Updated: February 2016
Buying car insurance online can be fast, but getting an accurate online quote requires a little time and preparation. If you're looking for "instant car insurance," it helps to know beforehand what information you'll have to provide and what coverages you might need in a policy.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), some insurers use personal information as factors to determine the price of your auto policy. To help facilitate the instant price quote you're seeking, you'll be asked to provide accurate information. The III says the following may be used to help determine your online car insurance quote:
- Your address, which may help determine your vehicle's exposure to certain risks specific to your area.
- Your age, which may indicate your level of driving experience.
- Your gender, which may help indicate your risk for serious accidents.
- Your Social Security number
- Your driver's license number, to ensure you're a licensed driver.
Beyond the basics about yourself, you may be asked to provide details about the car you're insuring. Some of the additional information that you should have on hand, according to the III, includes:
- The make, model and year of the vehicle to be insured
- You car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Your car's odometer (mileage) reading
- Details on any security features like car alarms or GPS anti-theft devices
- Whether your car has safety features like front- and side-impact airbags
- If your car has anti-lock brakes
How you use your vehicle — and your driving record — may also factor into your car insurance quote. You might want to gather notes on the following before getting an online quote:
- How many miles you drive per year (can be an average). According to the III, the more you drive, the higher your possibility of getting into an accident and paying more for an auto policy.
- Details on moving violations and accidents of note that appear on your driving record, according to the III — be prepared to get specific. In most cases, you will be asked to provide dates and details. To be better prepared and to help expedite the quote process,you might find it helpful to order a copy of your driving record from your state's Department of Motor Vehicles.
What coverages you choose — along with their limits and any deductibles — may directly affect your online car insurance quote. If you're not sure how much insurance you need, first review your state's requirements. Here are some of the common coverages you may want to read up on before you start your quote:
Today's technology makes it possible for you to get an online car insurance quote from the convenience of your home or your mobile device. Just make sure you understand beforehand what goes into the quoting process — that way the estimate you receive will be as accurate as possible. Have questions? Contact a local agent.