You might think that car insurance quotes for the same driver/car would be similar across all providers, but every auto insurance company has its own costs to cover, based on data about all of their existing users/claims. In fact, an insurance rate calculation has many subtle complexities to it and multiple factors contribute to the final rate you receive. Based on the information you provide for your driving profile a car insurance company will categorize your risk potential and calculate a personalized rate. Unfortunately, some factors are out of your control, but there are still a few that you are 100% in the driver’s seat for, so being in the know could save you money on your auto insurance policy.
1. Get quotes from as many insurance companies as possible.
This helps ensure that you are really getting the lowest rate available. The simplest and easiest way to do this is to use truly unbiased comparison websites like InsuranceHotline.com, which has rates from over 30 insurance companies and is not owned by or affiliated with any insurance company, agent or brokerage. By contrast, some websites offering to compare quotes are operated by individual insurance brokers who can only compare rates from the limited number of insurance companies they represent, which is typically no more than four or five. Similarly, agents or direct writers can only offer you the rates from one company.
2. Compare apples to apples.
Make sure that the coverage you are seeking is the same as the coverage you currently have. Even a slight change in the deductible you select will make a difference to the calculation of the premium. If you want to see an exact comparison with what coverage you currently have, enter the exact same collision and comprehensive deductibles. If you want to see how much you can save if you choose a higher deductible, select the new deductible and then make the comparison.
3. Honestly enter the number of driving convictions you have.
If you select that you have no convictions when you really have two or three, you’ll get a lower quote online. However, when it comes time to actually set up the policy, you may find the insurance company offering you a higher premium. Know that the insurance company will check your driving record and learn exactly how many convictions you have. They will then charge the premium based on your actual driving record. Remember to include any convictions you may have for not wearing a seat belt, as these count, too.
4. Enter both the number of at-fault and not-at-fault accidents you’ve experienced.
If you select that you have zero at-fault accidents, when you really have two or three, you will get a lower quote. However, when it comes time to actually having the insurance professional set up the policy, know that he or she will check your claims history and find out exactly how many at-fault accidents you’ve had and thus charge the premium based on your actual claims record.
5. Enter the information for all the drivers using your car.
If you have children who drive your car, enter their information in order to obtain the most accurate quote. Not including them could potentially lead to issues with your policy coverage down the road.
6. Enter the correct vehicle make, model and year.
Make sure that you choose the correct year, make and model of your vehicle. Even a slight change in the selection of the vehicle model can make a difference to the quote. For example, if you select that your vehicle is a sportier model when it’s actually a sedan, the rate you receive may be slightly higher and inaccurate.