Shopping Prep: What You'll Need to Obtain Car Insurance Quotes

(04/23/2012) In today's Internet age, shopping for car insurance has never been easier. Drivers can go online and easily find multiple car insurance quotes, which can be compared and contrasted to find the best deal for the best coverage.

Ready to shop? Here's what you'll need to know and provide:

BASIC PERSONAL INFORMATION

Auto insurance companies collect the information below because they group consumers together on similar characteristics, like age, gender, and driving record. They will also assess your credit history, thus they ask for your social security number. The information you'll need to provide includes:


    • • Name

    • • Address

    • • Birth date

    • • Gender

    • • Social Security Number (SSN)

    • • Length of time you've had a (valid) driver's license

    Email address (used for communication regarding your auto insurance quote)

 

CAR INFORMATION

Auto insurance companies base their costs per month in part on your car and its features. Newer cars or more expensive cars will require more money to repair in case of an accident, so rates are often higher. But safety equipment can reduce that damage, so rates may be lower. Information you'll be asked for will include:


    • • How you pay for the car (lease, own, making payments)

    • • Vehicle identification number (VIN), found on the driver's side of the dashboard in the corner near the windshield. The VIN consists of 17 letters/numbers. Can't find it? You can also use:


Year, make, model and body style

Safety equipment and features in your car (particularly anti-theft features, air bags, etc)

DRIVING HISTORY

Auto insurance companies also base their quotes and eventual rates on your driving record and behavior. If you've got a spotty record, or have a history of filing claims, you're considered more risky. Your rates may be higher. Information you'll need here includes:

• Violations you've had (including speeding tickets and citations for breaking other traffic laws)
• Claims you've filed (including accidents and theft), and whether you were determined at fault

CURRENT INSURANCE

Car insurance companies look highly on drivers who have had insurance before - they are considered less risky. Knowing the details about your policy can help companies group you with other customers and provide similar rates. Information collected here will include:

• Current insurance company name
• Your policy information (particularly limits of liability). You can find this information on your current policy's “declarations page.
• Policy expiration date

With all this information in hand, you're better prepared to find the best car insurance quotes for you.


Amy Lillard A frequent contributor to ERATE® since 2006, Amy Lillard is a freelance writer specializing in turning complex information into useful tips and tricks for readers. For questions or topic suggestions, contact Amy at [email protected]

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