What Is an Auto Insurance Quotes?

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What Is an Auto Insurance Quotes?


A car or auto insurance quotes is an initial estimate of your premium or what you will pay for your policy.

Definition and Examples of Auto Insurance Quotes

A car insurance quote is an estimate of how much you will pay for a certain type and amount of car insurance based on the information you provide.

Aliases: Auto premium quotes, car insurance quotes, auto quotes

Before you decide which insurance is right for you, you can collect quotes from different auto insurance companies through an agent or through a website – and they’re free. You may even get more than one quote from one insurance company for different coverage amounts or types of coverage.

So if you want to cover both auto liability and comprehensive collision coverage for your 2020 Honda Civic, your insurance company will provide you with an estimate. You can ask other insurance companies what they cost for the same coverage, then compare these quotes to find the best rate.


Quotes are usually for six-month or 12-month coverage. Please pay attention to the terms of the quotes you are comparing so that you can compare them correctly.


How car insurance quotes work

What happens when you request a quote from an agent or through an insurance company’s website? Let’s review the quoting process from the perspective of both insurers and consumers.

Quote from an insurance company’s perspective

Quotes are based on the insurance company’s initial estimate of your risk as a driver, combined with any discounts you may be eligible for.

The risk equation depends on various factors, including your state’s insurance regulations. For example, in some states, insurance companies may consider your credit history. In other states, insurance companies are not allowed to consider your credit history.

In general, these factors may affect your offer: 1

Your driving record, marital status, gender and age
where you are and how you use your vehicle
previous insurance coverage
Any discounts you qualify for (such as combined auto and home insurance)
Deductible of your choice
Optional insurance, such as rental car reimbursement insurance
Insurance companies weigh factors differently, so their quotes will vary. In order to accurately compare rates from different insurers, you should provide each insurance company with the same information.

Your final auto insurance rate may differ from the quote you receive. This is because insurance companies may require you to provide an official driving record and a CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report before issuing a policy to you. CLUE is an information database for insurance companies that collects past and present claims history. The information in these reports affects the final policy cost.

Quote from a consumer perspective

When you get a quote, be specific about what kind of auto insurance you need and discuss any concerns with the agent.

The California Department of Insurance recommends avoiding asking for “best coverage,” as the agent will guess what you need. 2 Also, avoid asking for “full coverage,” which is not the actual type of coverage. Instead, make sure you understand your state’s minimum coverage, your coverage needs, and the automatic coverage you want to add.

You’ll need to provide the agent or online site with several pieces of information, such as your date of birth, your car’s VIN, your driving history, and other personal details. Keep these details handy when collecting auto insurance quotes.

Providing your Social Security number may be optional to get a quote, but it helps the insurance company verify your identity and give you a more accurate quote.


When researching an offer, make sure you understand what is included in the offer, such as:

Coverage: Amount of liability and other coverage for your purchase
Deductible: The portion you pay when your vehicle is damaged
Discounts: what discounts are available
Payments: Can be made as a lump sum or in monthly or quarterly installments, although these smaller payments may come with fees or other charges
Optional coverage: In some states, insurance companies must offer you specific coverage but allow you to decline that coverage. Make sure you understand what is optional and what is not in your state
Consider gathering at least three or four quotes for the same coverage with the same deductibles and discounts. With this information, you can more accurately compare costs and customer service methods.

If you get a quote over the phone, have the agent send you a written quote. This way, you can easily compare policies and check for any inaccuracies. If you find an error, please request correction in writing.

The quote you receive may differ from the actual policy price, especially if the information you provide differs from the official records reviewed by the insurance company. Quotes may change based on new or updated information that you provide or that the insurance company discovers.

If you have more accidents, claims, or traffic violations on your driving record than you reported in your quote, you could face higher rates. If you change your coverage options, the price of your policy will also change.

Before you finalize your coverage, call or check the website of your state’s insurance regulator to make sure the agent is licensed.

key points
Auto insurance quotes are estimates (not final) of the amount you will pay during the policy period.
Before requesting an auto insurance quote, familiarize yourself with the type of coverage you need and want.
Consider getting quotes from at least three insurance companies, either through a website or through an agent.
Insurers may change their quotes based on new information, including information they obtain from driving records.


Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How do I get a free quote for car insurance?
Auto insurance quotes are usually free, whether offered online, over the phone or in person by an agent. Ask friends and family for recommended insurance companies or agents that offer great service at a reasonable price.

What information is needed for a car insurance quote?
Information you may need to provide may include:

Vehicle year, make, model, and VIN, and whether you finance, lease, or own the vehicle
Any safety systems in your car, such as air bags or specially installed aftermarket equipment
Details of the family driver (and possibly non-drivers), including their name, date of birth, gender, marital status, phone number, driver’s license number and driving history
Required coverage and type

What is an early quote discount?
Advance quote discounts are only offered by certain auto insurance companies in certain states. You may receive an advance quote discount when you purchase your new auto policy a certain number of days (say, one to eight) before your current policy expires. However, if you want an immediate policy, you may not be able to get an advance quote discount.


Can I get a car insurance quotes without a car?
If you don’t own a car, you can get a quote for non-owner auto insurance, which provides liability coverage for personal injury and property damage. Non-owner auto insurance does not cover your own injuries. In the U.S., liability coverage usually follows car and driver. However, if you pay someone to use their vehicle – even if it is insured – you need to have your own insurance.

How do I find my previous citations or claims when getting an auto insurance quotes?
You can obtain your driving record from the entity in your state that manages such records, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles. You can also order a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange report or a CLUE report from LexisNexis to view a complete history of claim information.

Should You Get an Auto Insurance Quotes When Buying a New Car?
Comparing insurance quotes before buying a car may help you decide which car to buy. Performance and luxury cars typically have higher insurance premiums, as do other cars that cost more to repair. Frequently stolen vehicles — such as a 2000 Honda Civic or 2018 Toyota Corolla — can also be more expensive than other cars.

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