How to shop for car insurance quotes online (2021)

How to shop for car insurance quotes online (2021)

Nearly every state in the United States requires drivers to have insurance, yet auto insurance quotes can differ significantly from one provider to the next. You can quickly check which company provides you the greatest bargain on the coverage you want by comparing free insurance quotes from several providers.

Because each business uses a different methodology to determine your risk level, you may be able to discover lower rates elsewhere even if one provider quotes you a high price.

We’ll go through how to acquire free car insurance quotes and locate the best cheap coverage choices in this post. If you’re ready to obtain estimates from the best auto insurance providers on the market right now, utilize the free quote comparison tool below.

In this article:

  • What is a car insurance quote?
  • How to get free car insurance quotes
  • Factors that increase and decrease insurance rates
  • Tips to save on auto insurance
  • Recommendations for car insurance quotes
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Our methodology

What is a car insurance quote?

Your auto insurance premiums are determined by your driving history and car. Before signing up for coverage, you may get a specific cost estimate, or quotation, from an insurer to see how much a vehicle insurance policy will cost.

Unless you’re shopping with a smaller supplier, most internet quotes are immediate. You only need to give basic information about yourself, your car, and any other drivers.

Always provide accurate information when requesting a quote. If you leave out something important, such as a minor driver residing in your home, an insurance company might terminate your policy within 30 to 90 days (depending on the state).

Car insurance rates are typically valid for 30 days, so you may keep shopping and come back if you don’t find a better deal.

How to get free car insurance quotes

There are several methods for obtaining free vehicle insurance quotes. You can utilize a quote comparison tool, request estimates from businesses online, call companies, visit a branch in person, or deal with an insurance broker. Here are some specifics on each of these alternatives:

  • Quote comparison tool: You may submit your information once and obtain several vehicle insurance quotes from companies in your region using a comparison tool. This saves you time when you’re out shopping.
  • Direct online quotation: Another option to acquire a quote is to go to the website of a vehicle insurance provider. Many companies provide free, fast estimates, but you’ll have to visit each one individually.
  • Calling in a quote: Calling an auto insurance company can provide you with more customized assistance and allow you to assess the firm’s customer service. Insurance agents typically assist you in selecting a policy and ensuring that you are receiving all of the available savings.
  • You may receive a quotation in person by going to your local insurance agency. Make sure you have all of the relevant paperwork with you. To use this method, you’ll need to be accessible during regular business hours.
  • A car insurance broker is another option for obtaining vehicle insurance rates. A broker acts as a go-between for insurers and clients, ensuring that you obtain the best price possible.

This is a hands-off approach to shopping. Brokers, on the other hand, may collect a fee or operate on commission, giving them an incentive to promote full coverage plans.

You’ll need to give a few pieces of information regardless of how you obtain insurance quotes. Before you go shopping, make sure you have the following items on hand:

  • Each driver in your household’s information, including birthdays and occupations
  • Details about your vehicle, such as its make, model, mileage, and VIN (vehicle identification number) (VIN)
  • Per year, average miles traveled
  • History of driving
  • Information about current coverage

How often should you shop for auto insurance?

Car insurance quotations are available at any moment. When your vehicle insurance comes due for renewal or you undergo a life transition such as relocating to a new area or getting married, we encourage shopping around. Your existing supplier or a new provider may be able to offer you a better deal.

If any of the following events occur, you should consider shopping for a policy:

  • You relocate to a different ZIP Code.
  • You tie the knot.
  • You can combine insurance if you move in with family members.
  • A year has passed since you were born.
  • Your credit score improves.
  • You’re starting a new job and won’t be driving as much.
  • Your last at-fault collision or moving infraction occurred three years ago.

There’s no need to switch insurers if your current one is still the lowest after shopping around.

Factors that increase and decrease insurance rates

Car insurance premiums are determined by the possibility of a business having to pay claims on your behalf. The more the risk you pose to the firm, the higher your insurance premiums will be, and vice versa.

The following are the primary elements that influence vehicle insurance quotes:

  • Teens and men under the age of 25 pay the highest for vehicle insurance, regardless of their age, gender, or marital status. Insurance costs are lower for married drivers than for single drivers.
  • Car: Your insurance premiums are influenced by the brand, model, and age of your vehicle. Some cars have greater maintenance costs or worse safety ratings, which might raise your insurance rate.
  • Others are more prone to being taken. According to Insurify, full-size pickup trucks, Honda Civics, and Honda Accords all have high theft rates.
  • Driving record: Having a clean driving record might result in lower auto insurance premiums, but at-fault accidents, moving infractions, and DUIs will raise your rates. The more points you have on your record, the better.
  • How much you drive: People who drive a lot are more likely to be involved in a vehicle accident. Rates will rise if you drive more than the average annual miles. You’ll save money if you work from home and drive merely a few thousand miles each year.
  • Credit history: In most states, car insurance companies evaluate your credit history when determining prices. Your charges may rise if you have a poor credit score.
  • In metropolitan locations, theft, vandalism, and accidents are more common.
  • State requirements: Each state establishes its own minimum auto insurance requirements, so depending on where you reside, you may need more or less coverage.
  • Deductibles and coverage levels: Depending on your needs and budget, you can opt to acquire greater coverage levels and other forms of vehicle insurance coverage once you’ve met your state’s minimal requirements.

