Paperwork Needed for a Car Insurance Quote
No one wants to waste an entire day getting car insurance quotes, but everyone wants the best price. Fortunately, there is a happy medium. By using compassion websites and having all your paperwork ready, you can contact numerous car insurance companies in a matter of minutes, getting the best price and the most suitable coverage without spending the day repeating yourself, waiting on hold, and getting frustrated with customer support reps.
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With that in mind, let’s look at the personal information, vehicle information, and other basic details you will need when looking for auto insurance quotes.
Personal Information and Paperwork Needed for Auto Insurance Quotes
When making a quote and applying for car insurance, you will need all of the following information:
- Basics: You will be asked to supply the name, gender, and date of birth of each driver in the household. The insurer may also ask you for the ages of your dependents. When the time comes and those dependents are ready to start driving, the insurer may contact you to discuss adding them to your auto policy.
- Experience: How many years has each of the drivers in your household been driving in the United States? The experience of the driver will give the insurer an idea of how likely they are to be involved in an accident. A new driver is significantly more likely to make a claim than someone who has been driving for years without issue.
- Garage Zip Code: Where is the car(s) being stored when it is not in use? Your rates may increase if you are storing your car in a high-crime area, as it means you are more likely to make a claim for theft and vandalism (covered by comprehensive insurance).
- Vehicle Information: The type of car that you drive can have a massive impact on the available coverage options and prices. As a result, insurers will ask for information such as the year, manufacturer, and model number, and this applies to all cars that you’re adding to your policy.
- Credit Score: Although many applicants don’t realize it, credit history plays an important role in setting insurance rates and will always be considered when calculating your premiums. The research suggests that bad credit drivers are nearly twice as likely to claim than those with good credit, and, as a result, may pay up to $1,000 more on their policies (depending on location and driving history).
- Mileage and Usage: How does each driver on the policy use the listed cars? How long are their daily commutes and what is their estimated mileage? Accident rates are determined on a per mile basis; the less you drive, the lower your risk, so insurers are keen to understand this information.
- Claims and Tickets: The dates of all at-fault claims made on your insurance policy over the last few years, as well as all moving violations against you and other drivers. The periods for which you need to supply this information differs from insurer to insurer, but it’s typically anywhere from three to seven years.
- Insurance History: Which car insurance company did you use previously and how long have you maintained insurance products without a lapse in cover?
Other Insurance Requirements
To save money on your car insurance policy, make sure you consider all discounts that are available to you. Car insurance discounts are offered to drivers that meet certain criteria and are typically provided on the basis that this criteria lowers the driver’s risk and makes them less likely to claim.
Safety Features: Safety features such as front-and-side airbags can save you up to 40% on your car insurance premiums and, therefore, are essential when getting quotes. When applying, you need to provide all information about the safety features and anti-theft features in your car, including the ones that you have added yourself. Your vehicle safety record will also be checked, which is why it’s generally much cheaper to drive an SUV than a sports car.
Grades for Drivers Under 25: Good grades can secure big discounts for young drivers. This discount is not offered in all states, but it can be found in most of them and is actually mandatory. Typically, students need to maintain at least a B average to secure this discount and must show proof of that grade to the insurer when applying.
Coverage Options: When applying for auto insurance, you need to decide which coverage options to purchase and how high you should set the limits. All states have minimum coverage limits and you will need to cover these limits. However, they don’t include things like collision coverage and comprehensive coverage, which should also be considered.
Bottom Line: How to Apply
You can apply for car insurance online, over the phone or directly through an insurance agent. An auto insurance policy purchased through an independent agent is one of the better options as the agent will work with you to get the right cover for the lowest price. And unlike “captive” agents, which are tied to specific auto insurance companies, independent agents will get quotes from multiple providers to ensure you get the cheapest one.
If you decide to purchase your policy online, the process will generally be much quicker and won’t require any intermediaries. It may not necessarily be any cheaper, as independent agents typically earn their money from the insurers and not from you, but it’s the better option for informed individuals who know what they want, how much they should pay, and want to get it sorted sooner rather than later.
As for the phone option, you can work directly with captive agents from specific insurers, getting the best quote possible from each individual provider. However, this will require you to contact multiplier insurers and could lead to a lot of repetition as you quote everything from your date of birth and driving record to your driver’s license number over and over.
There is no “better” option, however, so choose the one that works best for you, make sure you have the information to hand, and get some cheap insurance coverage!