Having insurance for your vehicle is not only essential in protecting yourself and your investment, but it’s also required by law in nearly every state. However, some auto insurance companies charge much higher rates than others, and each has its own set of criteria used to determine the cost of auto insurance. Whether you’re buying insurance as a new driver or looking to change insurers to keep costs down, you can compare options by requesting car insurance quick quotes.
What Is Car Insurance?
Car insurance is an agreement between an auto owner and an insurer that provides coverage for a vehicle and its driver and passengers. The auto owner, or insured, agrees to pay a set amount each month in exchange for coverage in the event of a collision or another situation that causes damage to the vehicle(s) and/or the people involved. If you get into a crash with another vehicle, your car insurance may pay for the costs associated with repairing the damage and treating any injuries sustained.
In some states, the insurance of the driver determined to be at fault for the accident pays for the damages. In other states, which are those known as no-fault states, a driver’s insurance policy pays for the damages and any injuries sustained regardless of who is at fault. Nearly every auto insurance policy includes a deductible, which is the amount the policyholder must pay out of pocket before the insurance company issues payment.
Getting Car Insurance Quick Quotes
A car insurance quick quote is an estimated cost of a policy based on minimal information provided by the auto owner. You can request quick quotes from many different insurance companies, including local agencies and national providers. Some insurance companies can even offer quick quotes online, which means you don’t have to speak to an agent to get an idea of what a policy might cost.
When requesting car insurance quick quotes, it’s helpful to understand what affects the policy rates. Some of the factors that can affect the cost include:
- Policyholder’s age
- Policyholder’s marital status
- Driving record
- Vehicle being insured
Younger drivers tend to pay higher rates than those with more driving experience. After the age of 65, the cost to insure a driver creeps back up again. Married drivers typically pay less than single drivers. The driving record is also a major factor in determining the rate for a quick quote, as more reckless drivers tend to make more claims than those who drive more cautiously. The value of the vehicle you want to insure also factors into the cost, as does the location in which you will store and primarily drive your car.
The level of coverage also plays into the overall cost of an auto insurance policy. Most states have minimum coverage requirements, and insurance companies may refer to these policies as basic coverage. The coverage options include:
Liability coverage is required in most states and covers the costs related to the damages caused to another person’s vehicle and/or the costs related to medical treatment due to injuries sustained in an accident. Maintaining at least the minimum coverage amount required in your state is necessary to avoid penalties and fines, and potentially losing your driver’s license. But the minimum amount may not be enough to pay for the damages and/or injuries caused, which is why many drivers choose to increase their coverage amounts.
Comprehensive coverage pays for damages to a vehicle caused by things other than a collision with another vehicle, such as vandalism, theft, or weather conditions. If you lease or finance a vehicle, the lender may require comprehensive coverage on your policy.
Collision coverage can help pay for damages caused by a crash with another vehicle or object. This type of coverage is especially useful if you live in a state where the driver determined to be at fault is responsible for all the damages caused, as liability coverage generally only covers damages caused to the vehicles of the other involved parties. Collision coverage would cover your vehicle and may even include replacement coverage if a car is damaged beyond repair.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage pays for damages if you’re involved in a collision with a driver who doesn’t carry sufficient car insurance to pay for the damages caused (or carry any car insurance at all). Some states require policies to include this coverage, while others deem it optional.
Adding any or all of these coverage options can cause your rates to increase. When requesting a quick quote, you can specify what type of coverage you want and the state-mandated minimums where you live.
Comparing Car Insurance Providers and Policies
As you compare insurance companies and policy options, it’s helpful to research the reputation of each insurer. Look at factors like customer complaints, claims satisfaction, and customer support, as these factors will impact your experience when making a claim or requesting assistance. It’s helpful to request multiple car insurance quick quotes to compare the options and get the best rates. Local agents can provide individual quotes, or you can use online comparison sites to get an idea of what you’ll pay.
Determining your desired coverage level is also a useful step when requesting quotes. You can certainly get a lower rate if you opt for minimum coverage, but your vehicle may not have the protection needed. The Zebra recommends choosing full coverage if you lease or finance your ride, plan to resell it, or if it’s worth $4,000 or more.
When requesting auto insurance quotes, you may need to provide:
- Vehicle identification number (VIN) and mileage
- Proof of driving history
- Driver’s license number
- Personal details (name, date of birth, address, contact information)
- Record of previous coverage
By getting auto insurance quick quotes, you can easily and efficiently compare insurance providers and options to get a policy that fits your budget and needs. Before you decide on an insurance provider, make sure to take the time to look at multiple companies and what they offer.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.