Car insurance quotes are as accurate as you make them. The less information you share to begin with, the less likely you are to get an accurate quote. A short form will ask for basic details such as your name, location, car, and date of birth—not enough information to provide you with an accurate quote.
A longer form, although more time-consuming, is more likely to give you the opportunity to submit more thorough information
To make sure you get an accurate car insurance quote every time, follow the details in this guide.
How to Prepare for Car Insurance Quotes
Before you start applying for car insurance quotes, make sure you have all the following information to hand.
- Basic Personal Info: Including your age, address, date of birth, and how old you were when you got your first license.
- Car Details: The insurer will ask about the make, model, and mileage.
- Safety Features: Any safety features that your car includes, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, and anti-theft features.
- Your Driving Record: Including all speeding tickets, accidents, and anything else deemed relevant.
- Current Insurer: The details of your current insurance company, if applicable.
- Relevant Discounts: Do you qualify for any discounts? These can include student discounts, driver safety courses, and certain organizations.
- Other Drivers: The personal information, driving records, and other details of the additional drivers that will be added to your policy.
What Goes into a Car Insurance Quote?
Insurance is a careful balance of risk and reward. An insurance company is basically like a casino, only it’s taking bets on your life, and not the turn of a card or the roll of some dice.
Even though it’s not relying on a pre-programmed slot machine or a carefully planned card game, it works based on some of the same principles. It feeds large masses of data into an algorithm that will ensure that long-term outcomes are in its favor.
For instance, it knows that young drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents, so it makes adjustments, charging all young drivers more money so that those extra payouts are offset.
As a responsible, mature, level-headed 16-year old driver, you’re basically paying for the recklessness of your peers. That’s okay, though, because if you continue to be a sensible driver, you’ll eventually find yourself in a low-risk category and you’ll start reaping the rewards.
Of course, it’s not just your age and driving history that underwriters will consider. Other attributes will also be fed into the algorithm, including:
- Location: Car insurance rates differ considerably from state to state and you could find yourself paying double what you would pay in other states. It’s not a state-wide issue, either. If you live in areas with a lot of car thefts, vandalism, animal collisions, and car accidents, it will also affect your rates.
- Gender: For a time, gender was one of the many determining factors. However, it is now being phased out and many states prevent car insurers from discriminating based on whether the applicant is male or female.
- Car: The safer your car is, the lower your rates will be. Fast gas-guzzlers and older cars are likely to generate much higher premiums than compact and safe SUVs.
- Credit Score: Your credit rating really does follow you around. As far as car insurance is concerned, underwriters know that individuals with low scores are more likely to make a claim.
- Marital Status: Married drivers are safer drivers, or so the statistics say. It’s an odd one, but it all feeds into the algorithm.
- Homeowner Status: Do you own your own home? If so, you should pay less, on average, than a tenant.
How to Improve Your Car Insurance Quotes
You have control over many of the things that determine your car insurance quotes. However, some are easier to fix than others. For instance, while you can become a married homeowner, it’s not something you can do overnight, and we certainly wouldn’t recommend getting married or buying a house just to save a few bucks on car insurance.
Some of the steps you can take include:
- Improve Your Credit Score: A few points won’t make a huge difference, but every little bit helps and it will also save you cash elsewhere. Pay more of your debt, avoid new accounts, increase your credit limits without increasing your debt, and remember to keep all cleared credit cards active. This helps to keep your credit utilization score high.
- Rethink Your Choice of Car: The car you drive has a big impact on your annual premiums. Choose a safer car with cheaper parts and plenty of safety and anti-theft features.
- Take a Course: A defensive driving course could shave tens of dollars off your premiums. It’s a discount that everyone can access and one that is offered by many car insurance companies.
- Join Mileage-Based Programs: Many insurers offer mileage-based programs that will track your driving habits and total miles. It gives your insurer a more accurate picture of your habits and is offered in exchange for a discount.
How to Get Accurate Car Insurance Quotes
To get accurate car insurance quotes every time, you need to be 100% honest when submitting your application. The more information you provide, the more accurate the quote will be.
You will notice that different companies provide you with different quotes, which is because each company has its own way of looking at things. The only way to find the cheapest cost for the most complete coverage is to get as many quotes from as many companies as possible.