You can get car insurance quotes online, over the phone, or in person with an independent agent or broker. The easiest way to get car insurance quotes is online so you can quickly compare quotes from several companies at the same time and make sure you are getting the best deal possible.
6 Steps to Get Car Insurance Quotes
- Gather Information
- Choose Potential Companies
- Decide What Method to Use to Get Quotes
- Choose Coverage Limits
- Pick Your Deductibles
- Compare Several Comparable Quotes
How to Get Car Insurance in 6 Steps
1. Gather Information
To get a quote from a car insurance company, you need to provide the following information about the driver(s) and vehicle(s) that you want on the policy:
- Driver name and date of birth
- Driver's license number and issuing state
- Vehicle Information Number (VIN)
- Current mileage on your car
- Address where the vehicle is registered
- Name of registered owner
- Prior insurance carrier and expiration date
- Vehicle’s date of purchase
- What you use the vehicle for (work or leisure) and estimated annual mileage
2. Choose Potential Companies
Start by checking out the best or cheapest car insurance companies in your state and narrow your choices from there. You can also consider the best companies for a specific type of insurance coverage you know you’ll need, such as collision insurance or personal injury protection..
3. Decide Whether to Get Quotes Online or Through an Agent
The easiest way to get quotes is usually online, either directly through a specific insurance company’s website or through a comparison tool where you can quickly see quotes from several companies all at once. If you prefer a more personal approach, you can get quotes over the phone or in person with an agent or broker.
Some insurance agents only work for one insurance company and thus can only give you quotes for that insurer. However, independent brokers can walk you through coverage options and quotes from several companies. Keep in mind, though, that independent brokers often work on commission and part of their fee may be worked into your premiums.
4. Choose Your Coverage Limits
The coverage types and limits that you choose will have a big effect on your quotes. Less coverage will get you the cheapest car insurance quotes, but that’s not always the best choice. Oftentimes, the limits required by states and lenders are not high enough to protect you fully in the event of a serious accident.
Most states require certain types of auto insurance at a minimum, such as liability, uninsured motorist, personal injury protection, or MedPay. Additionally, if you have a loan or a lease, the lender may require you to carry collision and comprehensive insurance. You should always carry as much insurance as you can comfortably afford.
5. Pick Your Deductibles
Keep in mind that some types of insurance coverage, like collision and comprehensive, will include deductibles. A deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay before your insurance will cover the rest of a claim. The average car insurance deductible is $500.
While a higher deductible will mean a cheaper monthly rate, it also means you’ll be paying a lot more out of pocket if an accident occurs.
6. Compare Several Comparable Quotes
We recommend getting at least three quotes before choosing a policy. The more quotes you compare, the more certain you can be that you’ve found the best deal. Just make sure that you’re comparing plans with similar coverage limits and the same types of insurance. Comparing one quote for full coverage to another for the minimum amount of insurance required, for example, will not give you a good idea of what the best choice is.
Comparing the Most Common Places to Get Car Insurance Quotes
|Online||Compare quickly and efficiently|
Some online-only insurers are cheaper due to low overhead costs
|You must compare quotes and coverage options yourself|
There is no one to quickly answer questions you may have
|Direct Agent||Dedicated point of contact for any future questions or claims|
Great for building long-term relationship with insurer
|Can only give you quotes for one company|
May try to upsell you
|Independent Agent||See quotes from several companies all at once|
Get objective advice
|May have a broker fee that gets worked into your premiums|
Tips for Getting Car Insurance Quotes
Check Quotes Often
You should routinely check quotes every 6-12 months to make sure you are still getting a good deal. This is especially important if you currently have points on your license or moving violations on your driving record that may be expiring soon.
Consider How Much Car Insurance You Need
The amount of coverage you choose will greatly affect the quotes you get. Besides the types of insurance required by state law, you may want to get optional types of coverage. It is recommended that you purchase as much insurance as you can comfortably afford.
Only Give Your Information to Trustworthy Sites
Some websites offer car insurance quotes and comparison tools, but then they sell your information to third-parties, which leads to tons of annoying phone calls and emails. Unless the website explicitly says they won’t sell your information, it’s safer to only use sites you know you can trust (like WalletHub).
Quotes Are Always Free
Car insurance quotes should always be free. If a website or an agent tries to charge you for quotes, they’re likely not a good source and you should seek quotes elsewhere.
Choose a Company That Fits Your Preferences
Some insurance companies are online-only, meaning you get quotes and manage your policy all online. Other companies don’t allow you to get quotes or file claims online at all. For tech-savvy customers, an online-only insurance company may be perfect, but if you prefer to have a designated agent you can talk to and ask questions, an online-only company might not be right for you.