Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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UPDATED: Sep 24, 2021

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about car insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything car insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by car insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • An auto insurance quote is an estimate that shows a consumer how much you could potentially pay for auto insurance through a specific carrier
  • When you are soliciting quotes for personal car insurance, the estimates that you receive are typically not guaranteed
  • If you don’t apply for the quote, you can’t secure the rates that you’ve been quoted. It’s possible that the rates can change just days after you receive a quote, especially if the company is in the process of filing a rate increase through the Department of Insurance
  • When you submit an application for coverage, you have bound the rates that you were quoted. It’s still possible for your rates to change if the information that you provided on your application isn’t accurate
  • If you apply for insurance with an effective date in the future, you can secure the rates without falling victim to a rate increase as long as you make your first payment

Buying an auto insurance policy is nothing like buying a consumer good. Instead of strolling up and down aisles at a local big box store to find the best rates on high-quality products, you have to contact insurance companies and request quotes to find out how much you’ll pay for insurance on your vehicles.

Since premiums vary by household and by insurer, comparison shopping can take time.

Enter your zip code above to find car insurance coverage options from multiple companies!

The most effective way to find the lowest rate is to solicit multiple rate quotes through several different carriers. By getting insurance quotes, you can find out exactly how much you’ll pay for a specific amount of coverage for a specific vehicle based on the personal information that you provide.

Here’s what you need to know to prepare yourself:

Why is it so important to compare auto insurance quotes?

It’d be nice if all auto insurance policies had the same price tags. If this was the case, you wouldn’t have to worry about tickets, accidents, or risky zip codes.

You could simply visit your local store or log on to your favorite e-commerce site and throw a policy in your cart. Unfortunately, for this isn’t how the industry works.

The auto insurance marketplace is highly competitive one. This is why the carriers who sell insurance to drivers set their own rates. To set these rates and personalize them, providers must do research and use risk factors to predict how many claims will be filed by a driver or a group of people.

The only way to really shop the market is to get quotes so that you can find the company with the lowest prices for drivers in your risk class.

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How many quotes should you get before you choose a policy?

A quote is nothing more than an estimate that tells a policyholder how much they would pay if all of the information that they provided was accurate.

As long as you tell the insurer about all of the drivers in your home, you give the right licensing details, you insert your VIN in the quote form, and you disclose tickets and accidents, you shouldn’t get misquotes.

While there’s no magic number on how many quotes that you should, it’s best to get at least a handful. Most experts recommend between three and five quotes through different carriers after you’ve narrowed down your search for the best provider.

You can request even more quotes without spending more time when you use an online tool that gives you instant quotes.

Is the quote that I receive binding?

In the car insurance industry, the standard quote for a policy isn’t binding. This means that the rate can change if you wait a day, a week, or a month to apply for coverage. Since there are no guarantees, it’s best to take action and apply for a policy if you can save a substantial amount of money switching carriers.

How could my quote change in a matter of days?

If you recently solicited quotes through a carrier just to find that the rates have changed days later, it might leave you wondering how this is possible. There are a few reasons why your rates could have changed in such a short period of time.

Here are the most common factors that will affect your quote:

  • The company has filed for a company-wide rate increase and the filing has been approved by the Department of Insurance
  • A catastrophic event has happened and changed premiums and eligibility requirements throughout the whole industry
  • A citation has turned into a conviction on your driving record
  • The ISO rating of your vehicle has changed which leads to higher premiums for physical damage or liability coverage options
  • You have a lapse of insurance that makes you ineligible for prior insurance discounts

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Can you auto insurance quotes change after you submit your application?

If you decide to proceed with a quote that you’ve been given, the next step is to submit an application. When you’re filling out the application, you’ll be asked for the detailed information that the provider needs to know to underwrite your policy.

When the policy is being underwritten, the carrier will run your motor vehicle report.

If you failed to tell the insurer you had a loss two years ago or you have a violation that wasn’t considered when your rates were quoted, your rate can change.

The only time a quote can change is when the risk class changes and the policy has not been issued. After issuance, the rate can’t change until your renewal.

If you find a great deal, it’s best to pursue it as soon as possible. Your quotes are never guaranteed to be the same if you wait weeks or months to make the switch. Get instant rate quotes by using an online comparison tool and it will be easy to find value.

Enter your zip code below for car insurance quotes from multiple companies in your area!