Car insurance quotes are an estimate of how much you’ll pay for an insurance policy based on the coverage types, limits and deductibles you choose.
When you get a quote, it’s easy to focus on price alone. But there’s a lot more to an insurance quote than just how much you’ll pay.
Insurance quotes include valuable information about what the policy will and won’t cover, how much the company will pay for a covered incident (your coverage limit), and what your out-of-pocket cost will be if you need to file a claim.
To get the car insurance policy that’s right for you, it’s important to know what factors affect price, the types of coverage you can choose from and what to look for when you’re comparing quotes from multiple insurance companies.
What are car insurance quotes?
A car insurance quote is an estimate of how much you’ll pay for coverage. Nearly every state requires drivers to maintain liability insurance, which helps cover costs for damage or injuries you cause someone else in an accident.
Quotes vary across insurance companies, which is why it’s important to shop around, gather quotes from multiple insurers and compare them.
What factors influence car insurance quotes?
Insurance companies determine rates based on a range of factors. While rating factors vary by insurance company, here are eight common ones that may influence the price you pay for car insurance.
1. Your driving history — People who have a clean driving record with no tickets or moving violations represent a lower risk to insurers and typically receive lower auto insurance rates.
2. Your location — Car insurance companies set rates based in part on where your car is located. It typically costs more to insure vehicles in areas where rates of theft, vandalism and accidents are high, or in places where repairs and medical care cost more. In general, urban drivers pay more for insurance than drivers who live in the suburbs or rural areas.
3. Your age — Younger drivers are more likely to get in an accident than older drivers, so rates for teen and young adults tend to be higher. Car insurance premiums typically decrease after age 25 if you have a good driving record.
4. Your credit history — Some states allow car insurance companies to use credit-based insurance scores to calculate insurance premiums. Typically, higher scores result in the lower rates.
5. Your vehicle — Some cars cost more to insure than others. Coverage for vehicles with high safety ratings and lower replacement or repair costs will typically be lower.
6. How much you drive — In general, the more you drive, the more likely you are to get into an accident. If you put a lot of miles on your car each month, your premium will probably be higher.
7. Your coverage limits — A coverage limit is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for a single claim if you’re in an accident or your car is stolen or damaged. The higher the limits, the more your policy will cost.
8. Your deductible — The deductible on your policy is the amount you must pay before the insurance company will start paying for the damage. You can usually lower your insurance premium by increasing your deductible.
What’s the best way to get auto insurance quotes?
If you’re in the market for an auto insurance policy, there are three main ways to get a quote.
Online — Many car insurance companies offer the ability to get a free car insurance quote online. And third-party websites can help you shop around quickly by allowing you to compare multiple quotes from different companies.
Captive agent — If you prefer to speak with someone about your insurance needs, an agent can help. Captive agents represent one insurance company and can provide you with a quote from that company.
Independent agent — An independent agent can make shopping around for car insurance coverage easier. Independent agents represent multiple companies and can give you quotes from different insurers to help you find the coverage that best meets your needs.
What information do you need to get a car insurance quote?
Whether you choose to get a quote online or directly from an agent, you’ll need to provide some personal information, such as your name, date of birth, gender, address, marital status and vehicle information. The insurance company may also pull a copy of your driving record, previous insurance claims and credit history.