Car Insurance Quotes

Filling out forms on automobile insurance company websites can seem intimidating, but it does not have to be difficult. Most companies are going to ask you a series of basic questions before issuing a quote. It is important to have your information handy and to be sure it is accurate. Before you begin searching for online insurance quotes, be sure to have handy the following:

– The names, ages, and date of birth for every registered driver in your home.
– Your Social Security number.
– Copies of any speeding tickets or accident reports for any of the registered drivers in your home for the last five years. It is especially important to have this information ready if you have had an at-fault accident.

Once you have these basic pieces of information assembled, it is time to start your online rate quote search. You can search for online quotes in one of two ways: by visiting specific companies’ websites and entering your information or by using an online quote comparison engine in which you enter your information once and receive quotes from several companies.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each method. Entering information on each company’s website is more time consuming, but it allows you to gather quotes from companies you choose. Entering information only once on a clearinghouse website is more efficient, but you may miss specific companies that might offer you great deals.

Once you have chosen your method, begin entering your information. Most websites, both those of specific companies and those that compile quotes, will begin by asking you for your ZIP code. This is because insurance companies often do business in limited locations, and because your state has specific liability limits that must be considered when the company is compiling your information.

Once you have established your ZIP code residence area, the website will ask you for some general information, such as your name, address, telephone number, birth date, and Social Security number. Many companies use your credit report as a basis for determining the price of your insurance, so giving your Social Security number allows the company to access your credit history. Before you give this type of information on any website, be sure to read the website’s “privacy policy,” a page that outlines the company’s stance on giving or selling your information to third parties.

Next, you will be asked to enter information about the drivers in your household. You must enter the names and ages of all the registered drivers who live in your home unless your state’s laws allow you to exclude a particular driver due to bad driving history. If you exclude a driver, of course, that person will have no coverage to drive any of your vehicles.

Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, and GEICO all have similar systems for collecting this type of information and their websites are very user-friendly. Other companies may ask for certain types of information not found on the bigger companies’ pages. For example, in order to get a quote from USAA, you must be a veteran or member of the armed services or be a dependent or family member of a service person. You will be required to enter this information on their website before you can receive pricing information and sign up for a policy. Other companies such as AAA Automobile Insurance, administered through various state and regional AAA Clubs, may ask about your AAA membership and require you to purchase a club membership in order to be eligible for automobile insurance through their company.

The next step is to enter information about your vehicles. Be very specific about the vehicles you enter; for example, a 2010 Honda Civic DX and a 2010 Honda Civic EX are two different cars. If you do not have specific information about your car’s make and model, you can get the VIN or vehicle identification number from the dashboard or doorpost of your car, enter it into an internet search, and find the exact year, model, and make of vehicle.

Finally, you will be asked about any at-fault accidents or speeding tickets you may have had within a certain time period. Many companies, such as Progressive, as for five years’ worth of information; others are satisfied with only three. It is very important to be honest about any infractions in your driving record or those of your household members; to cover up this information is not only dishonest but may result in cancellation of your policy when the insurance company checks your Department of Motor Vehicle records. Some companies, such as GEICO, ask only about the presence of an at-fault accident or speeding ticket; other companies ask for more detail about the incident.

The online forms you are required to fill out when shopping for car insurance may take some time, but if you can save hundreds of dollars on your automobile coverage it is time well spent.