A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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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, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 14, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • If you are shopping around for auto insurance quotes, you will need to provide some basic personal information in order to find out what your rate will be
  • Auto insurance companies are trying to get enough information to evaluate the risk that you pose as a driver when offering you an auto insurance quote
  • Remember that you need to be honest with all of the information you provide in requesting a quote
  • Some of the questions asked by an auto insurance company will also help them determine if there are any discounts that you qualify for so that you can pay a lower premium

If you are shopping around for auto insurance quotes, expect to have to answer a variety of questions to be able to find out how much you will pay for car insurance.

The auto insurance company is trying to determine what risk you pose as an insured driver and the likelihood that you will file a claim under your auto insurance policy.

The underwriting department of the auto insurance company will need to verify the information you provide, so you need to be honest and accurate in your application.

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Some of the questions that you may be asked include the following:

What Car Do You Drive and Where Do You Live?

The value of your car will help to determine the rate that you pay for auto insurance. In addition to the year, you will also have to supply the following information:

  • make of your vehicle
  • model of your vehicle
  • vehicle registration number (VIN)

At this stage, the insurance company is determining the likelihood that a claim will be filed by someone driving a car like yours.

For example, if you drive a flashy sports car, you are more likely to be involved in an accident than a person who drives a minivan. So you can expect to pay more for car insurance if you have an exotic car.

If you are still in the market for a car and are calling around for auto insurance quotes before you actually purchase, you can find out from the auto insurance agent how buying a certain car could affect the premium you pay.

This will give you a better idea of the total monthly cost of driving that vehicle.

You will also be asked for your zip code right out the gate because it is important to determine whether an auto insurance company is licensed to cover you in your state. Not all auto insurance companies are licensed to provide coverage in every state.

In addition, you zip code is a factor in the premium that you will pay for auto insurance because it also helps determine the likelihood of a claim being filed under your policy.

For example, if you live in a city, you can expect to pay more for car insurance than in a suburban area because the traffic volume is typically higher in cities as well is the rate of crime.

Be prepared to give the auto insurance company of a general estimate of the number of miles you plan to drive your car every day. If you only drive your car a few miles, you are generally a lower risk for the auto insurance company and could be offered a lower rate.

This would probably apply if you live very close to your work or are retired and do not plan to drive very often. Also, if you take public transit, this could reduce your mileage.

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What is Your Driving Record Like and Who Else Lives in Your Household?

For obvious reasons, your driving record will be a major factor in determining your auto insurance rate. If you have received numerous moving violations or have been in an accident recently, you will probably have to pay a higher rate for your auto insurance.

To verify this information, you will likely have to provide a copy of your driver’s license to the auto insurance company so that it can be checked by the underwriting department.

Along those lines, you will be asked if your license and registration is currently valid. Not having a valid driver’s license or registration is a red flag to any auto insurance policy.

Some auto insurance companies will even refuse to extend coverage to drivers who do not currently have a valid driver’s license. This could even include a driver who only has a permit.

It does no good to try to cover up any violations on your record or give false information to the auto insurance company. All of your driving record information can be independently verified.

The period of time that each auto insurance company looks back in terms of factoring in accidents and claims for your premium varies. This is one of the reasons why it pays to request quotes from multiple auto insurance companies to get the best rate possible.

You may be surprised to find out that the other drivers in your household can also affect your auto insurance rate. This is because the auto insurance company assumes that they will also have access to drive your vehicle.

If you want to specifically exclude another driver in your household from driving your car, you need to inform your auto insurance company of the exclusion.

What is the Status of Your Current Insurance Coverage?

Every auto insurance company will want to know if you are currently insured. If you do not have valid auto insurance when you shop for a new policy, you may end up paying a higher rate.

This is because the auto insurance company is considering whether you are financially responsible.

If you have a history of failing to maintain the required auto insurance, then some auto insurance companies may refuse to insure you at all.

They would consider you to be a higher risk driver due to your failure to comply with state laws. Also, this type of driver is probably less likely to pay his or her auto insurance premiums on time.

What is Your Job, Level of Education and Marital Status?

While these types of questions may seem totally unrelated to you as a driver or your insurance rate, the answers actually tell auto insurance companies a lot about the risk that you pose as a driver.

  • Are you married?Married people tend to be safer drivers to insure than those who are singled, so you will pay a lower rate if you are married.
  • What is your job? — Sometimes, you can even receive a lower rate based on your job. For instance, if you are a teacher, you are considered a lower risk driver than many other occupations. Some auto insurance companies even offer a discount if you are an active member of the military.
  • What is your education? — Likewise, your highest level of education also tells the auto insurance companies what you might be like to insure as a driver. In general, if you have a higher level of education, you can expect to be offered a lower rate from auto insurance companies.

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What Type of Coverages Do You Need?

While everyone is required to maintain at least an auto liability policy, there are many other coverage options that may be a good idea for you and your family.

It is best to do some homework on these types of coverages ahead of time so that you know what type of coverage and the amount of coverage you need.

Obviously, the more coverage and higher policy limits you request, the higher your premium will be.

Keep in mind, however, that if you are involved in an auto accident or have to make a claim without having enough auto insurance coverage, you will be stuck paying out of your own pocket for any of the remaining uncovered damages.

This can be a significant amount of damages left over if you only maintain basic auto liability insurance.

The auto insurance company will be able to show you the difference in your premium based on the various coverages you select and the policy limits you are considering.

One way to ease the financial burden of making your premium payment is to ask the auto insurance company if they have an option for making monthly payments on your premium instead of having to pay the full amount at the beginning of your policy term.

The bottom line on applying for an auto insurance quote is that you will have to supply personal information that will allow the auto insurance company to get you an accurate quote for your premium.

While some of the questions may not seem like they are exactly relevant to the price of your auto insurance policy, they are all designed to help the auto insurance company figure out the actual risk you pose as an insured driver.

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