John S Kiernan, Managing Editor
To get car insurance online, you need to find an insurance company that lets you buy a policy without having to talk to an agent on the phone or in person. Companies like Geico, Progressive, Nationwide, and Esurance are known for streamlining online purchases. Other companies prefer to emphasize agent/customer relationships and strongly encourage (or require) purchasing a policy with the help of an agent – State Farm, USAA, American Family, and Allstate, for example.
5 Steps For How To Get Car Insurance Online
- Find a company that allows you to purchase a policy online. Not every company offering online quotes will allow you to purchase a policy without speaking to an agent.
- Gather the information you’ll need to get car insurance quotes. You will have to provide information about all the drivers and cars you want to include on the policy.
- Research the coverage levels that are right for your needs. Pay attention to the coverage types, amounts, and deductibles.
- Compare quotes from at least three different insurance companies. Then, formally apply for insurance online. Remember, your quoted rate isn’t a guarantee and may be a little different than your final rate.
- Pay your premium. You should be able to get approved the day you apply, and you’re covered as soon as you pay your premium.
Buying car insurance online requires detailed information about yourself, your car, and other drivers in your household. You’ll need names, dates of birth, and driver’s license numbers for yourself and all other drivers, along with any relevant driving history, such as moving violations, accidents, or claims filed in the past five years.
You should also have detailed information about the cars you want to add to the policy. You’ll need the make, model, year, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for all cars, as well as current mileage. In addition, you’ll probably be asked to disclose whether you drive your car for work or personal use and to estimate the number of miles you drive each year, including how many of those miles are driven commuting to work.
In addition, you’ll want to do some research on what insurance coverage is right for you. You can’t effectively compare prices or policies until you have some sense of what car insurance you need. Consider:
All states have financial responsibility laws, which require you to prove you have enough money to pay for damages in a car accident. Most states expect you to meet that requirement with minimum liability insurance. Liability coverage protects the other driver and their property if you cause an accident.
You’ll want to know your state’s laws on minimum car insurance coverage, but extra coverage is usually very affordable and a good value. The Insurance Information Institute (iii) suggests liability coverage of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident.
Comprehensive and collision are the most common coverage types added to policies. Comprehensive protects against unexpected events like hail, flood damage, vandalism, and theft. Collision covers the cost of repairs to your car after an accident. Some people also add uninsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection, medical payments to others (Med Pay), or gap insurance.
Your deductible is how much you’ll pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in after an accident. A higher deductible might make sense if you don’t mind paying more out of pocket if something happens. A lower deductible will cost more upfront, but you won’t have to spend as much if you wreck your car.
With your personal information organized and a sense of what coverage you need, you’re ready to shop! The Insurance Information Institute recommends pricing at least three insurers for comparison. Just make sure each quote has the same coverage types, limits, and deductibles, and remember that the quoted rate isn’t necessarily guaranteed. Once you formally apply, the chosen insurance company will confirm information you provided by pulling your credit, driving, and insurance claims histories, which can affect your final rate.
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