Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Feb 7, 2020

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Obtaining adequate automobile insurance coverage is essential for the responsible driver. The effort to find affordable insurance requires multiple steps that must be completed in order to make an informed choice. Patience will play an important role in completing the same step multiple times, but the persistent shopper will find lower rates for the right level of coverage.

To get the best rates on auto insurance, enter your ZIP code into the FREE comparison tool above!

Valid Online Quote Websites

Major automobile insurance companies seek comparison websites on which to participate because those sites are a good source of new customers. New insurance companies also use this avenue to build their customer base.

Online insurance shoppers should look for certain attributes on each quote website to avoid providing personal information to a scammer.

  • Reputable providers – Quote websites that provide a list of unfamiliar insurers should be avoided. Insurance companies conduct enough advertising that their company names are recognizable to most drivers. Read some of the fine print on the website before typing personal information into a web form.
  • Detailed information – A website that promises detailed quotes, but does not request any personal information or vehicle details should be avoided. Some quote websites will complete the quote process without requiring the shopper to enter the social security number. Shoppers can decide to exit a quote process if the website is asking for personal information that does not pertain to auto insurance.
  • Multi-step process – Quote websites are designed to select insurance companies that match the driver’s profile. After entering the request information, the driver will be given a list of insurers that are willing to underwrite a policy that fits the profile. The shopper must continue through the process and visit the websites of the major insurers where more details will be requested.

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Information Needed

Online insurance quote seekers will save time by gathering some information prior to embarking on the quest to find an auto insurance company. All of the details that are requested through the quote screen will be required by insurance companies at some point during the underwriting process.

Time is saved by gathering all necessary information early in the process.

  • Personal information – Policyholder information will be required on the initial quote request screen. A physical residential address must be entered because post office box addresses are not accepted.
  • Vehicles – Entry of the VIN for each vehicle will speed up the process because the insurance software can parse the number to find the safety and security features that were installed at the time of manufacture of the vehicle. Other details, such as make and model, must be entered for each vehicle that will be on the policy.
  • Drivers – Each driver will be entered separately on the policy. Quote screens will request social security numbers, but this detail can be delayed until the insurer is selected. Gender and birth date for each driver are requested by the quote screen.
  • Incidents – Quote screens will require information concerning the accidents and moving violations that have been incurred by each driver in the past five years. Insurance companies can refuse to underwrite auto insurance policies for drivers with certain types of violations, such as DUI convictions.
  • Coverage – Insurance shoppers with existing insurance policies will be asked for the amounts of coverage that are on the existing policy. Adjustments to the quoted coverage limits can be made later in the process. Quote software contain the state minimums, so the shopper does not have to know those amounts for the quote process.

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Comparable Quotes

Extensive information is required for each progressive step of the auto insurance quote process. The persistent shopper will be able to find the right insurer and the right coverage if each step is completed with consistent information.

  • Identical amounts – All coverage amounts must be identical on each request form. A difference of $5000 on one coverage amount can cause a quote to be invalid in comparison to the other quotes. Careful notes will prevent rework for the online insurance shopper seeking valid quotes for auto insurance.
  • Components – Insurance policies consist of various components that will determine the types of coverage available on the policy. The shopper seeking full coverage must request quotes for full coverage with the same payout limits on each component. Comparisons between liability-only coverage and full coverage will not provide helpful information. Special coverage types, such as medical, roadside assistance and rental car insurance, must be present on all quotes to reveal comparable annual premium amounts.
  • Deductibles – Quotes can be affected dramatically by the deductible amounts on the auto insurance policies. Each quote must have the same deductible amounts to allow the shopper to evaluate the annual premium. Some insurers will return a quote with a high deductible to make the annual premium amount appear low in comparison to other insurers.
  • Discounts – Standard discounts might be included in the initial quote provided by the insurance company. Subsequent discussions with an agent or customer service representative will yield more discounts for the savvy shopper. Multiple rounds of questions will be required to secure every applicable discount for each driver. Teen drivers and seniors are offered substantial discounts for the completion of driver training courses.

Final Choice

Savvy online insurance shoppers will set aside sufficient time to complete the quote process. The pursuit of adequate insurance is important for the peace of mind responsible drivers seek. Most people will never need to make a claim against the car insurance policy, but proper coverage will mitigate financial hardship if the unthinkable happens.

Adequate auto insurance is essential to protect the personal property of the car owner and third parties that might be involved.

The final choice between all of the car insurance quotes that are returned must include sufficient insurance under each component of the policy.

Discounts should be used to lower the annual premium, and the deductible must be set at an affordable level. Affordable rates will be sustained by responsible drivers who avoid traffic violations and accidents.

Enter your ZIP code into our FREE auto insurance comparison tool below to receive the best rates now!

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