How to Get a Car Insurance Quote

February 16, 2020

Just as you would shop around for a car loan to get the best rate, you should do the same with your car insurance. Just how do you get a car insurance quote? What do insurance providers require to give you the quote?

Check out the answers to these questions and more below.

What is Car Insurance Quote?

A car insurance quote comes directly from the insurance company. It’s an estimate of the cost of a policy based on the information you provide. The insurance agent will ask you a variety of questions in order to provide you with the most accurate quote.

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You can get free car insurance quotes from as many insurance companies as you want. You’ll have to provide the same information repeatedly, but it will give you a good chance to compare your options side-by-side.

What Information Must you Provide?

Prepare yourself with the following information before calling insurance companies for a quote:

  • Personal information – You’ll need to provide your personal identifying information including your address, date of birth, and license number
  • Information on other drivers – If you need insurance for more than one driver, you’ll need to provide all personal information for all drivers
  • Make and model of the car – The car’s make and model play a big role in the insurance cost as some cars are more expensive to repair/replace, which means higher insurance rates
  • Average miles – Try to estimate the number of miles you drive per year and state whether you commute to work daily
  • Type of use – The insurance company needs to know if you’ll drive the car for personal or business use
  • Driving history – Be upfront about your driving history; don’t try to avoid the truth, the insurance company will find out when they underwrite your policy if you choose them
  • Coverage options – Try to decide what type of coverage you want before you ask for a quote so the insurance company can provide you with accurate numbers

With this information, the insurance company can provide a quote. Keep in mind, though, the quote is an estimate. It’s not a binding agreement. Once you have quotes from several companies, you can choose the one that suits your needs the most.

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How do you Get a Car Insurance Quote?

You have several options when shopping for insurance quotes:

  • Call insurance companies yourself and ask for a quote\
  • Enter your information online on each company’s website
  • Use an insurance broker that shops for policies for you

Finalizing Your Insurance

Once you choose a company, they will underwrite your policy. This is when your premiums may change slightly from the quote, which is why it’s important to provide accurate information. When an insurance company underwrites your policy, they do the following:

  • Pull your insurance-based credit score – This credit score lets insurance companies know how likely you are to file a claim. Studies show that drivers with lower credit scores often have a higher risk of car accidents.
  • Pull your driving history – Insurance companies look at the information in the insurance database regarding your driving history. That’s why it’s worst-case to state the truth; they are going to find out either way. The cleaner your driving record, the lower the cost of the insurance.

Insurance companies then look at the factors of the insurance you need. What types of coverage do you need? Are you buying more than liability insurance? Do you need both comprehensive and collision insurance? What are the crime rates in your area? What are the crime rates for the car you chose? Certain types of cars are more likely to be involved in an accident or vandalized than others. Did you have any lapse in coverage lately? This makes you a higher risk and insurance companies may increase your premiums accordingly.

Making a Choice

When you get insurance quotes, you have big decisions to make. Don’t focus just on the premium or the coverage – look at the big picture. What can you afford both monthly and in the worst-case scenario? Let’s say your car was totaled, what type of financial protection would you need to get out of it unscathed? If you need full coverage, make sure you get quotes for it accordingly.

Shopping around for car insurance is the best way to ensure that you get the best deal. Look at your options and even ask about all coverage options so that you can compare your options to your financial situation and choose the right coverage.

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