With the average cost of car insurance topping out at over $1,400 a year, it’s no surprise that many Americans want more information about how to save money on their coverage. If you’ve had issues like an at-fault car accident, speeding ticket, or a DUI, your rates will be even higher.
Even if you’re a great driver, having poor credit or a teenage driver can also cause your rates to go up! If you’re paying more than you’re comfortable with, it’s time to start comparing car insurance quotes to see if you can get a better deal.
There are many websites where you can get online quotes instantly, but it’s important to understand how they work and the important points you’ll need to evaluate before you make a decision.
Start by Gathering Your Information
There are few things more frustrating than sitting down to gather your new insurance quotes and having to dig around for the information you need. Avoid this stress by gathering everything before you get started. Here’s what you’ll need to provide.
Your Basic Information
This includes your name, address, and birthday. Some companies will also ask your employer information. If you haven’t lived at your current home for long, you may also need to provide your previous address.
Information About Your Current Coverage
You’ll need to provide the company name and possibly other information. It’s best to pull up a copy of the policy so you have it handy. You’ll need it again anyway (more on this later).
You’ll need to know your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and will have to provide information about whether you own the vehicle outright, have a loan, or lease. It’s also helpful to know if you have airbags, anti-lock brakes, and an anti-theft system.
Mileage and Usage
Write down your current mileage and be prepared to discuss how you use your vehicle. This includes whether you drive it to work, and how far, and if you work for any companies like Uber, Lyft, or Instacart. If you do, you may need a business auto policy or additional ridesharing coverage.
You’ll need to disclose whether you’ve had any accidents, tickets, or other moving violations at any time in the past five years. Some companies will only want your information while others will want to know about all drivers in your household.
Always be honest! They’ll find out about it anyway and fudging the details will just result in inaccurate quotes.
You’ll also need to provide your drivers’ license number and numbers for any other drivers in your household. There’s a chance that you’ll also be asked to provide an estimate of your credit score. However, in most cases, you don’t need to know this information before you can get a quote.
Lastly, you’ll need to let them know what coverage you’re seeking. You’ll want to reference the declaration page of your current policy. This will help you know what to ask for.
It’s often a good idea to get a quote for the same coverage so you can easily compare the prices. Then, you can always make some other adjustments if it makes sense.
Understand What Goes into Creating Your Quotes
Once you’ve provided all of this information, each insurance company will put it into their algorithms so they can give you an accurate quote. Some of the most important factors that go into determining your quotes include:
- Requested coverage amounts – full coverage will cost you more than the bare minimum.
- Your location – factors considered include the crash rate in the area, the likelihood of vandalism or threats, population density, and more. Prices also often vary greatly from state to state.
- Driving history – those with clean histories will pay less than drivers with accidents, tickets, and DUIs on their records. Having no driving history will also increase your rate.
- Credit history – with the exception of policies for residents of Hawaii, Massachusetts, and California, insurance companies will charge more for drivers with poor credit history. This is due to research that shows these people are more likely to file insurance claims.
Note that if you don’t currently have insurance coverage, you’re also considered “high risk” and you’ll pay more for your new policy.
Tips for Comparing Quotes
While everybody wants to save money on auto insurance, don’t make the mistake of simply choosing the cheapest option. There are other important factors to consider. Assuming the coverage limits for each policy you’re looking at are the same, you’ll want to ask yourself the following questions.
1. Is the Company Reputable?
The last thing you want is to pay for insurance, only to find out they’re not equipped to pay if you find that you have a claim. Check the company’s strength rating and look to see if it has a number of consumer complaints.
Even if the cost is much lower, working with a sub-par company is never a good idea.
2. Are the Deductibles the Same?
You’ll want to make sure that the deductible you choose works for your budget, and it’s also important to check that each policy you’re comparing has the same deductibles. This can make a big difference when it comes to price, and you don’t want to jump into a policy with a large deductible without realizing it.
3. Does the Policy Offer Any Discounts?
Some policies offer discounts for things like setting up auto-pay, bunding policies, or meeting their safe driver standards. Find out if your quotes include these discounts and exactly what you’ll need to do to get them.
4. Does the Quote Meet Your State Minimums?
Lastly, you need to make sure that the coverage you’re considering meets the minimums required by your home state. You can check your state commissioner’s office to confirm the requirements.
Call Us Today, for Fast Car Insurance Quotes, or Even Quicker, Work Up a Quote On Our Website!
As you can see, there actually is some effort that goes into getting accurate car insurance quotes. While our website offers the option to get quotes online, you may prefer some help. Our staff is here for you!
Give us a call today at 603-527-8050. We’ll ask you all the right questions and make sure that you get the best available price for your insurance coverage.