How to Read and Compare Automobile Insurance Quotes
A big part of ensuring you get the best automobile insurance for the best possible rate is to take the time to compare insurance quotes from different companies. Many online websites make it easy to compare rates online, which is a good place to start. Let's review the process for using Insurify, one of the leading websites for comparing insurance online.
Once you navigate to the Insurify website, you begin by entering your zip code. Coverages and rates do vary quite a bit by location, which is why you will be asked for this information first. Next, you'll enter your vehicle information starting with the year your car was manufactured. After this, you'll enter the make, model, trim, and body style.
They will then ask you a few questions about how you use your vehicle. For example, do you primarily use your vehicle for work, to commute to school, for vacations or pleasure only, or are you a rideshare operator? Rideshare operators, such as drivers for Lyft or Uber, are at a much higher risk due to the fact that the vehicles are on the road for longer periods of time, and there is much more foot traffic going in and out of the vehicle on a regular basis.
Once you tell them how you use your vehicle, they will ask the average distance you go each way. For example, if you commute to a university that is 10 miles away, you'll choose "10 miles" as your distance. Next, they'll want to know your car payment status. Is your vehicle paid in full, do you lease it, or are you making financial payments on it? This can be an important step, as most lease and finance contracts require you to carry comprehensive and collision insurance with a minimum amount. In this section, they will also ask you questions about the basic coverage you're looking for. Do you want to add comprehensive and collision, or are you simply looking for minimum liability as legally required?
Next, you'll enter information about the driver or drivers that will be using the vehicle. Starting with yourself, you'll provide your full name, birthday, and gender as it's described on your current driver's license. They will then ask for other information, such as how old you were when you first started driving, your highest level of education, and your current credit score status (excellent, good, average, or poor). If you aren't sure what your current credit score is, check with a free company like Credit Karma, or use www.freecreditreport.com which allows for one free credit check annually.
The next step is to check for discounts. Car insurance companies regularly offer discounts for certain qualifying consumers, such as students, military or veterans, members of AAA, homeowners, and more. Some even offer discounts if you are married. Select which discounts you may qualify for and continue on with the process.
If you currently carry auto insurance, they will ask you about your existing policy. What are your current rates? What is your deductible? What type of coverage do you carry? What is your existing premium? These can help compare your current coverage to any other insurance companies they may present to you at the end of this process.
The last step in the process before receiving your quotes is to enter your basic contact information, including your email, phone number, and address. Finally, you'll be delivered to the comparison page where Insurify will list the monthly premiums each company would offer for the coverage you chose. This is an example of what this page looks like:
Note that you can make adjustments to your coverage on the left-hand side of the page. Some companies on the page, such as Liberty Mutual and AAA Texas were unable to provide a quote through the system, but you can click on "get quote" to be redirected to their respective websites and go through a similar process you used with Insurify to discover what their options might be.
When you're ready, click "view deal" next to any of the companies in the list to see a breakdown of the details (see image below). You'll see that the policy length for this offer is 6 months, and that you'll pay $67 as your down payment today should you choose this offer. Your monthly premium would be $130 for five months and then your policy would need to be renewed. The quote number is for reference, which you can take with you to speak with the company directly. Under coverage info, you'll see what coverage options you have selected.
Bodily injury for this quote is $100,000 bodily injury liability protection per person, and up to $300,000 for bodily injury per accident. Property damage is up to $100,000, and there is no personal injury protection selected for this quote. If this was a mistake, you can go back and edit coverage options to make sure you are receiving an accurate quote.
If you want to look at a different quote, go back and select a different company. You'll notice that the coverage is identical in this second option, but the down payment and premium is higher by $7.00 per month. Instead of a $67 down payment, you'll pay $137 today.
Take the time to review each quote in the list. Make adjustments to your coverage options if necessary.
Once you have a few companies in mind based on this list, you can start reaching out to them to speak to an agent. Thankfully, using online systems make comparing similar coverage options a much easier process than it used to be!