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Compare Car Insurance Quotes From Different Companies

To get the best rate on auto insurance, you need to compare car insurance quotes from different companies.  However, you may not be aware of how to go about obtaining and comparing car insurance quotes.  You can obtain auto insurance quotes online and over the phone, through local exclusive agents, or through independent agents and insurance brokers.  The initial quote you receive may not be bindable, which is the best quote to compare before making a selection. You need to have specific information available to obtain a bindable quote.  Keep reading to learn more about comparing car insurance quotes from different companies.

Your Own Quotes vs. Average Estimated Rates on Internet

At the beginning of your search for the best auto insurance price for you, you probably see a lot of average estimated rates on different websites, or even on the company’s website. These are not your quotes. For example, different articles in the comparison category compares average estimated rates of a number of auto insurance companies side by side.  You can use these estimates to help narrow down your list of car insurance companies to a targeted few. You should keep in mind these are just the estimated rates, not your own bindable quotes.

You should only compare the bindable quotes of yours. These are your final quotes. Otherwise, the comparison of estimated rates doesn’t mean anything.

The Best Way To Compare Car Insurance Quotes From Several Companies

Step 1 – Before comparing auto insurance quotes, you should read reviews of the insurance companies that you are interested in.  Check out the company’s claims satisfaction rating and overall customer service. Make sure that the company has adequate financial strength and does not have any surprise drawbacks of which you are unaware.

Step 2 – After doing your research, select three to five auto insurance companies that you feel may be the best fit for you.  Keep in mind that although price is a good criterion to select an auto insurance company, it should by no means be the only criteria that you use.  Factors such as claims satisfaction rating, financial strength and consumer complaints should all be taken into consideration when selecting this set of companies.

Step 3 – Next, you can go to each company’s website and use the quote feature to get a quote.  You can go through all of the steps until you get a bindable quote from the auto insurance companies that let you purchase insurance online.  You may have to talk to an auto insurance agent to get a bindable quote from some companies.

You can also contact local auto insurance agents immediately after compiling your list to get a bindable quote.  Companies such as State Farm, AllState, and Farmers only have exclusive agents, so you must contact them directly.

>>MORE: Understanding Car Insurance Quotes

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You can also get an independent agent or auto insurance broker to compare auto insurance quotes for you and present you with the best options.  Keep in mind that these agents and brokers work on commission, so this option is pricier than doing it yourself. Independent agents and brokers may know more about what impacts a certain car insurance company’s rates and what discounts the company has.  Thus, if you do not have any experience shopping for car insurance, this may be your best option. You can learn more about the pros and cons of buying car insurance from an insurance broker before making the decision. If you do, make it clear to the broker that you would like bindable quotes from the companies you are interested in.

>>MORE: How To Buy Car Insurance: Online or Through An Agent?

Step 4 – Now that you have your bindable quotes for several different insurance companies, you can do a side by side comparison of these rates as well as each company’s other strengths and weaknesses.  Be sure that you are comparing the same coverage options or make a note of which coverage options are the most important to you if they differ from company to company.

>>MORE: Who Has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

>>MORE: How to Switch Car Insurance?

Average Estimated Rates, Unbindable Quotes, and Bindable Quotes: How Are They Different?

Average Estimated Rates

You can easily find the average estimated rates for many well-known auto insurance companies by looking on different websites.  The only problem is that even if these estimates come from a reliable website, the estimate still may not be close to the quote that you may receive.  This is because auto insurance companies take a number of personal factors into account when deciding on your actual quoted rate. These factors include your age, your driving record, the coverage options you desire, your address, your credit score, your vehicle, your car insurance history, your gender, your marital status, your employment history and more.  The average estimates you find on the internet evaluate rates for one factor. For example, if you compare average rates for a person with a recent at-fault accident, all other factors are considered to be that of a model driver. In actuality, however, all of the other factors would have an impact on your quote as well.

