Getting a Car Insurance Quote

Getting an accurate car insurance quote takes some preparation, but if you play your cards right, you may be able to save some money. On this page, we'll take you through the steps to finding coverage that'll minimize your risks without breaking the bank.

How Much Coverage Do You Need?

Some important factors to consider before you search for car insurance quotes include:

  • Your state's minimum car insurance requirements.
  • The amount of additional coverage you'll need for a car loan/lease (if applicable).
  • How much money you can comfortably spend out-of-pocket in the event of an accident.

If a carrier doesn't meet the criteria you've prepared, you can easily eliminate it as an option.

Understand What Determines Your Quotes

Understanding what goes into calculating your auto insurance quotes can give you an idea of what costs to expect. When requesting quotes, you'll typically be asked to provide information about your:

  • Age and gender.
    • Generally, younger male drivers will have higher auto insurance rates.
  • Driving record.
    • The cleaner your driving record, the better your rates will be.
  • Vehicle's details, including:
    • Make, model, year and any installed safety equipment such as anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices.
    • Newer cars generally cost more to insure, though usually have better safety features, which can help to reduce your rates.
  • Car's storage/parking area.
    • Cars parked outside or on the street present more of a liability, and could cost more to insure.
  • Previous insurance policies.
    • The amount of coverage you previously required could affect what you'll pay for coverage later on.
  • Preferred types of coverage.
    • Your state's minimum insurance requirements and your available out-of-pocket finances will largely dictate these costs.
  • Driving mileage estimates.
    • The more you drive, the more you'll have to pay for car insurance.
  • Use of the vehicle for work.
    • You could need to pay more business/commercial insurance coverage.

You should check rates every two or three years because your personal circumstances AND contributing factors to auto insurance rates could change. Plus, you become more eligible for cheaper rates as you get older and maintain a safe driving record.

Can You Trust Online Auto Insurance Quotes?

Online quotes are only as accurate as the information you provide. If you fail to include or incorrectly report certain factors, your quotes will not be accurate. Down the road, these oversights could result in claims being denied because your insurance provider could not give you the right type of policy.

So, when you compare car insurance quotes online, double-check all of your information to make sure it's as accurate as possible. Taking the extra time to do this may end up saving you a lot of money in the future.

Check for Discounts

When getting quotes, ask each insurer about discounts that might be offered for circumstances such as:

  • Taking a defensive driving class.
  • Installing safety equipment.
  • Paying premiums for six months or a year in advance.
  • Agreeing to exchange documents online.
  • Belonging to certain professional associations.
  • Having a clean driving record.
  • Bundling vehicle insurance policies with other coverage such as homeowners' insurance.
  • Insuring multiple drivers or cars.
  • Driving only short distances.
  • Using a vehicle on a farm.
  • Renewing your policy in advance.
  • Obtaining discounts for young drivers with high GPAs.
  • Living in a safe area.

Another way to get a discounted insurance rate is by agreeing to a deductible, which is the money you agree to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage begins. The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premium will be. Your deductible will depend on your personal finances and perceived chances of getting in a car crash.

Honesty Reduces Your Risk

Getting automobile insurance can protect your family from many financial risks, but the process only works when your coverage is based on your ability to tolerate risk.

You must try to be as accurate as possible when supplying driving and vehicle information for auto insurance quotes. Everyone's driving and living circumstances are different—think of your policy like a cake that requires specific ingredients in precise measurements. Your carrier is there to help you find the coverage best suited to your personal needs.

The Ideal Time to Consider Insurance Costs

The best time to think about auto insurance costs is when you're shopping for a new or used car. There can be big differences in insurance costs between similar vehicle models.

FOR EXAMPLE: One report in Chicago found a 2015 Dodge Ram pickup truck costs $483 less to insure than a similar 2015 Ford F-150 pickup.

Even seemingly minor factors can result in a tremendous difference in cost, so it's wise to research auto insurance quotes on any vehicle you're thinking about purchasing.