So it’s time to lay your foot down on some new coverage for your ride. Way to go. Whether it’s a new car or you’re just trying to find a better price, getting insurance quotes can be a little tricky at times. It can involve oodles of hours browsing, guessing games and who ever knows which boxes you should be checking. We do.
Our independent agents have quite a few laps around the track and can make the process much simpler. They'll ask the right questions, then shop and compare policies from multiple carriers to find the best coverage out there for you, at the best possible price.
They'll even break down all the jargon in a way that's easy to understand. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? But before we get ahead of ourselves, you should know just how insurance companies come up with all those quotes.
How Car Insurance Quotes Are Born
Before you dive into getting coverage, you should know how insurance companies come up with quotes.
They start by evaluating a series of risk factors that have number values (costs) associated with them, in a rating manual.
Risk factors may be things like age, gender, location, etc.—things that could increase the chances of you filing a claim.
The cost of the risk factors is determined either through studies of historical trends, or via analytical models (basically, super sciency/mathy stuff).
They'll check off those attributes that apply to you.
A quote comes from the sum total of everything checked off on the list—plus a bit extra factored in for the insurance company's profit margin. However, due to competition from other companies, they might lower the price a bit.
NOTE: Quotes are subject to change—the insurance company may gradually increase your premium over time to keep up with the financial demands of offering the coverage (so you'll be less happy, they'll be more happy).
How to Get the Car Insurance Quotes You Want
Step 1: Understanding Car Insurance and Why You Need It
Now that you understand how car insurance quotes are born, it's important for you to understand what car insurance is, and why you'd need/want it:
The what: Car insurance is a contract between you and the insurance company where they agree to protect you financially should your car get stolen, be involved in an accident or fall victim to other awful circumstances.
The why: In many cases, car insurance is mandatory when getting the loan to pay for it. Plus, some states have minimum requirements to keep in mind (your agent can tell you all about yours).
Beyond that, it’s just flat out good prepping smarts to have coverage in case something bad happens. If your car’s in an accident or stolen, your insurance will help you get back behind the wheel much faster. And your boss will love that.
Step 2: Gather All Your Info
Car insurance quotes are only as good as the info you provide. Make sure you supply the following details with as much accuracy as your memory (and official documents) allow:
The vehicle info, including its make, model and year of manufacture
Expected annual mileage
How the vehicle is used (i.e. work commuting, countryside joyriding, kitten transporting, etc.)
The ages of all drivers who will be using the vehicle
Your address and the location where the vehicle will be stored when not in use
The type of insurance coverage you need, including any additional coverage you might want (i.e. towing or roadside assistance)
Credit scores for all drivers of the vehicle
Accident records for all drivers of the vehicle
Step 3: Connect with an Independent Agent
Comparing quotes from different companies all by yourself can be complicated. You've gotta keep things like the insurer’s claims process, customer service, reputation and a lot more in mind.
Here's where an agent comes in like a knight in shining armor—they know everything that's important to consider when comparing quotes and they’re here to help.
An independent agent can make your life a lot easier. They're not tied down to one insurance company, so they're free to shop, compare and assemble all the pieces of the coverage puzzle for you—even if they end up coming from multiple carriers.
Step 4: Work with Your Agent
Your agent is there entirely for you. For questions, concerns and even a knock-knock joke or two. So the more openly you communicate with them, the better off you’ll be in the long run. Here’s a few ice-breaking talking points to go over with your agent:
How much coverage you want in each aspect of your policy (e.g. collision, comprehensive, liability and uninsured/underinsured motorists)
How much you’re willing to pay out of pocket towards a deductible
Open up about any factors that could up the risk factor of your policy (like your son's fascination with “drifting”)
Ask for and discuss any deals or incentive payment plans (i.e. discounts for paying annually vs. monthly)
Pick the best coverage for you (it's designed for you, after all)
Step 5: Tell Them Everything
And we mean everything. All the nitty gritty details you might rather gloss over, because inevitably they, or the carrier, will find out. And guess what? If they find out you purposefully omitted any risks to get yourself a lower premium, it will come back to bite you in the tailpipe. So keep these pointers in mind:
If they do ask, you tell. This honest communication will lead to a perfect premium/risk match in terms of your policy's price (and no tailpipe biting of any kind).
If they don't ask, you tell. Don't ignore anything you think is relevant just because it didn't come up. The longer your Q&A/confessional segment is with your agent, the better your car insurance quote will ultimately be.
The Lowdown On Online Quotes
We know what you want—quick and easy car insurance quotes in under a minute. We get it, you want the goods, ASAP. However, choosing supersonic speed could mean sacrificing accuracy...which could end up costing you.
Look, we all love quick quotes—but online companies might leave out options that'll save you some serious green, while conveniently leaving in factors that assume higher risk and calculate a pricier policy.
Aaaaaannd, our competitors might sell your precious info to multiple companies, which could lead to a bunch of unrecognized phone calls and a flooded voicemail box. We flipped the script by giving YOU the info and options to connect with an independent insurance agent when YOU are ready.