Average car insurance quotes

In 2017, drivers in the United States paid an average of $1,004.58 for vehicle insurance, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

The cost of auto insurance varies greatly by state since your location influences your premiums. In 2017, the following were the five most costly and cheapest states for car insurance:

Most Expensive StatesAverage Cost of Car InsuranceCheapest StatesAverage Cost of Car Insurance
Louisiana$1,443.72North Dakota$659.94
New Jersey$1,350.28Idaho$678.57
New York$1,349.72South Dakota$693.42
*Data reported by the NAIC.

Tips to save on auto insurance

While you won’t be able to influence every element that influences your auto insurance quotes, there are certain things you can do to save money.

Make improvements to your driving practices. Avoiding speeding penalties and at-fault collisions will save you money in the long run.

Most major insurance companies also provide the option of enrolling in a safe driving program. If you’re confident in your driving abilities, enroll in Progressive’s Snapshot or State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save.

If you show poor driving practices, several of these programs can actually boost your rates, so make sure you’re ready before enrolling.

Boost your credit rating. Insurers will offer you reduced vehicle insurance rates if you can establish that you are financially responsible.

Look for reductions on auto insurance. With most carriers, you may save money by insuring several cars or combining homes and auto insurance.

Many companies also provide savings for things like being a first-time driver, earning high grades as a student, taking a defensive driving course, and maintaining a clean driving record.

Consider getting vehicle insurance that is dependent on how much you drive. If you don’t drive very often, usage-based insurance from a company like Root Auto might be a good option.

Your vehicle insurance premiums are calculated based on your mileage. Some plans require you to pay a deposit at the start of your coverage term to cover a specific number of miles travelled, after which you will be charged an additional fee for any miles driven above that amount.

Even if you follow all of these guidelines, if you just seek vehicle insurance quotes from one company, you may wind up spending too much for coverage. There’s no way to know if a firm is offering you the best deal without evaluating numerous choices.

Recommendations for car insurance quotes

There are thousands of auto insurance providers in the United States, but you don’t have to look through them all. We looked into every major vehicle insurance to discover the top ones based on their industry reputation, availability, coverage, pricing, and customer service.

Top 10 Car Insurance CompaniesOverall RatingCost Rating
1. Geico9.18.5
2. USAA9.19.5
3. Progressive9.08.5
4. State Farm8.68.0
5. Liberty Mutual8.57.5
6. AAA8.48.0
7. The Hartford8.48.0
8. Allstate8.26.5
9. Nationwide8.27.0
10. Farmers8.06.0

Read on to discover more about our top two selections, or start comparing free car insurance rates in your region using the widget below.

Geico: Best Overall

For its great industry reputation, cheap prices, and high level of customer happiness, we rated Geico the best in the business. AM Best has given Geico an A++ financial strength rating, while the Better Business Bureau has given it an A+ rating (BBB). In the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, it placed top in three areas.

Geico also offers roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, vintage automobile coverage, ride-share insurance, and mechanical breakdown insurance in addition to basic coverage.

USAA: Best for military families

With some of the lowest auto insurance prices in the business, USAA stands out. However, coverage is limited to military personnel, veterans, and their dependents.

The company has been in business for over a century and has received great marks from experts, including an A++ from AM Best and an A- from the Better Business Bureau. One of the perks of USAA is that it offers special savings for military families, such as deployment discounts and discounts for parking your car on a military installation.

Frequently asked questions about insurance

Who has the cheapest car insurance?

After examining dozens of companies, we discovered that USAA had the best overall auto insurance rates. It is, however, exclusively available to military personnel and their families. Geico is a fantastic alternative for inexpensive vehicle insurance for drivers who aren’t in that group.

How do I get the best car insurance quote?

When looking for a good auto insurance quotation, the most important thing you can do is shop around. You will have a better grasp of what is available if you compare at least three bids. Otherwise, retain excellent driving habits, monitor your credit, and seek for ways to save money.

Who has the cheapest auto insurance in Tennessee?

Tennessee’s insurance premiums are quite low. Geico and State Farm are both terrific alternatives for inexpensive car insurance rates, whether you only need the bare minimum of bodily injury and property damage coverage or want to add collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Our methodology

We established a comprehensive grading methodology to formulate our rankings of the best auto insurance providers since consumers rely on us to deliver impartial and accurate information.

We gathered information on hundreds of vehicle insurance companies in order to rate them based on a variety of criteria. The end result was an overall rating for each insurance, with the highest-scoring insurers at the top of the list.

We chose firms with good overall and cost ratings for this post. Average vehicle insurance rates and discount opportunities were used to determine the cost ratings.

Michael Will

At Michael Will works as a writer and editor. He has 5 years of expertise in the business world, with an emphasis on small enterprises and startups. Digital marketing, SEO, business communications, and public policy are just a few of the areas he's addressed. He's also written about artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and blockchain, among other new technologies and their intersections with business.

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