Comparing customized car insurance quotes is key to finding the right coverage at the best price. Follow this comprehensive how to get car insurance quotes 4-step process to get accurate rate estimates.
Step 1: Determine Your Car Insurance Priorities
Insurance is highly personalized, so focus on your specific needs in two key areas:
- What liability limits make you comfortable?
- Do you want just minimum state required coverage or full coverage to also insure your vehicle for collision, comprehensive, etc.?
- Would add-ons like roadside assistance or rental reimbursement provide value?
Budget and Overall Value
- What monthly premium works for my budget?
- Do I prioritize low rates above all else or value strong customer service more?
- What discounts matter most to me? Good driver? Paying in full annually?
- Do I prefer using robust digital tools and apps for managing my policy?
There’s no universal right or wrong answer. Outline coverage limits and price points that fit your lifestyle.
Step 2: Build Your Desired Coverage Package
Once you decide on ideal coverage amounts, deductibles, and tools, build an exact sample policy to compare across insurers.
Provide details like:
- Liability limits (100/300/50, etc.)
- Comprehensive and collision deductibles
- Any additional endorsements like rental coverage, roadside assistance, etc.
Having identical sample policies allows you to accurately compare rates across carriers.
Step 3: Gather Required Personal Information
To receive accurate personalized quotes, you need to provide insurers with data about:
All Drivers – Full names, birthdays, driver’s license numbers
Vehicles – VIN numbers, safety features
Driving History – Any accidents, traffic violations, DUIs, suspensions in the past 5-10 years
Insurance History – Previous coverage, lapses, claims filed
Credit History – In most states they will run your credit-based insurance score
Providing anything less means the quotes will be rough estimates at best. Garner all details upfront for precise rate estimates.
What Factors Influence Car Insurance Quotes?
Beyond the data already outlined, insurers consider about a dozen proprietary rating factors when pricing policies. Major ones include:
- Location – Insurance costs vary widely by state and ZIP code
- Age and gender – Younger drivers and men often pay much more
- Driving record – Incidents like accidents and DUIs lead to much higher rates
- Credit history – Those with poor credit pay over 50% more on average
- Vehicle type – Sports cars, luxury vehicles, and large trucks typically carry higher premiums
- Annual mileage – The more miles driven, the more risk of accidents
So while your friend pays one rate, your personalized quote could be hundreds more or less per year based on these variables.
Step 4: Compare Quotes From Multiple Companies
The final step is to actually get quotes from at least 3-5 companies to compare options and identify the best fit.
Make sure to evaluate:
- Overall premium costs
- Any fees like origination fees
- Available discounts you qualify for
- Customer service reputation
- Digital tool capabilities for managing your policy
Consider national companies like Geico, Allstate and State Farm but also research strong regional providers. Local agents often provide very competitive pricing.
Spend time entering the same coverage amounts and personal details into each insurer’s quoting tool to generate customized side-by-side comparisons. This makes it easy to identify the optimal carrier for your needs.
Why Accurately Comparing Quotes Matters
Getting quotes is not just a formality before choosing an auto insurer. Intentionally comparing customized rate estimates matters because:
- It saves you money by avoiding overpaying
- Prevents paying for unnecessary extra coverage
- Helps match your budget to adequate protection amounts
- Finds companies offering you the best discounts
In short, carefully comparing quotes leads to maximized savings without sacrificing needed coverage.
Common Car Insurance Buying Mistakes
Following the 4-step process above helps avoid these key mistakes:
Not Outlining Clear Priorities First
- Failing to decide on ideal coverage amounts and premium costs makes accurately comparing insurer options impossible.
Getting Quotes With Wrong Information
- Forgetting details or entering different data across insurers leads to mismatched and useless rate comparisons.
Not Comparing Quotes From Enough Companies
- Only getting 1-2 quotes leaves potential savings on the table. Shop around more widely.
Focusing Only On Rate When Comparing
- Cheapest premiums don’t matter if customer service, discounts, and digital capabilities are subpar. Evaluate all factors.
Finding affordable car insurance starts with properly comparing quotes across providers. Follow the comprehensive 4-step process focused on determining your coverage priorities, building specific policy packages, gathering all required personal details, and getting quotes from multiple insurers. Pay close attention to coverage amounts over just prices. And invest the time upfront to accurately enter details into quoting tools for precise rate estimates. This all ensures you find the optimal auto insurance for your needs at the lowest possible cost.
READ ALSO: Finding the Best Place to Get an Auto Loan
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Insurance Quotes
Below find answers to some common questions drivers have about getting quotes:
How Many Companies Should I Get Quotes From?
Experts recommend getting at least 3-5 quotes from a mix of national companies like Progressive and regional providers with local agents. More quotes mean better savings opportunities.
Which Companies Provide the Most Accurate Online Quotes?
Most major insurers like State Farm, Allstate, and Geico invest heavily in accurate online quoting tools using proprietary data and advanced algorithms. But always provide details as outlined above.
How Long Does It Take to Compare Quotes?
Expect to spend at least 45-90 minutes entering all details into different insurers’ quoting platforms. Moving quickly leads to mistakes and missing potential discounts.
When Is the Best Time to Get Quotes?
Getting quotes about 6 weeks before your current policy renews gives enough time to compare options without rushing the decision. This prevents gaps in coverage while shopping.
In another related article, The Ins and Outs of Auto Insurance: Who Needs It, and Its Benefits