Car insurance is one of your most important investments to ensure you are financially secure. It can be difficult to find affordable coverage. However, it is possible to shop around for the best car insurance rates. There are many auto insurance quotes. Getting multiple quotes, most experts recommend at least three, could help you save hundreds of dollars every year.
It is important to learn how car insurance works before you start. It is easy to obtain a quote online from many insurers by answering just a few questions. Some people may need to call an agent to get a quote. It doesn’t matter how you do things, understanding what you get is crucial to getting the right coverage.
These are the key learnings
- Based on your personal information, such as age, vehicle type and insurance history, car insurance quotes will give you an estimate of how much you could pay for a policy from a provider.
- Asking for quotes from several providers can help you find the best rates and coverage options.
- For accurate comparisons of quotes, it is important to give consistent information about your personal information, coverage options and traffic violations.
- You may pay a higher rate if you make other choices, such as discounts and higher deductibles.
Car insurance quotes
What is an auto insurance quote? A quote is simply an estimate of your coverage and premium with a particular insurance provider. While online quotes can be a great first step, speaking with an agent will give you a better estimate.
Every quote is customized to reflect your information and vehicle. There could be a substantial price difference between quotes from different companies for the same coverage, as every auto insurer evaluates data differently.
What is a quote for car insurance?
In most cases, insurance companies will provide you with quotes for a six month premium. This is based on your information, including marital status, driving record, and vehicle details. Based on the information you provide and the coverage requested, a price is generated. This price can be used to compare other providers or finalize your purchase.
Although quotes can give you an idea of the amount you should reserve for your premium, they are only as accurate and complete as the information you provide. You might be tempted to leave out information about a past claim if you’re looking for lower coverage. Rates are usually higher for those with a poor driving record. Quotes are not legally binding. Carriers use additional tools to obtain your driving record and claim history after you submit a quote.
You can help ensure that the rate you are quoted is accurate and reflects your final premium by providing as much detail as possible in advance.
How to get car insurance quotes
You can get a quote online, by phone or in person for free. While some companies offer only online quotes, others have local agencies that you can visit to speak with someone. You will be asked the same information regardless of which option you choose.
You need information to get a quote
- Driver information: Insurance companies often ask for driver information, such as name, date, occupation, and zip code. Providers will often request your social security number in order to access your credit history and personal information. It is important to remember that not all insurance providers can use your credit history in determining your rate in certain states.
- Vehicle information: Insurance companies also create quotes based upon the details of your vehicle. This includes year, make, model, safety features, and annual mileage. The insurance company will ask you whether the vehicle is yours or if it is being leased, financed or rented. If your vehicle is leased or financed, comprehensive and collision coverage are usually required. This is so that the lender can fully protect the asset. Leasing vehicles often require higher liability limits.
- Driving record: All tickets, accidents and driving violations that you have had in the last three to five years should be reported to your insurance provider to get a quote. This information will be available to the insurance company, so it is best that you are honest when asking for a quote.
- Information about insurance: If you have auto insurance, you may be asked for information about your current policy as well as its expiration date.
- Type of payment: You will need your payment information if you want to purchase your policy right away.
It is entirely up to you how you want to obtain your quote. You can get multiple quotes online in minutes if you’re shopping for insurance and comparing different providers. You may be able to speak with an agent over the phone or in person if you have any questions about your coverage.
You want the coverage you need
Your premium will increase if you have more coverage than your limits and more coverage types. A robust policy with comprehensive, collision, and other optional coverages like gap insurance will typically cost more than buying liability-only insurance. Before you request quotes, it is important to make a list. Talking to a licensed agent can help you understand the various options offered by a provider.
Compare insurance quotes from different companies
Here are some tips to help you maximize your comparison shopping experience before you ask for quotes from different auto insurance companies.
- Ask for the coverage you require: Find out how much automobile insurance you will need to protect your finances in case of an accident. Also, consider any additional coverage that may be required. If you have any questions about what coverage you need, speak with an agent.
- Request similar quotes: To compare apples to apples, request the same coverage from every company you send a request for a quote.
