The auto insurance industry has evolved faster than anyone could have imagined. Just a few years ago, you'd look for insurance in your local area, and that was that. Nowadays, you can get quotes from car insurance providers across country, compare them at a glance, and buy a policy in minutes.

Grabbing a bargain online and finding a product that suits your budget and lifestyle has literally never been so easy. Location is no longer a problem. Borders aren't, either. When it comes to auto insurance online, the world is your oyster. Here are the three major ways you benefit by shopping for car insurance online.

1. Save Money

Traditionally, people used a local insurance agent to find insurance. And why not? A local can find you the best auto insurance deals in your area. The internet, though, has changed the game completely.

With access to providers from across the country, you can source the cheapest deals and save hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars on your auto insurance. All you need is an internet connection, and you're good to go.

The best place to start is with a car insurance comparison website like Online Auto Insurance. This will show you the cheapest insurance deals based on the make and model of your car. You will be able to compare different policies in one place and make great savings with a few clicks of a mouse or a swipe of a finger. It's that simple.

Still not convinced? Consider this. The amount of auto insurance you pay every year can depend on where you live in the country. It might not seem fair, but two motorists in two different states could be paying different amounts for exactly the same insurance policy.

Research shows that drivers in Michigan pay more for their car insurance than people in any other state — an average of $2,239 per year. Louisiana is the second-most expensive state for car insurance, followed by Florida, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

What gives?

State governments regulate the cost of auto insurance, which explains the massive difference in prices in different locations. But, here's the kicker: There's nothing stopping you from insuring your vehicle in another state. Not every insurer provider will let you do this, but you could save a considerable amount of money if you choose one that does.

If you're a student, you could even insure your car in the state where you study. This could work out considerably cheaper, so it's a good idea to check.

This isn't always the case, though. Sometimes the best deals are sitting right in front of you, so check with your local providers on a regular basis.

2. Get More Coverage

Shopping around for auto insurance online instead of just choosing a local agent also allows you to to get a broader, more comprehensive insurance policy. This provides you with more peace of mind - and protects you from the financial catastrophy of car repair and medical bills after an accident.

But if you’re shopping for more than the legal minimum requirements for car insurance in your state, your local insurance carriers might not offer the best deal.

Here's an example. The minimum car insurance requirement for bodily injury is $25,000 per person in Alabama. And your local, Alabama-based auto insurer might give you a great quote for a policy of that size. But that’s just the bare legal minimum. An insurance policy that actually protects you might be 10X larger than that!

"Although keeping up with the state minimum requirement is what is needed to drive legally in your state for car insurance, purchasing the state minimum insurance requirements is usually not the best choice," says The Balance.

So how do you find the best price for a wide range of policies - including those well above the bare minimum? That’s exactly what car insurance quote services like Online Auto Insurance are for.

3. Get More Choice

Don't let where you live restrict you. With the internet, you have more choice when it comes to finding the perfect car insurance policy. Remember, states with smaller populations will have fewer insurance providers, and if you live in one of these states, you might have fewer options. Looking further afield will provide you with more flexibility.

You might want to choose a company that offers car insurance to motorists in multiple states. These large companies also offer other types of insurance — home insurance, for example — so you could save money by bundling several financial products together. Currently, State Farm, GEICO, and Progressive are the three biggest auto insurance companies in the US.

"The auto insurance market in the U.S. is dominated by a few key players. In fact, the top ten auto insurance companies control more than 72% of the market," says Insurance.com.

The internet has made it easier than ever before to grab the ultimate car insurance bargain. By doing a little research online, you will find a policy that suits your requirements, and you could save hundreds of dollars in the process.