Auto insurance is one of those products that you must have but you don’t want to use. Since the benefits that are provided under an insuring agreement aren’t tangible, the only way to really feel good about any purchase that you make is to shop around for the lowest rates from the most reputable insurance carriers.
Since auto insurance rates are based on a driver’s driving habits and other risk factors, it’s critical that you solicit auto insurance quotes before you fill out any applications. Getting quotes is important but with so many insurers doing business in the insurance marketplace, requesting dozens of quotes can be a time-consuming process.
What is an auto insurance quote?
An auto insurance quote is an estimate that shows you how much you could potentially pay for auto insurance with a specific insurance carrier.
The estimate isn’t binding because rates are subject to change. The more information that you’re able to provide, the more accurate your quotes will be.
What can happen if you don’t have the right information to get a quote?
As a consumer, you have certain rights when you’re buying insurance. While companies must comply with the Consumer Bill of Rights in the state, insurers also have the right to verify risk before they give policyholder the rate they were quoted.
Due to this potential risk, insurance providers have a 60-day binding period where they can underwrite risk, change rates, and deny an application.
If you’re not forthcoming on your application or you make a mistake while you’re answering questions, the affordable rate quote that you were given could easily change. In fact, if you have tickets or accidents that you didn’t disclose, a rate hike is the best case scenario. The insurer is free to cancel the policy for any reason.
What information do you need to get a quote for auto insurance?
If you want to avoid getting a misquote, you need to have all of the right information before you start soliciting companies for quotes.
Some of the information is easy to come across and other pieces of information that you’re required to provide may require some research. Here’s what most insurers will ask for:
- Name, gender, date of birth, driver’s license number, and the total years of driving experience for each driver in the home
- The vehicle’s year, make, model, VIN, and features
- Coverage options, liability limits, and deductible amounts
- Your marital status
- How each vehicle is primarily used (e.g., pleasure, business, commute)
- How many miles each vehicle is driven annually
- Credit ranking (average, above average, excellent)
- Number of moving violations you’ve been convicted of in the past three to ten years (depends on severity and state)
- Number of at-fault accidents paid out in the last three years
- Primary location of your vehicle
Steps Before You Get Quotes
If you don’t have some of the information that you need, there are a few ways that you can go about getting it. Policyholders who know they are going to shop for auto insurance can start preparing weeks before they start shopping. Here are some of the ways that you can get the information that you need:
- Decide how much liability coverage you need to protect your assets and your future income
- Check your driving record by asking the DMV for a copy of your Motor Vehicle Report (there may be a small charge)
- Get your declarations page so that you can review your current coverage and ratings for the most accurate rate comparison
- If you have driving experience in another state, look up your old license number so that you qualify for a larger experience credit
- Ask your current provider for a Letter of Experience showing any claims that are on your record
What to Know About Getting Comparison Quotes
If you have everything that you need for a quote, getting one won’t take too long. For a single quote, you shouldn’t spend more than ten minutes providing your information and selecting coverage limits before you’ll be able to see how much the coverage will cost. You need to get several quotes for a fair price comparison.
You shouldn’t get just one or two quotes when you’re trying to find the most affordable coverage. It’s best to get at least five quotes when you’re trying to get a good rate from a reputable carrier.
Be sure to research the carriers that you’re leaning toward to avoid compromising your protection just to receive a lower premium. The most effective way to get a quick quote is to use an online quoting tool designed just for comparisons.
By entering just your zip code, you can access dozens of instant quotes from companies licensed to do business in your state. Shop around without wasting time. Get started today and enter your zip code into our FREE comparison tool!