The internet has made it easy to do almost anything from the comfort of your own home — from signing up for a bank account or getting an education to even buying online auto insurance.
Even if you currently have auto coverage, it doesn’t hurt to look for car insurance quotes online, as you may be able to find a better rate. Rates are always changing, and you might be eligible for new discounts. For example, if you got married, changed jobs, moved, or have a different car from when you purchased your last car insurance policy, it doesn’t hurt to see what’s out there. You may be able to save money and put it toward other things in your life.
In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know before getting auto insurance online so you can get covered quickly and resume your latest Netflix binge.
5 steps to getting car insurance quotes online
Many car insurance companies allow you to get auto insurance quotes online directly from their website in a few simple steps. In fact, some car insurance companies offer a discount if you buy insurance online, so it’s not just more convenient — it could save you money as well.
Here’s how the process generally works:
Step 1: Gather the information you’ll need to get an accurate quote
The first thing you’ll need to do is gather some information insurers will use to give you a quote.
Some of this information is straightforward, like your full name, address, and date of birth. However, you’ll also probably need to provide details about your vehicle and driving history, such as:
- Any recent accidents or traffic violations
- Make, model, and year of the vehicle
- Drivers license number
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Current mileage or whether you often drive for professional reasons
This may seem like a lot of information, but it’s meant to help you get the most accurate car insurance quotes online. While it might seem quicker and safer to go with a car insurance provider that promises quick quotes anonymously so you don’t have to hand over sensitive personal information, those rates are often inaccurate.
By providing these details about yourself and your vehicle history, you can get a more accurate car insurance quote and make meaningful comparisons to other rates, including your current policy.
Step 2: Get a car insurance quote online
Once you submit your information, the car insurance company will generate a quote estimating your cost per month or year. This doesn’t usually take long — with Metromile, for example, you can get a quote in minutes and quickly see how much you can save (our customers save 47% on average compared to what they were paying their previous auto insurer).
Step 3: Understand your car insurance coverage options
Before deciding which policy is best for you, you need to understand your car insurance coverage options and how much coverage you need. While most states require certain types of coverage, such as bodily injury (BI) liability insurance and property damage (PD) liability insurance, other types, such as comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, are usually more optional. Knowing what you need and what you want can help narrow down your options.
Step 4: Compare and choose the best car insurance policy for your situation
The average cost of car insurance is $1,630 per year, or around $136 per month. That’s no small chunk of change, so you may want to compare multiple car insurance quotes online so you have a good idea of what you might need to pay and can figure out the best option for you.
Don’t just base your decision on the initial quote — there are many other factors you’ll want to consider, such as the types of coverage you want to buy, whether you can score any discounts to bring the price down, the deductible and premium you’re most comfortable with based on your financial situation and risk tolerance, and more.
Step 5: Purchase your insurance instantly
Once you’ve decided on the best plan for you, all you need to do is choose a payment method and buy your insurance! From there, you can download your proof of insurance and hit the open road.
What factors to look at with car insurance quote comparisons
When reviewing insurance quotes online, there are various factors you want to look at to get a fair assessment.
- Deductibles. An auto insurance deductible refers refers to the preselected amount you’ll pay out of pocket before your insurer covers anything else.
- Liability limits. A liability limit is the maximum amount a car insurance company is obligated to pay in the event of an accident or injury.
- Coverage types. Car insurance costs can vary depending on the coverage type. There are six types of coverage in a basic auto policy, including personal injury protection, bodily injury liability, property damage liability, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
- Discounts. Many car insurance companies offer discounts to drivers for various reasons, ranging from being accident-free to installing safety equipment in your vehicle and more. Review which types of car insurance discounts are available with each company.
- Extra perks. Compare any additional perks a car insurance company offers. For example, Metromile charges you based on how much you actually drive, so you can save if you don’t drive often.
Doing your research and looking at all of these factors can make the auto insurance quote comparison process easier.
What determines the cost of auto insurance
If you’re looking to buy cheap auto insurance online, you probably want to know what actually determines the cost of auto insurance. Here are some common factors that determine the cost of auto insurance:
- Your age. The older you are, the more affordable your rate may be. Younger, more inexperienced drivers are likely going to have higher rates.
- Where you live. This matters because where you park and the city you live in can affect the likelihood of theft and accidents. More populous city drivers typically have higher rates.
- Driving history. Your driving history matters. If you have a clean driving record, you’ll score the best rates. If you have speeding tickets or at-fault accidents, your rates will be higher.
- Type of car. Your car type determines repair costs, the likelihood of theft, and more, so it affects your car insurance rates.
- How much you drive. The more you drive, the more at risk you are for accidents. So how much you drive can affect your rates.
Some other factors that may be considered include your gender and your credit score, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
How to get quotes on car insurance online with Metromile
If you’re tired of paying for miles you aren’t driving and are looking for new car insurance online, look no further than Metromile — on average, our customers save up to 47% compared to what they were paying their previous auto insurer, and we offer four levels of liability protection, along with choices for comprehensive and collision deductibles. Get a risk-free, instant online quote in minutes.
* Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.