How To Get Free Auto Insurance Quotes

Free Auto Insurance Quotes

There are several ways you can get free auto insurance quotes. You can buy directly online or over the phone, from a “captive agent” (who works for only one company), or from an independent agent or insurance broker.

What Is An Auto Insurance Quote?

 An auto insurance quote is an estimate of how much you’ll pay for a policy. An insurance quote is calculated based on the information you provide, including your age, the car you drive, your driving history and where you live, among other factors.

Learn More: What Is A Car Insurance Quote?

What You Need To Get A Free Auto Insurance Quotes

1: Basic personal information: like your name, address and birthdate. Most car insurance quotes start with this information, but you’ll also provide your occupation and possibly a prior address.

2: Current car insurance company: if you have a policy now. If you don’t, you might be considered a high-risk driver and need a quote from a nonstandard insurance company.

3: Vehicle information: like the vehicle identification number and whether you own, finance or lease your car. You may also be asked if your car has certain safety features like anti-lock brakes or air bags.

4: Annual mileage: and usage of the car, such as for pleasure or driving to work, and the current mileage on the odometer. If you drive for companies like Lyft, Uber or Instacart, you’ll need to add ridesharing coverage or get a quote for a business auto policy.

5: Driver information: This includes driver’s license numbers for you and any other drivers in your household, how long you’ve been licensed and your occupation. It also may include your estimated credit tier.

6: Driving history: This includes any tickets, accidents or other violations for up to five years, depending on the company you’re applying to, for all drivers on the policy. Be honest! If you fudge the details, your insurance quote won’t be accurate because the insurer will find out the truth.

7: Desired coverage limits: The declarations page of your current or most recent auto insurance policy can help you fill in coverage levels and compare prices for the same coverage.

See Also: Is Driving Without Insurance A Crime?

How To Get Free Auto Insurance Quotes

There are several ways you can get free auto insurance quotes. You can buy directly online or over the phone, from a “captive agent” (who works for only one company), or from an independent agent or insurance broker.

First, some pro tips. Whichever option you choose, make sure you:

  1. Look into car insurance companies’ complaint records and customer satisfaction. Auto insurance reviews are a good place to start.
  2. Get at least three car insurance quotes online or from an agent so you can evaluate whether you’re getting a good price for the coverage you want.
  3. Understand coverage limits. When comparing quotes, check that each policy has comparable liability limits and deductibles.

Auto insurance quotes online or over the phone

Getting free auto insurance quotes online is one of the easiest ways to shop for car insurance. Most companies offer free online auto insurance quotes, including State Farm and Allstate, which let you start online but assign you a captive agent to finalize your quote on the phone. Purchasing a policy online (or over the phone) is referred to as buying car insurance “direct” from the insurer.

Buying insurance directly without the help of an agent gives you more freedom to adjust coverage and see auto insurance quotes for yourself, but there are also drawbacks.

Pros And Cons Of Getting Auto Insurance Quotes Online

Pros

  • Convenient, low-pressure experience
  • Can compare quotes from several insurance companies in one session
  • Ability to adjust policy details to see different prices

Cons

  • Online car insurance quotes may not be as close to your final price as quotes from an agent
  • Websites often provide less information than an agent, who can answer questions face-to-face
  • May receive follow-up calls and emails

Captive insurance agents

You could also get a free car insurance quote through a captive agent. A captive agent works for one specific insurance company, such as Allstate, Farmers Insurance or State Farm.

Any agent’s job is to help figure out what policy is best for you and provide a car insurance quote. In return, he or she earns a commission — or percentage of your premium — when you buy a policy. Unlike other agents, a captive agent may or may not also receive a salary from the company they work for.

Pros And Cons Of Captive Insurance Agents

Pros

  • Agents can talk through policy options and help determine what coverage you need
  • Can develop a personal relationship with an agent who knows your family’s needs
  • Can help with complex needs, like multiple cars or several types of policies

Cons

  • Satisfaction is often lower with captive agents than shopping through independent agents or online
  • Options are limited to what one specific company offers
  • Agents may be motivated to upsell to receive a larger commission

Independent insurance agents and brokers

If you want to talk through your car insurance options, but don’t want to limit yourself to one company, getting an auto insurance quote from an independent insurance broker or agent  might be a good choice.

Independent agents and brokers work with multiple insurers and can offer a wide range of options and policies. Big-name insurance companies such as Travelers and Progressive (as well as smaller companies) sell policies through independent agents. Because independent agents work on commission, they may strive to provide you the best customer service possible or, alternatively, steer you toward more expensive policies.

Independent brokers differ from independent agents in that they charge a broker’s fee and must disclose commission rates to customers. This transparency allows you to know exactly how much the broker is making from your business.

Read More: What Is The Actual Cash Value Of My Car?

Pros And Cons Of Independent Agents And Brokers

Pros

  • Can explain how policies compare between multiple companies
  • You can get personalized advice but still see options from various insurers

Cons

  • May not offer you the cheapest policy options
  • Not able to quote policies from insurers who only use captive agents
  • Brokers charge a fee; independent agents and brokers both work on commission

Specialty agencies

Drivers who have had DUIs, speeding tickets or multiple accidents may need to find a nonstandard insurance company that specializes in policies for high-risk drivers. Many local and national agencies exist just to serve this customer base. For drivers who have a hard time getting coverage, these agencies can find car insurance quotes from companies willing to cover them.

How much should my car insurance be?

Because car insurance quotes can vary widely from person to person depending on your car, location and driving record, among other factors, we can’t predict the exact auto insurance quote you’ll receive, but our analyses determined these averages.

National average car insurance rates for minimum required coverage are:

  • $565 per year for a 40-year-old with good credit and a clean driving record.
  • $642 per year for a 25-year-old with good credit and a clean driving record.

Full coverage can cost more than double the price of minimum coverage insurance. Rates shown for full coverage include liability coverage, uninsured motorist protection, comprehensive and collision insurance.

Here are national average car insurance rates for full coverage.

  • $1,592 per year for a 40-year-old with good credit and a clean record.
  • $1,857 per year for a 25-year-old with good credit and a clean record.

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