How to Shop for Car Insurance 101
Shopping for car insurance? From getting a quote to making payments on your policy, you have options, and we’re here to break down the most commonly asked questions about how to shop for car insurance.
How to Shop for Car Insurance
1. Get a Car Insurance Quote
When shopping for car insurance, start with a few different car insurance quotes and you’ll get help every step of the way. For example, with Direct Auto, agents in-store and over the phone will ask you for information to prepare your quote. If you get a quote online, you’ll be walked through a series of questions to fill in the necessary details. But no matter which route you go, getting a car insurance quote is typically easy and free. And if you want to speed up the quote process, it’s a good idea to have the following information on hand:
- Personal Information: If you need a car insurance quote, you’ll have to provide basic information about yourself such as your full name, address, birth date, and marital status. If you are adding more than one driver to the policy, you will need to add their information as well.
- Current Insurance Status: There’s a good chance you will be asked whether you are insured or not. If you are currently uninsured, many insurance companies might view you as a “high risk” to insure. Even if you are uninsured, insurers like Direct Auto can help you get the coverage you need.
- Vehicle Information: In order to provide you with an accurate quote, insurers need to know what type of car(s) you drive. Have the VIN number, year, make, model, and body type for any vehicle you want to insure on hand.
- Driving History: Insurers will generally ask if you (or other drivers on the policy) have had any accidents or violations within a certain timeframe. This will help them set an appropriate premium.
- Payment History: Insurers may ask questions about prior payments. If you have a history of missed payments, this could affect the price you’re quoted.
- Contact Information: You’ll likely be asked to give your phone number and email. This will make it easy to retrieve your quote and make a purchase after you’re finished shopping around.
When it comes to getting a quote, the more information you can provide, the better. It’s also important to answer everything accurately and honestly. If you don’t provide enough information or don’t provide accurate details about your driving or payment history, you might end up paying more for your policy than your original quote. While your premium can always be at least a little different than your quote, it’s more likely to be accurate if you provide a complete, correct picture. Plus, certain additional information could help you save money with discounts*. For example, if you’re an active service member, you might be eligible for a military discount* with proper documentation.
2. Shop for Car Insurance in-Person, Online & by Phone
As we discussed above, you can get car insurance quotes in a number of ways, and purchasing a policy is no different
Can you buy car insurance online?
In a world where you can buy just about anything online, you can also purchase a car insurance policy online.
Should I buy auto insurance in-person, online, over the phone?
The best way to shop for and purchase auto insurance varies from person to person, and it ultimately comes down to what the shopper values. For example, by shopping online, you might be able to compare rates from different insurers quicker. However, if you have outstanding questions about what coverage choices would be best for you or if you’re not confident in your insurance knowledge, talking to a knowledgeable agent might be the right option for you. Plus, if you prefer to buy your policy with cash, some insurers (like your local Direct Auto agent) accept cash payments in their stores. Whichever way you choose to shop, you should be quoted the same price and be able to make a safe, easy transaction. Need your coverage to start right away? Companies like Direct Auto even offer same-day car insurance!
3. Pay for Car Insurance
When you find a policy you like, how do you actually pay for auto insurance? Well, there are a few things to consider, but ultimately, you should have some options to choose from.
Do I have to make a down payment?
If you’re planning to make monthly payments on your car insurance and looking to get your policy started for as little as possible, you may have wondered is there any car insurance with no deposit; however, there isn’t. It’s a common practice in the insurance industry to put at least some amount of money down or pay for your first month of coverage to start your policy. It’s risky for an insurer to cover a driver who won’t pay anything upfront.
Even though you’ll have to make some sort of initial payment, there is good news! Some companies, like Direct Auto, offer low down payments to help you get your coverage started. If you have the option to pay more upfront, doing so could help you lower the cost of your monthly payments because the more you put down initially, the less you’ll pay later.
How do I make payments?
Most insurance companies give you a number of different payment options. For example, Direct Auto allows you to customize your payments. This means you get to pick a payment date that’s convenient for you, and you get to help determine your rate by choosing your down payment amount.
Depending on your insurance company, you might be able to pay in-person, online, over the phone, via mail, or inside an app. Among all the different insurers, you should also have options allowing you to pay with cash, credit, or debit card, or by even linking your checking account. Simply figure out what is most convenient for you, and find an insurer that fits your needs.
Shop for Car Insurance with Direct!
No matter how you like to shop, Direct Auto is here for you. Our online quote process is easy and even allows you to live chat with an agent. If you prefer to talk to another person directly, we have friendly agents you can call or visit in-person. We’re happy to answer any of your questions and help you find the right policy.