Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Oct 18, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Comparison shopping for car insurance is valid when every aspect of the quotes is similar in every way
  • A liability-only policy will be much less expensive than a comprehensive insurance policy
  • Specialty insurance quotes include roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement

One requirement for every licensed motorist, who owns a car, is sufficient car insurance that will cover expenses in the event of a loss.

Online quotes provide information about insurance companies and their basic policies that are available to drivers that meet basic requirements.

Every motorist’s situation is unique, and the insurance companies will require enough information to rate their risk against the profile of the vehicle, the driver, and the geographic location.

Compare car insurance companies online now! Enter your zip code above to get started for FREE!

Table of Contents

What to Compare

Comparison shopping for car insurance is valid when every aspect of the quotes is similar in every way.

An omission of one element can change the annual premium so each quote must be evaluated to ensure all necessary coverage is included in the quote.

Quotes that cause the consumer to pursue more information, and then change drastically should be avoided.

Same Policy Components

A liability-only policy will be much less expensive than an auto insurance policy that offers collision, comprehensive, and liability coverage.

Evaluate each policy for the included coverage components and dismiss any quote that is not equal in coverage.

Equal Coverage Limits

Once all extraneous quotes have been eliminated, evaluate each remaining quote to confirm that all dollar limits are equal in each component.

A quote that offers half as much actual coverage will have a lower annual premium, but the coverage is less. Minimal coverage that meets state requirements might not meet the actual coverage need.

Specialty Coverage

Quotes that include roadside assistance, low glass deductibles, and rental car replacement options will appear to have higher premiums.

Each quote should include or exclude these specialties to be equal in value.

Deductible Amounts

Auto insurance policies with very high deductibles will have much lower annual premium amounts. Each quote offered should have the same deductible amounts to allow the buyer to compare the policies on the same basis.

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How to Compare

Instant online car insurance quotes are used for a wide variety of purposes that benefit the insurance companies by providing leads for new clients.

Certain attributes of a quote process should be present to provide the requested information without undue stress on the insurance shopper.

No Gimmick Screens

Many web surfers have found screens on the internet that are clearly not what they appear to be. Personal information is requested, and then the visitor ends up on an obscure screen that has nothing to do with the original request.

Legitimate quote screens will provide information based on the profile without asking for personal information.

No Redundant Processes

Reputable insurance quote websites will retain the entered information and allow the shopper to make minor changes to the information without retyping all of the information.

Front-end quote screens will ask for detailed information and then send the consumer to external websites where all the information must be entered again.

Well-Organized Information

Every quote offered to the consumer must be formatted in a consistent and easy-to-read format. Online quotes that provide valid information in a consistent feedback should convey reliability to the consumer.

The reason to use an online quote screen is to save time and find the desired information with less effort.

Consistent Policy Profile

When the quotes offered are provided with equivalent attributes, the consumer can trust the site. Manipulation of the policy profiles to favor one or two insurers can cause the shopper to leave the site and never return.

How to Decide

Great car insurance does not have to be expensive, and poor insurance is not necessarily easily affordable.

The annual premium is only one small part of the evaluation process since every motorist’s need is different.

Saving money on the annual premium will not matter if insufficient coverage is purchased.

Savvy online insurance shoppers look at multiple factors including the following:

A.M. Best Rating

One quote in the list may appear to be the best, but the company could be very unfamiliar.

Visit the A.M. Best website and investigate the rating of any company that might be outside the first tier of insurance companies.

A great deal of information can be acquired from this watchdog website to prevent a poor decision that might be regretted later.

Avoid Lowest Quote

When multiple quotes are returned in a list, there are times that one extremely inexpensive quote is presented.

If the annual premium is less than half of the rest of the quotes, use caution prior to choosing this policy.

Check all aspects presented above and make an informed decision.

Beware of Quick Decisions

Even if the shopper has an immediate need for car insurance, careful evaluation will prevent surprises when a loss occurs.

Use all available information and investigate the reputation of any unfamiliar insurer. Evaluate each aspect of the policies that are quoted and then make the decision based on the actual insurance coverage and annual premium.

Final Evaluation

One of the best ways to ascertain the validity of the quote information provided is to know what coverage must be included in every quote.

Insurance quotes can be provided without personal information, but the process must be completed by the chosen insurance company to find the actual annual premium.

Minor adjustments to the cost of the insurance are expected as the policy coverage is refined.

Drivers that fall into special categories or with poor driving records will find that the rates offered change substantially as the quote process progresses.

Reputable insurance companies use online quote screens to present their insurance policies to new customers. Insurance policies are in force for six to twelve months and changes to coverage can be costly.

The final policy choice should offer enough coverage for the motorist’s situation at the best possible price. So what are you waiting for? Enter your zip code below and compare car insurance companies for FREE!

References:

  1. https://www.nationwide.com/general-business-liability-insurance-coverage.jsp
  2. https://www.thebalance.com/understanding-minimum-car-insurance-requirements-2645473
  3. https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-get-car-insurance-with-a-bad-driving-record-3572457