Are online insurance quotes accurate?

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

With the internet at our fingertips, there are many things we can do now without ever having to leave our homes. One of those things is seeking auto insurance quotes online. Because auto insurance is a requirement in 47 out of 50 U.S. states, finding the right insurance provider and policy is a necessary part of most of our lives. Being able to request quotes online gives consumers an advantage in finding the best insurance company and premium. 

Requesting quotes online may seem intimidating, especially if you don’t feel informed enough about auto insurance to do it alone. What if you don’t request the right coverages and your quote isn’t accurate? The great news is that most insurance provider websites offer built-in quoting tools to help lead you step-by-step through the process as well as the option to speak with an agent if you have any trouble.

What is an insurance quote? 

An insurance quote is a breakdown of the coverages you want and an estimate of the annual premium and deductible for those coverages. When seeking quotes online, you will answer a variety of questions, which help the insurance provider to determine how to prepare your estimate. 

With today’s technology, it is possible to quickly and conveniently obtain multiple accurate auto insurance quotes online to help you find your best deal.

What factors influence your quote?

The most influential factor in the insurance rates you’ll be quoted is risk. All of the other factors that go into determining your rates revolve around assessing the amount of risk that insuring you poses to the insurance provider. They must determine the likelihood that they will have to pay out claims under your hypothetical policy. The more risk they determine that policy will be for them, the higher your premium and/or deductible will be. The opposite is true if you are deemed low risk. So what things might an insurance provider consider to assess your risk? 

  • Age: Drivers aged 16-19 are three times more likely to crash than drivers over 20, but all drivers under 25 are considered higher risk. Senior drivers who may have some impairments from aging are also considered higher risk. 
  • Gender: Men are considered a higher risk on the road than women because men statistically have more DUI’s, traffic violations and car accidents. 
  • Marital status: Statistics show people who are married are less likely to have vehicle accidents.
  • Education: Some evidence shows that there may be a link between education level and rate of accidents. 
  • Credit rating: Not all states consider credit rating in determining insurance rates, but most do. Evidence shows a correlation between credit score and risk of insurance claims. 
  • Location: Different states have different insurance requirements. Additionally, areas prone to natural disasters or crime may face higher rates. 
  • Driving history: The more traffic violations and accidents you have in your past, the higher the risk you present to an insurance provider. 
  • Coverage type: The more coverage you carry, the more your insurance provider will be obligated to pay out on a claim. That means the more coverage you carry the higher risk you are to the insurance provider. Coverage types include liability, comprehensive, collision, gap insurance and roadside assistance. 

Should I get my car insurance quote online?

Most major auto insurance providers now offer online quoting tools right from their website. Nationwide, State Farm, Allstate, Geico, Farmers and many more offer this convenience. There are also websites that allow you to compare multiple car insurance quotes at a time. Getting insurance quotes online is a quick, convenient, and easy way to hunt for your best auto insurance deal. 

Online insurance quote pros and cons

ProsCons
Quick and easyIt may be more difficult to find the information you need on a website as opposed to speaking with an agent
Less upsell pressure Name, email and/or phone number may be entered into a database for callbacks or emails from the insurance company
Ability to modify policy options and see the impact on the costLess one-on-one customer service
Ability to compare multiple quotes at a timeMight not be suitable if you have complex insurance needs

The takeaway

Your insurance rates will vary based on many factors. The only one who knows what factors will be assessed and how much each of those will weigh is the insurance company you are seeking a quote from. Online quoting tools give you the freedom and flexibility to get as many quotes as you want, on your own time, without having to make a trip anywhere or even a phone call. 

When you have a basic understanding of the types of coverage you need, online quoting offers you a wealth of resources to find the best coverage for the best rates. Some people prefer a one-on-one approach with an agent, and with most insurance providers that option is available as well. But online auto insurance quoting is a great option for people who are seeking convenience and flexibility.  

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