What Information Is Needed for a Car Insurance Quote?
When you reach out for a quote, always give accurate information. An insurance agency can cancel your plan within 30 to 90 days depending on the state if you leave out something significant, like a teen driver living in your household.
However you decide to compare auto insurance quotes, you’ll be providing information for all people and cars listed on your policy.
People on the Policy
You should have the following personal information ready:
- Name and date of birth
- Driver’s license numbers and states of issue
- Current insurance companies and policy expirations
- Current coverage limits
- Driving histories including tickets and accidents
- Average miles driven per year
Vehicles on the Policy
You’ll have to provide this vehicle information for all cars listed on the policy:
- Year, make, model and mileage
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Address where vehicle is garaged
- Vehicle ownership information
Be aware that you could lose some discounts later if the information you provided was inaccurate. For example, a usage-based program may reveal that you drive more miles than you estimated, and you could lose a low annual mileage discount.
Why Are Car Insurance Quotes So Different?
Because each company has its own process for evaluating driver profiles and assigning rates, estimates can vary widely. For example, a speeding ticket may raise your annual premium by $500 with one provider and $1,000 with another. One company may give you a discount for owning a home, while another might not.
Regardless of the company, car insurance estimates depend on a wide variety of factors that are unique to each driver. Based on your driver profile, what you pay for an auto insurance policy is different from what your friends, family members and neighbors pay for theirs.
Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates
Ultimately, quoted car insurance rates are based on the likelihood that a company will have to pay out claims on your behalf. The more financial risk that you represent, the more you’ll have to pay for auto insurance.
Here are the main factors used to determine auto insurance quotes:
- Age: Teens and men under the age of 25 generally pay the most for car insurance.
- Marital status: Married drivers usually pay less for auto insurance.
- Gender: Because of crash statistics, men pay more than women at certain ages. Companies generally use the gender listed on your license to determine rates.
- Vehicle: The make, model and age of your vehicle all affect your insurance rates.
- Driving history: At-fault accidents, moving violations and DUIs will cause your rates to go up. The more points on your record, the more you’ll pay even after you carefully compare car insurance quotes.
- Credit history: Car insurance companies in most states consider your credit history when setting premiums. A lower credit score can raise your rates.
- How much you drive: If you drive only a few thousand miles per year, you can qualify for low-mileage discounts from some companies.
- Homeownership: Renters may pay more for car insurance than homeowners.
- ZIP code: Densely populated areas like cities have higher rates of accidents, theft and vandalism, so people in these locations generally pay more.
- State insurance laws: Most states require drivers to have a minimum amount of coverage, and the amount varies by state.
- Coverage levels: Drivers tend to find lower minimum-coverage car insurance rates compared to full coverage (liability, collision and comprehensive coverage).
- Deductible: Choosing a low deductible increases your monthly cost, but it also means you’ll need to pay less upfront after a car accident.
Insurance for Specific Vehicles
Some vehicles have higher repair costs or lower safety ratings, which can increase your premium. Others are more likely to be stolen. For example, full-size pickups, Honda Civics and Honda Accords all have high rates of theft, according to Insurify.
Insurance in California and Michigan
While California as a whole is a populous state, it isn’t one of the most expensive overall. However, car insurance in California can vary widely depending on the area. Drivers in Los Angeles pay much more than the average for the state, for example.
Michigan has had expensive car insurance on average because drivers were required to purchase a certain type of insurance with an unlimited coverage limit. Michigan changed the law in 2020, so average insurance prices should decrease somewhat over time.