- Compare multiple quotes: Most insurance providers offer online quote tools that make it easy to compare and save time. It is also possible to get quotes from local agencies that have first-hand knowledge about the driving conditions in your area.
- Compare customer service levels. This could be a good indicator of how you will experience when filing claims. J.D. Based on claims and customer satisfaction, power rank carriers are determined.
These steps will allow you to evaluate multiple providers efficiently. Bankrate provides average six-month premiums below for several well-known providers. To make it easier for you to find auto insurance, we have included a link that will take you to the Bankrate review of each provider. This includes information about financial strength, coverage options and customer satisfaction scores.
What factors influence auto insurance quotes?
While every insurance company will have its own formula to determine your car insurance quote price, there are certain factors that will almost always impact your premium.
Your driving record
Your rate of interest will be lower if you have a good driving record. Risk is the key concept. An insurer will charge more if they believe you are at risk of having to file a claim. A clean driving record can often result in a lower premium than if there are multiple moving violations or tickets.
Your personal characteristics
To calculate your assumed risk, insurers take into consideration your marital status and gender. Providers are aware, for instance, that male teens cause more accidents statistically than female teens. Young men will pay more for insurance. Young drivers have higher rates than older drivers, and they will decrease up to age 60 if their driving record is clean. After that point they will rise again. Women pay slightly more than men, and married drivers are usually safer to insure. Below are the average rates of male and female drivers for different ages.
To calculate your rates, providers will use your VIN as well as the make/model of your vehicle. Insurance companies will need your VIN to provide details about your vehicle, including its accident history. Because some cars are more costly to repair, it is important that you know your make and model. For example, a Tesla Model S driver might have to pay more than someone driving a Honda Civic. It is important to consider the age of your car. Older cars are more costly to insure because they have a higher value.
Wherever you live
Car insurance is mainly regulated at state level. Every state has minimum coverage requirements. To calculate your premium, insurance providers will also consider whether you are in an urban or rural location. Statistics show that more accidents occur in cities than in the country. Therefore, your premiums will be higher if the area is large. To help determine your premium, providers will also consider factors such as theft and vandalism rates within your ZIP code.
Below is a table that lists the average car insurance premiums by state for both full and minimal coverage. For more information, click on the state you are interested in to narrow down the top car insurance companies in your region based on Bankrate market data.
How to Save on Auto Insurance
An average American driver will pay $565 annually to get minimum coverage and $1,674 for full coverage. There are many things you can do to get a lower premium if you’re budget-conscious. You cannot control certain factors like your age, gender, and marital status. There are many ways you can get the best rate.
- Discounts: Many insurers offer discounts that include loyalty, driver-based, and vehicle-based discounts.
- Telematics: Insurers offer telematics-based savings plans that track your driving habits and how often you drive in order to give potential discounts.
- Deductibles: A higher deductible can help you lower your premium, but it may also require you to consider whether you are able to afford the additional out-of-pocket expenses if you have to file a claim.
Questions frequently asked
Which insurance companies offer the lowest rates?
Car insurance rates are determined by personal factors like age, driving record, credit history, and credit history. There is no one company that is the most affordable for everyone. Comparing quotes from multiple providers will help you find the company that offers the best rates.
How can I determine what type of coverage I need?
At least the minimum required liability coverage in your state is mandatory. Virginia and New Hampshire do not require auto insurance. However, if you do buy insurance, the minimum requirements are met. Some states require medical payments or personal injury protection. If your vehicle is financed, leased or owned, you may need collision and comprehensive coverage to cover repairs. Before you get quotes, consult with licensed agents from several insurance companies to find out the type of coverage that you require.
Which cars are the most affordable to insure?
In general, SUVs and midsize cars are the most affordable to insure. The Subaru Outback is our top pick for the 20 cheapest cars you can insure. Next, the Honda CR-V (and Toyota RAV4) are next. It is a good idea not to get the same rates for every car. Consider asking several insurance companies to tell you which makes and models are best for you when you go out to buy a vehicle.