If you’ve ever used the Internet to get an online car insurance quote, you probably answered dozens of questions before being given a price. If you decided to pursue a particular offer, you might have been dismayed to find that the actual final quote was much different than what you were quoted online. So why are there discrepancies? Continue reading to see what you could do differently to get a more accurate quote.
Provide Accurate Information
When getting an initial insurance quote, an insurer can only consider the information you provide them with. Any information that you leave out will eventually come to light during the underwriting and issuance process, and will more than likely affect the actual price you will pay for coverage.
For example, a speeding ticket you got three years ago may be long forgotten – but not to your insurer. In fact, this type of citation will remain on your driving record for years and depending on the insurance company, can affect your rates for years as well.
Each insurance company has their own rules with regards to violations or claims. Differences from company to company include how old the violation or claim is, as well as the severity of your violation or the type and amount of your claim. Failing to provide complete and accurate information up-front, could cause a rate increase of as much as 22 percent. To avoid such a surprise, it’s best just to be upfront from the beginning, revealing any car accidents, traffic citations, or gaps in coverage.
Get Ready to Share Your Social Security Number
Not providing your social security number can be one of the biggest reasons for getting an inaccurate online car insurance quote. Even if you provide completely accurate data about your driving history, your quote could be completely skewed if you do not provide your Social Security number. The reason for this is that insurance companies need your SSN to request your credit score. Having a good credit score can save hundreds of dollars. However, with so much cybercrime today, it makes sense that some people would not want to give out such sensitive information online.
If you don’t want to provide your Social Security number to multiple websites, there is a way around this; talking to an independent agent instead. By requesting a quote online, your agent can contact you by phone or meet you in person to gather sensitive data such as your SSN. Afterward, they can go to work gathering quotes on your behalf.
Have Your Vehicle’s VIN Handy
You may know the make and model of your vehicle, and perhaps even the license plate number. However, insurers will want to know your VIN number for the most accurate quote. The VIN is an identification number that can be found on your car or in your existing car insurance policy documents. It tells the insurer many details about your vehicle, from the type of engine it has as well as information that affects a car insurance quote.
Know Exactly How Much Coverage You Need
The amount of coverage you select dramatically affects your online car insurance quote. If you do not request the coverage you really need, you might be in for sticker shock later when you try to adjust your policy. Since car insurance coverage can be a complex topic for the average driver, spend some time talking with your agent about how much liability coverage you might need to protect you in an accident or other covered event.