Have you got some free car insurance quotes online and when you submitted your information to the insurer, the price was very different. What can you do to get more accurate free care insurance quotes?
The more detailed information you provide up front, the more accurate the quotes will be. “A quote is only as good as the information you put in,” says Jeff Curtis, managing editor of CheapCarInsuranceQuotesNow.com.
When you get an online quote, the auto insurance company will check your driving record, credit history and other information before giving you a final rate. When you are working with a free care insurance quote site you should track down certain information ahead of time, says Curtis, so there aren’t any surprises when the insurer pulls your record. For example:
- Your Driving record. A recent speeding ticket or moving violation – especially within the past three to five years – can make a huge difference in your car insurance premiums, and the insurer is going to check your motor vehicle record before offering you its official rate. Look at your history (like in your checkbook) to find out how long ago you got a ticket. Most state departments of motor vehicles let you look up your motor vehicle record online – see this list of links to each state’s motor vehicle department.
- Your Credit History. Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life, your credit score can make a big difference in your free auto insurance quote rate. You don’t necessarily need to know your exact score when you apply for a quote, but most sites ask whether it’s poor, fair, good or excellent, and be sure, they will check it out. Check out your credit score on a free online service – it won’t be the exact score the insurer will see but will give you a ballpark idea of what to expect.
- Your Claims History. The insurer will look up your claims history related to accidents with or damage to your vehicles. If you don’t remember your claims, you can find a list in your CLUE report (the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange is a database in which insurers share claims information with each other). It lists every claim and the amount paid out within the past seven years. Insurance companies usually rate you going back three years, says Curtis, but some look back five or seven years. You should review this every 12-18 months.
- Your Car’s VIN. You’ll usually need to provide your car’s year, make, model and number of doors to get an online quote. But you can provide even more-detailed information by listing the 17-digit VIN, which spells out all of those details plus body style, transmission and engine.
Submitting this detailed information when shopping around for insurance not only helps you get more accurate quotes, but it can also help you find, bottom line, the best deal. “A company may have a cheaper base rate but bigger surcharges for certain penalties and claims,” says Curtis. One company may boost your rate much more than another because of accidents or tickets, for example. CheapCarInsuranceQuotesNow.com comparison tool shows the range of premiums up to 30 insurers would charge the same driver with the same car and zip code. The difference is always hundreds, and very often thousands, of dollars per year, says Curtis.
It’s a good idea to shop your auto insurance whenever you have a major change in circumstances — if you move, get married or add a new car or driver (especially a teenage driver). If you improve your credit significantly you should also shop online. If several years have passed since you had an accident – shop online. Have you received a ticket for moving violations, or had a major accident or DUI – shop online. The insurer that offered you the lowest rate in the past may no longer have the best deal.