Last Updated on August 1, 2023 by John Robinson
When shopping for auto insurance, the first step is getting a quote to estimate how much your coverage will cost after analysis of the information you provide. Note that the accuracy of your insurance quote depends on the accuracy of the details you provide.
Therefore, even information that you may consider minor, such as your gender, impact how insurers view the risk associated with insuring your car. Let’s discuss this and other details insurers need below.
Documents an Insurer Needs to Give You a Quote
Before you get a quote, an insurer will ask for personal details, such as your name, gender, and marital status.
They may also ask about assets like a home and your income, as such details help them find the best liability coverage limit for you.
The insurer will want to know your personality on the road by asking about your driving history. They will also ask how other drivers you wish to include in the quote behave on the road.
For example, they’ll ask if you’ve been in an at-fault accident while on the existing policy. Further, they’ll ask about any conviction for a DUI in the recent past.
Such a driving history may increase your premiums as the company will treat you as a high-risk driver. They’ll also ask if you have any insurance claims and whether the claim was accepted or denied.
As such, it might help to know how to check your driving record. You can get a copy from the Department of Motor Vehicles at a fee. Such a record can have your history of serious and minor traffic violations, speeding tickets, and arrests for violating traffic laws.
The make and model of your car will come up in the list of questions from the policy provider. They’ll also want to know the number of vehicles to insure and the makes and models of these other cars.
The car affects your premium because of its value, the safety features installed, its size, plus the accident rating. Also, the insurer will look at the age of your car because an older model is cheaper to replace than a newer one.
Present Insurance Status
The insurer will ask if you have an existing policy and with which policy provider. For that reason, have it at hand because you may need to mention the renewal date and the type of policy.
On top of that, they will ask about the consistency of insuring your car. For example, have you had your insurance policy continuously for a year, two, or four years?
Other Factors that May Affect Your Quote
Credit-based Auto Insurance Score
It’s not the same as the credit score a lender uses to qualify you for a loan. With credit-based auto insurance scores, the policy provider doesn’t check your income. Instead, it uses information like outstanding debts, bankruptcies, and late payments to determine how you manage your money.
But this happens in some states only because others, like California and Michigan, restrict insurers from using your credit information to estimate your car insurance rate. Fortunately, a quick search online can show you which companies ask for such information, so you don’t engage them if you’re unwilling to disclose your credit history.
But even for companies that use this score, they also combine it with other factors like car models, claims, and driving history when giving you a policy quote.
How To Get the Best Quote
Insurance covers aren’t the same. Each insurance company has a different idea of what a policy should cover. Also, each insurance provider evaluates the cost of coverage differently. As such, you ought to compare quotes before settling for one.
When asking for auto rates, specify the type of insurance you want, as there’s variety in the market. For example, you could ask for liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive insurance, or personal injury protection.
Additionally, check reviews to gauge customer satisfaction because that’ll determine how the company treats you once you ask for a policy.
Some say you ought to shop for insurance before getting a car. You could do that and use the model and make of the car you hope to buy, especially when you know it can be one of the most expensive models to insure. In such a case, you’ll still disclose other details, such as your driving history, if you have one.
The best way to shop for insurance is to use a comparison site that gives you auto insurance quotes from several carriers.
To do that, gather all documents you may need, such as the car make and model, current insurance details, and your driving record.