Auto insurance quotes
What are auto insurance quotes? Simply put, they are an estimate of what your monthly premium payment will be if you join the company. Online quotes are a good first step, but talking to an agent can give you a more accurate quote.
There are many factors that go into your quote, which is customized to reflect you and your car. Each insurance company has a different method of determining quotes. You can get quotes from two companies for the exact same coverage, but they can differ by hundreds of dollars.
You should never have to pay to receive a quote; reputable companies offer them for free. Your quote will include your state’s mandatory minimum liability coverage along with optional coverages you choose, such as collision or comprehensive insurance.
What is a car insurance quote?
When you receive an auto insurance quote, you are receiving an estimate of how much your monthly premium will be. Insurance companies provide these monthly estimates based on the information you provide them, such as your marital status, driving history, and vehicle details. Based on this data, along with the coverages that you specify to be included, a price is generated that you can use to start comparing with other providers or to finalize the purchase of your policy.
While quotes are generated directly from auto insurance companies, it is important to remember that they are only estimates. Quotes are useful tools to help determine how much money you will want or need to set aside for monthly premiums, but they can only be as accurate as the information you submit. For example, drivers looking for cheaper coverage in states with higher premiums on average may be tempted to omit information about a previous claim, since a negative driving record generally drives up rates. However, quotes are not legally binding and carriers use additional tools to accurately extract driver records after submitting a quote.
To help ensure that the quoted rate you see reflects your final monthly premium as closely as possible, please provide as much detailed and accurate information as possible in advance.
How to get a car insurance quote
There are several ways to get auto insurance quotes, none of which should cost you. Quote evaluations can be completed online, over the phone and in person for free. Regardless of which option you choose, you will be prompted for the same levels of information. These generally include your personal, financial and vehicle information.
Information you need for a quote
- Driver Information – Personal information such as your name, date of birth, occupation, and zip code is generally requested at the beginning of quote evaluations. You will probably also be asked to provide your license plate number, in addition to those of the other drivers in your household. Some states also require your credit history.
- Vehicle Information: Insurance companies also produce quotes based on the details of your vehicle, including its make and model, year, VIN, vehicle type, safety features, and mileage. You may also be asked if you own the vehicle or are renting or financing it.
- Driving History – Any fines, accidents, or prior driving violations on your record, usually within the last three to five years, should be reported to an insurance provider for an accurate quote.
- Insurance Information: Depending on whether you are currently covered, you may be asked to provide information about your current insurer and when your policy expires. To help keep your quote accurate, take note of the coverages currently on your policy, including their limits, so you can select them if you want similar protection.
How you decide to get your quote is up to you. If you are looking for insurance and want to compare multiple providers, online submissions could allow you to receive multiple quotes in minutes, provided you have the necessary information. If you have more questions about your coverage, you may consider scheduling a time to speak with an agent in person or over the phone.
The coverage you want
Obviously, the higher the limits on your coverage and the more types of coverage you get, the higher your premium. You’ll pay less if you have your state’s minimum liability coverage than if you have a strong, comprehensive policy that includes comprehensive, collision, and other optional coverages, such as gap insurance.