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Online car insurance quotes
Car insurance quotes estimate the cost for a policy with your selected coverage. Rates vary based on several factors, including your vehicle type, driving history, coverage and the insurance company.
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What To Know First
Bankrate’s insurance editorial team includes four licensed property and casualty agents with almost 50 years of combined experience. During our time in the industry, we’ve tailored thousands of coverage packages that provided vital financial protection and fit within budgets, both big and small. We understand the delicate balance between sufficient coverage and affordability, and we’re here to guide you through the process of requesting online car insurance quotes.
What are car insurance quotes?
A car insurance quote is an estimate of your insurance premium with a specific carrier based on your chosen coverage and driver profile. When shopping for car insurance, every carrier will prepare one for you as a proposal of coverage and cost, and it will be personalized to your individual characteristics, like years of driving experience, location, annual mileage and more. Having a quote in hand makes it easy to compare rates across more than one carrier, and allows you to see the difference in optional coverage, discounts and price offered by each company.
Getting a car insurance quote doesn’t mean you’re obligated to buy insurance from that company. Instead, it’s a chance to consider the coverage and compare quotes to find the best car insurance for you. Keep in mind that the quoted premium is typically not the actual final policy cost and it could still change when you purchase the policy after the insurer’s underwriting process is complete. This may happen if additional personal, driving record or claims history information is found. It’s best to provide as much information as you can up front when requesting quotes to ensure a more accurate price.
- Exploring different carriers and requesting free car insurance quotes ensures you find the cheapest car insurance with the coverage you want.
- Your driving history is analyzed when it comes to determining your rate. Any moving violations, at-fault accidents and DUIs can impact your final premium.
- Knowing how much coverage you need — and what optional coverage to include — helps build a car insurance policy tailored to your budget and risk level. If you’re unsure where to start, talking to an agent can help.
What can affect my car insurance quotes?
A wide range of car insurance rating factors are used by insurers to calculate your insurance quote. Some of these include:
Age and gender
|Clean record||Speeding ticket||At-fault accident||DUI conviction|
*based on full coverage
|Credit Tier||Average annual rate*|
*based on full coverage
The type of car you drive also plays an important role in your car insurance premium. Luxury vehicles tend to have high premiums, due in part to expensive repair costs for labor and parts. Technology-based safety sensors can make your car safer, for instance, but may actually drive your premium up because they are so expensive to repair or replace. Contrary to popular belief, economy cars may not always result in the cheapest premium either. Because so many of them are on the road, it’s more likely that they will be involved in an accident or be targeted for vandalism and theft.
How to shop for car insurance quotes
Talk with an insurance agent if you have questions.
Collect your personal and vehicle information.
Submit this information to your agent or an online quote generator.
What documents do I need to prepare?
In addition to gathering personal and vehicle information, it can help to have a few other documents on hand, such as:
- Basic driver information: You will need some basic driver information to get a quote, such as the birthdates of all listed drivers, address, occupation and sometimes, education level.
- Driving history: To get the most accurate car insurance quote, you need to declare any tickets or accidents you or any listed driver have received during a certain timeframe, usually between three and five years. If you don’t advise the quoting company of driving activity, your quoted premium could be artificially low. If you move forward with the purchase, the company will then pull your motor vehicle report (MVR) and comprehensive loss underwriting exchange (CLUE) reports. If they find any undeclared activity on these reports, the company will adjust your rate based on your increased risk.
- Vehicle usage: The quoting company will probably ask how you use your vehicle. For instance, they may want to know if you drive your car back and forth to work and, if so, how many days a week. They will probably also want to know your estimated annual mileage.
- Current policy declarations: If you already have car insurance, it’s important that you compare any new quote with your current coverage. This will help the agent ensure they can prepare an accurate quote for you with similar coverage levels and options. If you’re getting a quote online, knowing what your current policy declarations are can also help to ensure that you aren’t accidentally choosing less coverage or a higher or lower deductible than what you already have.
- Vehicle registration or purchase agreement: Although you can usually get a quote without it, you will want your vehicle identification number (VIN) handy to get the most accurate quoted premium. Once you’re ready to purchase your policy, you may be asked to provide the vehicle’s current registration and odometer readings. If you’re buying a new vehicle, you can share the purchase agreement once you’ve received it.
- Documents for discount verification: If you are eligible for any discounts that require verification, such as a professional or organization membership, you may need to share proof to add the discount to your policy. Or, if you have a young driver on your policy who qualifies for a good student discount, the company may request a recent transcript to verify their GPA.