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How to Know if Your Auto Insurance Online Quote is Fair

how you know if your car insurance online quote is fairShopping for car insurance online can be a great way to obtain a handful of quotes with a few clicks of the mouse, but none of the quotes may mean much unless you know they are fair. You can always blindly believe each company is out for your own best interest or you can be a bit smarter about it. Do your homework and review specific points that help ensure the prices and coverage you’re being offered is worth it.

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Comparing quotes from several companies is one of the best ways to ensure the quotes are fair. Others include providing accurate information, knowing exactly what you’re buying, reviewing the specifics, picking your own coverage and limits and asking about discounts. You may also want to make sure you are dealing with a reputable company that has a solid financial base and a history of good service and happy customers.

Compare Quotes

Insurance rates can vary drastically from company to company. Comparing quotes from several companies can be a highly effective way to make sure you’re getting the best coverage for the best price, according to USA.gov.

Comparison involves looking at the prices, but it also involves reviewing the exact coverage and options that come with the policy. Specifics covered under one type of coverage from one company may be different from those offered by another.

how you know if your automobile insurance online quote is fairFor instance, you mind find various nuances under something like comprehensive coverage, which generally covers your vehicle if it’s damaged by factors other than a collision. These may include everything from hailstorms to arson.

One company may offer very limited comprehensive coverage that only includes weather-related or non-malicious activities. Another company may offer a broader range of coverage specifics that includes things like damage done to your vehicle from your pet.

Nuances can play a huge part in the rates, as can other factors companies use to determine your premium.

While the small details can vary among car insurance companies, most use the same basic criteria to come up with a price. The Illinois Department of Insurance notes these include information about you as well as your household.

Provide Truthful and Accurate Information

how you know if your auto insurance online quote is fairNo one can provide a fair or accurate quote unless you provide truthful and accurate information. This is especially vital when it comes to the basic criteria used to formulate your overall cost. Factors include where you live and your household members, especially those of driving age. Crowded, urban areas with high crime rates generally net a higher premium than more rural areas with less crime and traffic.

Your gender, age, and marital status can play a part in your rates, especially if you fall into a category that has a statistically high rate of accidents. Single, young males are particularly susceptible and therefore usually see higher rates than different age and gender categories.

Other factors that play a part in determining your premium include your driving history, the type of vehicle you drive, your annual mileage, and your credit history. Don’t be tempted to perhaps glorify any information or suddenly forget about last week’s fender bender.

Insurance companies have access to your driving record, claims history and even your credit reports.

Your annual mileage and vehicle type should also be accurate to receive a fair and accurate quote. If you do fudge a bit of the information, you can end up with a big surprise when it comes to issuing your policy. Your quote based on inaccurate info may be a far cry from the actual price of the policy that was set once the company had time to fully research your background.

In an even more severe case scenario, your policy can be cancelled down the line if a company finds out you were not truthful on the application. Lying on such documents is illegal.

Review Additional Specifics

The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner also suggests reviewing other specifics that are part of car insurance policies. These include the overall insuring agreement, definitions, general conditions, and mutual conditions of the policy.

how to know if your car insurance online quote is fairEndorsements and exceptions are on the list, as are conditions if the vehicle is leased or financed rather than owned. Also, review where and when the coverage applies as well as the payment terms and length of contract.

Let’s say a company offers a price on for your annual premium that is nearly double that of another company. Before automatically going for the second company, double-check it is giving you the cost of your policy for an entire year and not just six months or another period.

Know What You’re Buying

Receiving eight drastically different quotes from eight different companies may also arise if you’re not comparing the same coverage and limits for each. Rather than letting a company set up parameters of the types of insurance you need, do some research and set your own.

Although you want to fulfill the minimum requirements set by state law, any additional insurance above and beyond the minimum is wholly optional. State laws vary, but most typically require liability insurance.

This type of coverage takes care of costs incurred by others for accidents that were your fault. Liability insurance comes in two types, bodily injury, and property damage for vehicles and other property.

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Pick Your Own Coverage and Limits

Other types of coverage may or may not be worth your while. They include collision and comprehensive coverage for your own vehicle, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

Collision covers damages from a crash while comprehensive covers damages from other incidents.

how to know if the auto insurance online quote is fairMedical payments can take care of the cost of your injuries, but you may already be covered under a health insurance plan. Other available coverage types may include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, accidental death benefit and death, dismemberment or loss of sight. You may also be able to purchase coverage for custom equipment, rental reimbursement, towing and emergency service.

Once again, unless you tell the company the types of coverage you do or do not want, the choice is left up to them. The same applies for your overall coverage limits and deductibles. State law dictates a minimum limit on required coverage, which you are free to exceed, but other limits and deductibles can be your choice.

The higher the limits on each type of coverage, the more the insurance will typically cost. A higher deductible usually lowers the cost of the premium.

Check for Discounts

Most car insurance companies offer discounts for a variety of items. Some companies may automatically include the discounts in your quote if they are aware you are eligible. Other companies may only include them if you ask about them or provide additional information to prove eligibility.

Discounts may include those for having a low annual mileage, good grades, or a good driving record. You may also be eligible for discounts if you are over a certain age or have completed specific driver education courses.

how to know if your automobile insurance online quote is fairYour vehicle’s safety equipment and security equipment may net you discount. Safety features may include air bags, anti-lock brakes, and automatic seat belts. Security features may include car alarms, automatic ignition shut-off and tracking devices that help recover your vehicle if it’s stolen.

Insuring more than one vehicle or holding more than one type of policy with the same company may also get you a break.

Know Price is Not Always the Bottom Line

A fair price is not always the least expensive price. Nor is the least expensive quote necessarily your best option. A company financial stability and reputation are other factors to consider, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department says.

how to know if your auto insurance online quote is fairYou may also want to check a company’s history of complaints and customer service record. Many state websites offer links to resources that can help you research the background and history of the company. You can also sites that offer consumer reviews and watchdog groups that may provide information on specific insurance firms.

Another factor is picking a company that offers the type of coverage you need. Perhaps you do need coverage for potential pet damage in your vehicle. Opt for a company that offers such it under the comprehensive coverage or as an optional type of coverage.

One more fact to note is the company and agent’s license status. Never buy insurance from someone not licensed to sell it your state.

Enter your ZIP in our FREE tool to find and compare quotes from car insurance companies that offer what you want and need!

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