Auto insurance quotes are estimates of auto insurance premiums. Quotes give you an idea of how much money you’ll pay for car insurance coverage based on required information from the insurance providers.
It’s important to compare quotes from several providers to find the most affordable one for you and the coverage you need.
What Is a Car Insurance Quote?
Your car insurance quote is the estimated rate—or premium —you’ll have with a certain car insurance company based on the information you provide them.
Remember, your quote is just that—a quote. It’s an estimate subject to change based on complete and accurate information.
Required Information for an Insurance Quote
Generally, when calculating your car insurance quote, agents or online quoting applications will ask you questions about the following categories:
- Do you own your car outright?
- What is your car’s make and model?
- How often do you drive your car?
- Do you use your car for business?
- How many cars will you insure?
- Does your car have a salvage title?
- Driving history.
- How many traffic violations have you had?
- How many points are on your driving record?
- How many at-fault accidents have you had?
- Personal information.
- How old are you?
- What’s your birth date?
- What’s your gender?
- What’s your Social Security number?
- Do you own a home?
- Are you married?
- What’s your occupation?
- Other drivers:
- How many drivers are in your household?
- Will you exclude any drivers from your policy?
- Auto insurance history.
- Do you currently have car insurance?
- Who is your current auto insurance provider?
- When is your policy set to expire?
Remember, these are just some of the questions you can expect. Each insurance company has its own system for determining rates and therefore has its own criteria for required information.
See “Comparing Quotes” below for even more information that can help determine your car insurance quote and premium.
Comparing car insurance quotes is crucial. When shopping around for car insurance, never stick with one company; always get quotes from several companies.
No two auto insurance companies are the same, and you could miss out on some serious discounts if you only apply for a quote with one. Try comparing at least 3 car insurance quotes—more if you have time.
Remember, once you settle on a company, it’s smart
to continue checking quotes periodically. Always consider life-changing events that warrant comparing new car insurance quotes.
Some situations that might merit shopping around include:
- Getting older.
- Typically, mature drivers (usually 25 and older) get lower quotes than younger drivers.
- Buying a new car (or a “new-to-you” car).
- Rates can change substantially if you’re moving from an urban area to a rural area, or vice-versa.
- Getting married or having children .
- Adding a teen driver to your policy.
- Buying a new home.
- Some car insurance companies offer discounts for “bundling” different types of coverage together.
- Improved credit score.
- Because some companies use credit scores to determine insurance premiums, a major boost in your score could get you a lower quote.
- Filing insurance claims.
- Sometimes, filing a claim increases your premium, which means you could shop around for a lower quote; likewise, going a long period of time without filing a claim could make you eligible for good driver rewards programs.
- Getting a traffic citation or being involved in an at-fault accident.
- Both situations can increase your premium and prompt you to shop around for a lower quote; similarly—as mentioned above—going a while without either of these incidents could make you eligible for discounts.
Each of these situations could increase or decrease your premiums, but don’t expect your car insurance company to automatically know about them—especially the ones that could get you a discount!
Comparing quotes after one of these life-changing events could get you a lower premium.
When Quotes Don't Match Premiums
Be honest when applying for a car insurance quote; more often than not, insurance agents do their research and learn about determining factors such as your credit score and traffic violations. If you’re not honest, you could end up getting a much lower quote than what your final insurance rate reflects.
Not sure about your driving history? Consider ordering a motor vehicle report to make sure you’re up to speed on traffic citations, at-fault accidents, and your current driver license status.
Ask About Discounts
As mentioned above, no two insurance companies are the same, and some will offer discounts for factors like age, location, and a great credit score, where others will not. This is just another reason why it’s important to shop around with several car insurance companies rather than settling for the first one you come across.