a lead generation site. This means that Insurify allows you to purchase a policy through them directly. Otto acts as more of a resource to show you insurance companies in your location, but they cannot sell you a policy. 

Another difference is that while Otto has no spam free promise or data privacy policy on their homepage, Insurify says that they will protect your data and not send you unwanted spam. Although, both Otto Insurance and Insurify require your email address and phone number to see results. 

Both tools also offer you the option to connect with a live agent and discuss your policy in more detail so you can get all your questions answered. 

Option to sell you a policy High risk of spam
Otto No Yes
Insurify Yes No

Otto vs Rate Retriever

My own bias non-withstanding, there are several differences between Otto Insurance and Rate Retriever. Perhaps the most obvious is that we always show you rates directly on the results page while Otto will likely redirect you to access this information. Rate Retriever also provides several results, and they are always actual insurance providers while – in my experience – Otto only displays one result and there’s no guarantee it’ll be an actual carrier. 

Next, Otto Insurance collects your contact information while Rate Retriever does not. This means that there is a bigger risk of spam with Otto than with Rate Retriever.  

There are also some similarities between the two tools. The first is that they both offer you the option to call and speak with a live agent to help you purchase a policy. Secondly, both of these tools do not allow you to buy insurance directly through them, they work as more of a middleman in your shopping process.

Rates shown on site Multiple results given
Otto No No
Rate Retriever Yes Yes

Customer reviews of Otto

Otto has a 2.5-star rating on Trustpilot based on 41 verified user reviews. Unfortunately, the majority of these reviews lean more negatively. 66% of these reviews are 1-star and many of them highlight issues such as high levels of spam, not being shown rates, and phone agents only offering high quotes.  

However, some people did enjoy their experience with Otto. 27% of the reviews are 5-stars and they touched on how easy the service was and how much money Otto helped them save. 

Who should use Otto Insurance?

Based on my experience, I think that Otto is best suited for people who only want to be shown one insurance company and are not interested in comparing multiple carriers. Since Otto usually only shows one result, this tool can help you find a company serving your area, so you don’t need to do your own research. 

Who shouldn't use Otto insurance?

Anyone who does not want to be spammed should not use Otto Insurance. This was one of the major grievances users highlighted in negative reviews of the tool. Knowing that by accessing results you’re consenting to being contacted by Otto and their partners, this is not surprising. 

Otto company details

I wasn’t able to find a customer service number for Otto Insurance, but if you are interested in learning more about the company, you can reach them at [email protected]. 

Otto Insurance FAQs

Is Otto Insurance a good insurance company?

Otto Insurance is not an insurance company. It is a lead generation insurance comparison site that matches you with insurance companies based on your personal details and their paid sponsorships.

Is Otto Insurance legit?

Otto Insurance is legit in that they will try to help you compare insurance rates from providers in your area. However, their results are oftentimes extremely limited based on their paid partnerships.

Is Otto Insurance safe?

Otto Insurance is safe to use, however, they do not address the issue of spam or data privacy policy directly. That being said, this tool may not be the most trustworthy place for your data. 

Is Otto Insurance reliable?

Based on the 41 user reviews on Trustpilot, Otto has not proven to be reliable for many people. However, there are still people who have had positive experiences with the tool.

Who owns Otto Insurance?

Otto Insurance was founded by Joshua Keller and it is headquartered in Miami Beach, Florida. 

Methodology

For each car insurance comparison website we review, we evaluate several factors including: 

  • Risk of spam – based on contact and personal information required and the number of calls, texts, and/or emails we received after testing 
  • Quality of results – including the variety and relevancy of results, how many end-providers are listed, and if rates/quotes are included in the results 
  • Overall user experience – including the quiz length, unique features, ease of completing a policy purchase, and customer reviews   

We tested and evaluated results for 3 different driver profiles: 

  • A married 50-year-old male and female in 02125 (MA) with a Good credit score driving a 2023 RAV4 LE and a 2020 RAV4 LE 
  • A single 35-year-old male in 14215 (NY) with a Good credit score driving a 2023 RAV4 LE 
  • A single 20-year-old male in 76116 (TX) with a Good credit score driving a 2023 RAV4 LE  

The opinions expressed in our review are based on this experience. Our team also has previous knowledge of the insurance comparison industry that may influence how we review top insurance comparison sites.