Unbindable Quotes

After you have done some research about the different auto insurance companies that you are considering and looked at their average rate estimates for certain factors, you can narrow down your list to a manageable number of choices.  At this point you may want to go on company’s websites and get a quote. The quote that you receive will be an unbindable quote. This means that the insurance company is giving you an estimated rate and there is no guarantee that this will be your final quote. The difference between this unbindable quote and the average estimated rates is that the quote is personal to you, taking into account your specific personal features. Thus, this quote is a more accurate estimate of what your rate will be. The more information you input, the more accurate your unbindable quote will be.  However, the only quote which you can count on is a bindable quote.

Bindable Quotes

When insurance companies first get your information, either by phone or over the internet, they are only able to issue an unbindable quote, relying on the information that you provided.  After receiving this information, however, an insurance company will obtain a copy of your driving record, credit report, insurance history and other records to verify the information that you supplied and assess all of your personal factors.  Because this requires the insurance company to do a fair amount of work, you tend to only receive a bindable quote when there is a good chance that you will purchase a policy. In fact, you oftentimes have to input your credit card information before you receive a bindable quote.

Another Way To Obtain a Bindable Quote

There is another easier way to receive a bindable quote from an auto insurance company.  If you have current auto insurance, you can obtain a copy of the declaration page of your current auto insurance contract.  The declaration page contains information the your current insurer used to write your policy as well as information about subsequent events that may affect your car insurance premium.   

Who Can Give You Bindable Car Insurance Quotes?

There are a number of ways that you can receive a bindable quote.  You can get a bindable quote from some auto insurance companies by going to their website and completing all of the steps in their quote process leading up to purchase.  Once you receive the bindable quote, you are under no obligation to complete the purchase.

You can also use and independent agent or insurance broker to gather some auto insurance quotes for you.  You can either let the auto insurance broker select the best companies from which to get bindable quotes or you can give him a list.  Keep in mind that independent agents and brokers work on commission so there is a good chance they will apply sales pressure to get you to choose one of the quotes and complete your insurance purchase.

You can also contact exclusive local agents to get a bindable insurance quote.  Exclusive agents are agents that work for only one insurance company; therefore, these agents will not provide you with bindable quotes from other auto insurance companies so that you can compare them. Instead, you must contact each insurance company individually. Farmers, State Farm, and AllState are some auto insurance companies that sell their policies through a network of exclusive agents.

>>MORE: Where Can You Get Free Auto Insurance Quotes Online?

What Information Do Insurers Need In Order To Give You Bindable Quotes?

Car insurance companies need to have certain information from you before they can supply you with a bindable quote.  Therefore, it is a good idea for you to have this information readily available when you start the quote process. The information that you need to have handy includes:

  • Your driving record
  • Your credit score
  • Your Address (as well as the address of your workplace and places where you usually commute)
  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • The vehicle you wish to insure (Make, model, and year, VIN number)
  • Your auto insurance history
  • The full name, gender, and marital status of all drivers in the household.

All of this information is used to assess your risk.  Auto insurance companies determine your policy premium based on the risk that you will file a claim.  If you have a poor driving record, are a younger driver or live in a highly populated area, there is a higher chance that you will be in an accident and need to file a claim.  If you have a more expensive car or a car with less safety features, you are at higher risk of filing an expensive claim for property damage or a claim for bodily injury/ medical payments.  In addition, studies show that gender and marital status have an affect on safe driving habits and the likeliness that you will file a claim. Thus, car insurance companies consider this information to be very important to have before issuing you a bindable quote.

Final Thoughts

In order to get the best rate on auto insurance, it is important to compare car insurance quotes.  In order to save time, you should research the average estimated rate of a number of companies that you may be interested in as well as their reviews.  Narrow the list down to three to five of the best companies for you and obtain quotes. The initial quote that you receive will be unbindable. Continue the quote process until you receive bindable quotes to compare along with other important information about the auto insurance company before making your decision.  If you need assistance obtaining bindable quotes to compare, you can contact local exclusive agents for individual insurance companies or an independent agent or broker to get quotes from multiple insurance companies.

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