Question: How can I get the most accurate car insurance quotes online? I don’t want to have to do the process more than once to compare quotes.
Answer: To get an accurate car insurance quote, you need to give accurate information.
Comparison shopping can be easy and result in precise quotes, but to do this you need to have information on hand to answer questions about the items listed below.
Drivers’ information – For all licensed household drivers be ready to provide:
- Their names and possibly their driver’s license numbers (when you’re ready to purchase a policy)
- Date of birth
- Education level and occupation
- License status
- The age each driver got licensed (so the insurer will know how long they’ve been licensed)
With some insurers, you’ll need to provide information (name and birthdate) on all household members, even if they’re not licensed.
Vehicle information – For all vehicles you’ll need to provide:
- Vehicle identification number (VIN) (make and model may work, but it’s not as accurate for giving vehicle's specs, some of which can get you discounts)
- Primary use of the vehicle
- Annual mileage
- Ownership information (owned, leased or financed)
- Registration information (whom the car registered to)
Violations and accidents – Be ready to answer questions about any of the following that occurred in the last five to seven years:
- Traffic violation convictions
- Accidents (fault or not at fault)
- Car insurance claims
If you can’t remember specifics, get a copy of your driving record and claims history before shopping for auto insurance rates.
Coverage and limits – Go into the quoting process knowing what coverages and limits you want.
- Have a copy of your most recent policy, specifically the declarations page. This will make certain you’re comparing the same coverage and limits and allow you to see if you’d save by switching car insurance companies.
- If you’re without a current policy, or want different coverages and limits than what you currently have, make sure when getting quotes that you remain consistent about what coverage and limits you select so that you compare apples to apples, so to speak.
Credit rating – Many states allow your credit to be a rating factor.
- Obtain a copy of your credit rating before starting the quoting process, so you’re able to give accurate information.
- Some companies may ask for your Social Security number so it can pull your credit report; others may wait to request it during the actual purchasing process (if it’s required at all).
Not all companies will ask for all of this information, but I’d recommend having it nearby when getting quotes in case it is needed. Being prepared when you sit down to shop around online for car insurance will make the process go quicker and allow for your quotes to be accurate.
What happens if you don’t give accurate information?
Many people give their best guess to various questions on a car insurance quote form, and that is fine to get a ballpark rate quote; however, the premium quoted is likely to be inaccurate if the information given is incorrect.
For instance, you estimate that your traffic ticket was four years ago, and it was only two years ago. Your car insurance rate quote might change when your driving record is pulled, since most auto insurers rate on violations going back three years.
So, if your driving record or any of other information is wrong, then when the correct information is discovered – and normally it will be when the insurer reviews the many reports it pulls when finalizing your policy at the time of purchase – your premium amount will change.
You mentioned you’re looking to do the quoting process just once. Unfortunately, there is not a database that can supply you with quotes for all of the car insurance companies out there. However, our website has the next best thing. We represent multiple carriers, such as 21st Century, Esurance, Liberty Mutual, The Hartford, and Travelers to name a few. We’re, thus, able to help you comparison shop with multiple companies by filling out just one form. Click here to get started.