How to get car insurance quotes

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Doing an insurance quote online or over the phone can seem like a daunting task but, there are only 5 steps you need to take to get the best car insurance quote. 

You are going to learn what parts effect your premium, as well as, see you how to get a quote, confidently, with the companies YOU want. 

5 STEPS TO GET CAR INSURANCE QUOTES:

  • STEP 1: What to expect
  • STEP 2: Determine the coverage you need
  • STEP 3: Information Needed
  • STEP 4: Know your discounts
  • STEP 5: Choose the companies you want

STEP 1: What to expect

Online: When you do a quote online you can expect it to be quick. Companies know that time is valuable and most people get frustrated or even leave mid-quote if they can't get to a price quickly. This is also a reason why you need to be careful. 

The quicker the quote is the less accurate it will be. Most of the websites you visit claim to shop multiple companies in one form. This can be true but you can expect constant phone calls and emails from 10 or more companies trying to earn your business. This sounds great but, it will quickly get annoying when they are all going to ask you the same questions you already filled out. This is the dark side of getting quotes. Your information is only worth $10-$50 but sold across 10 companies, these companies can earn hundreds off your data.

You might think this can be combated by going directly to a company you trust first. Unfortunately, that is not always going to be the case because, even the major companies sell your information to other smaller companies when you're not a fit for their profile or they know their price is not competitive. That's why you see them compare other companies. They look friendly but they are really selling your data to that company if you click over to it.

EXAMPLE: You do a quote on Progressive but at the end they suggest you get a quote from Geico. You click to transfer the data to Geico. What you don't realize is you're now allowing Progressive to sell your data to Geico who might turn around and sell your data to 5 other companies (read discloser to confirm).  

So, how can you overcome that?! You can either read through each disclosure/privacy agreement or check out Cover. I've tested them on several occasions and have not been contacted beyond my initial quote. They shop over 30 companies nationwide! It's been one of the best resources I've had over all the other tedious options. 

STEP 2: Determine the coverage you need

You need to be slightly knowledgeable in the coverage you want to go with because each state has different laws and minimum coverage requirements. This amount needs to be higher than your income and assets. Learning how to get car insurance quotes is great but you need the right coverage too.

Example: You own your home and have $100,000 in equity. You own your car and have a large savings account as well as, you make $60,000 or more per year. In this case, you should protect yourself at a high level. You have a lot to lose should you be liable for a major claim.

As much as we don't like being forced to buy insurance, some states have really low requirements. Be careful! The whole point of buying insurance is to protect you in the event of a major loss, not just a fender bender. If you choose too low of coverage, you might be putting your future income and assets at risk. Listed below are common coverage to consider.  

If you are not familiar with what these mean, you can learn more in this video about insurance 101 otherwise, there are 3 parts to insurance:

  • COVERAGE FOR YOU

  • COVERAGE FOR OTHERS

  • COVERAGE FOR YOUR CAR

Medical Payments or PIP(Personal Injury Protection)

Medical for you or others in your car, per person, regardless of who is at-fault.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury: Coverage for you and your passengers if you are injured more than what the at-fault party has coverage for. 

EXAMPLES: 

Lower coverage: BI: $50,000/$100,000 PD: $100,000 , UM/UIM $50,000/$100,000 UMPD: Value of your car, IE: $50,000 , Med-pay(usually optional) $10,000 or more as budget sees fit. 

Medium coverage: BI: $100,000/$300,000 PD: $100,000 UM/UIM: $100,000/$300,000 UM/UIM $100,000/$300,000 UMPD: Value of car. Med-Pay: $10,000+ 

Better coverage: BI: $250,000/$500,000 PD: $250,000 UM/UIM: $250,000/$500,000 UMPD: Value of car. Med-Pay: $10,000+

* Comprehensive/Collision is separate and on an as needed basis. Most common deductibles are $500 and $1,000. 

STEP 3: Information Needed

In most cases companies can look up your information on their end.  Generally you will want to have the following available: 

  1. Each driver's license number
  2. Address and zip code
  3. VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of each vehicle

Curious what questions they will ask? This video will better prepare you with the 12 questions insurance companies ask

STEP 4: Know your discounts

There are a lot of discounts out there. In order the learn how to get car insurance quotes you want to make sure you discounts! They can cut your bill in half in some cases. Here are 15 of the most common discounts most companies will offer:

1. Married
2. Good Student (Under 25 years old & 3.0 GPA)
3. Being a Home owner 4. Low miles/low commute
5. Anti-theft (Passive and Vehicle Recovery system)
6. Safe Driver
7. Multi-Car Discount
8. Credit/Consumer Report history
9. Early Shopper discounts (typically must purchase insurance 7+ days before renewal)
10. Occupational (Engineer, Teacher, Doctor, Nurse etc…)
11. Own Medical insurance (Coordinate benefits)
12. Defensive or Mature driving course
13. Pay premium in full (6 months or more up front)
14. How you pay: Checking/Savings vs Credit Card
15. Affinity/Affiliate company (Honda owner, Union member, Teachers associations etc…)

STEP 5: Choose the companies you want

Here's when you get to pick who you want to go with. If you want the easy route just go to COVER. As mentioned, they'll do the shopping for your. If you want to try any specific company, go for it. You can go to any companies website directly and either start an online quote or, call them. Trust me, each company makes it easy to contact them for a quote. 

Still not sure? 
Here is a 21 minute video on "How to do an insurance quote online | What companies are best". This will show you how to look for the right company or agency near you to lean toward. 

This is how you get car insurance quotes. Now it's up to you to take the next step. It will be a great experience but, Keep in mind, every few years, you may want to re-shop as life changes. 

About the author 

Mark Flockhart

I have spent over a decade selling approx. $4 million worth of home, auto and personal umbrella insurance. I am licensed in several states and now I'm focused on sharing my knowledge with others to help you become smarter about your insurance which will save you money and time.

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