Applying for auto insurance coverage is a process. You can’t pick up the phone and buy a basic auto insurance in just a minute or two no matter how prepared you are.
Before you even submit your application, you have to do the following:
- get quotes
- compare pricing options
- choose coverage limits
After all that is said and done, you can start filling out the paperwork for the company to review before you receive your final premium.
For organized auto insurance consumers, it is possible to apply for auto insurance coverage without ever talking to a sales agent.
With all of the online tools and resources that are available to shoppers looking for competitively priced products, it’s no surprise that you can price, change, and buy insurance by completing your transactions online.
Get started on your search for the right insurance company by comparing rates using our free tool above. Enter your zip code to begin.
Why do you need to get quotes before applying?
You aren’t going to submit an application for a product before you know how much it’s going to cost you. That wouldn’t be a very efficient way to shop around and find the most affordable coverage.
Since insurance pricing varies by person and by the company, the only effective way to make a decision before you buy is to get quotes.
The insurance marketplace is a competitive one. In fact, the Federal government doesn’t even oversee operations or rate filings. This oversight is all done on the state level.
As long as the Department of Insurance in the state feels like rates are justified, the insurer is free to charge what they see fit. This is how states keep the insurance industry a competitive marketplace that doesn’t use discriminatory practices to set pricing.
Some companies are priced competitively in each segment of the market. Other companies set up their whole business model up to service one particular group of drivers.
With these more focused business models, the premiums are only competitive for drivers who fall into a risk class. These companies sell insurance to other drivers, but the rates will be high. This is why quotes are so useful when you’re shopping around.
How do you get car insurance quotes online?
If you’ve turned on a television in the last decade or so, you’re bound to have seen several different auto insurance commercials advertising that they have the best rates in the market.
They then direct you to call a toll-free number for a quote or to visit the company’s official URL.
While many companies do direct you straight to the phone, where you’re likely to speak with a trained sales agent, there’s also the option to visit the company’s online quote tool.
If you do decide to go online to the company’s official website, you’ll be getting a direct online quote.
Getting a direct quote online is convenient if you only need to see the premiums available through a single company but most people want to solicit at least three to four quotes to compare rates.
Another online option is to use a third-party quoting tool to retrieve several quotes at once. All you have to do is enter your personal information into a quote form. By doing this, you can quickly and easily compare rates without contacting several companies directly.
What do you need to get a quote?
You have to be equipped with at least basic information before you can get your online quotes. You may not have all of the answers at the time when you’re seeking general pricing information but quotes are only accurate when your information is accurate.
You will need at least the following information:
- Zip code where vehicles are parked/registered
- The year, make, model and trim level of the vehicle
- Licensing information for each driver
- Insurance history and licensing history
- Approximate dates of any accidents or moving violations
- Driver assignments for each car
- Driving habits like mileage, commuting, and other usage information
- Credit score estimates
- Prior claims information (if within the last three to five years)
- Coverage types and limits
What do you need when you apply for your policy?
You can take your quotes and visit your local agency or you can complete the entire process online. If you’re like many consumers today, you’re short on time. That means that finishing your application online would be the best option for saving time.
You can pretty much do everything that an agent in an office would do when submitting an application for personal car insurance online.
The only difference is that you’re using a consumer application tool to provide the information instead of an internal system that can only be accessed by licensed agents. Here’s the detailed information that you need:
- Each driver’s state-issued license number
- Each vehicle’s VIN
- Address where the vehicle is registered
- Lender’s name and address for the loss payee clause
- Effective date that you need coverage to begin
- Installment option and at least the initial payment
- Annual mileage and the distance of your commute
- Dates of violations and violation type
- Dates of past at-fault and non-fault claims
What happens after the application is submitted?
Once you have all of the information and you submit it to the company, you will have temporary coverage. This gives you peace of mind and the company time to verify that you have provided.
If anything changes and your risk changes, you may receive a modified premium notice. You’ll also be billed for the difference if the rates go up.
The Internet has changed the way that consumers do business. You don’t have to take time off of work to apply for insurance.
Make time to find a better deal on your coverage and get quotes online. Enter your zip code into our free rate tool below to begin. Once you’re done, you can fill out the online application and save.