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Guide to Auto Insurance Quotes Comparison

Things to Remember...

  • In order to shop effectively, you should understand how insurers set their rates
  • A driver’s quotes can also vary considerably depending on his or her coverage options
  • Auto insurance law varies greatly from one state to the next, and state laws can affect the size of insurance claims considerably

Comparing auto insurance rates online is one of the fastest ways to get low premiums without sacrificing coverage.

The auto insurance industry is extremely competitive, and by understanding how insurers set rates, drivers can take advantage of this competition.

If you are looking for a low-cost insurance quote with decent coverage, here’s what you need to know.

Be sure to enter your ZIP code above for a FREE auto insurance quote!

Table of Contents

Factors that Affect Car Insurance Premiums

Auto insurance companies use dozens of different criteria when setting rates for their customers, and on top of this, no two companies use identical practices when creating quotes.

In order to shop effectively, you should understand how insurers set their rates.

Some of the most common factors that affect online auto insurance rates include:

  • The driver’s age – Experience plays an especially prominent role in insurance quotes, and many insurers will give preferential rates to older drivers
  • The driver’s gender – Men cause more high-cost accidents than women, so men typically receive higher insurance quotes on average. However, this trend flips around age 65. Past this age, women cause more high-cost accidents and therefore pay more for their insurance
  • Accident history – Statistically speaking, a driver who is involved in one accident is much more likely to cause a second accident than a driver with a clean history. A single claim can cause an enormous jump in your rates
  • The driver’s vehicle – Some types of vehicles are more dangerous or expensive than others, and insurance companies typically charge more for certain models
  • Marital status – Married drivers are statistically safer than single drivers and therefore receive lower rates
  • Driving habits – Many insurance companies will take a driver’s habits into consideration when setting rates. Drivers that spend a relatively large amount of time in their vehicles may see higher rates

Insurance companies keep detailed actuarial databases, and they will generally use every available statistic in order to accurately gauge the risks posed by different groups of drivers.

However, they cannot ask for a driver’s handicap status, race or ethnicity, and they cannot use these criteria when setting rates.

What to Know About Different Types of Insurance

A driver’s quotes can also vary considerably depending on his or her coverage options.

For instance, garaging location plays a major role if the driver opts into comprehensive insurance coverage.

Comprehensive insurance pays for any damages to the driver’s vehicle, regardless of whether those damages occur due to an accident.

If a tree limb falls on a car, comprehensive insurance coverage would pay for the damages.

Garaging location affects the likelihood of a comprehensive claim, so it can certainly affect auto insurance quotes.

Drivers who regularly park in relatively safe neighborhoods will get lower rates.

However, many states do not require comprehensive coverage, and many drivers decide not to purchase this policy option.

Other types of car insurance include:

  • Property damage liability coverage  This option pays for personal and public property damage caused in an accident including damages sustained by another vehicle, provided that the vehicle was not at fault in the accident
  • Bodily injury liability coverage  This works in the same way as property damage liability, but it pays for the medical expenses, wages and other damages of people involved in the accident other than yourself. Most states set coverage minimums for bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage
  • Collision coverage  This pays for damages that the policy holder’s vehicle sustains in an on-the-road accident
  • Personal injury protection  This coverage pays for the driver’s medical bills in an accident. It can act as a supplement to the driver’s health insurance policy
  • Roadside assistance  Also known as 24/7 assistance, this coverage option pays for towing, fuel delivery and related costs in emergencies
  • Specialty coverage  Some auto insurance companies also offer special options such as custom parts and equipment coverage. While these options can increase the cost of an insurance policy, they usually have a limited effect when compared with some of the other coverage options on this list

Insurance comparison websites will often display several coverage options, and drivers can choose appropriate policy options that reflect their driving habits.

Remember to keep coverage limits in mind when selecting a policy, particularly if you spend a lot of time on the road.

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State Law and Auto Insurance Quotes

Insurance providers use state-specific algorithms when setting rates for their drivers.

Auto insurance law varies greatly from one state to the next, and state laws can affect the size of insurance claims considerably.

Most states use a fault-based insurance system in which an at-fault driver must pay for all of the costs associated with an accident.

At-fault states often require bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage in order to ensure that drivers can pay these costs.

Some states use “no-fault” insurance laws, which limit drivers’ legal liabilities considerably.

You usually need to carry comprehensive, collision and personal injury protection coverage in a no-fault state, but you do not need to carry liability coverage.

New Jersey and Florida are two notable examples of no-fault states.

Auto insurance comparison website will usually ask for a driver’s zip code before offering rates. This allows for accurate quotes and minimum coverage amounts in line with the driver’s state requirements.

How Auto Insurance Comparison Websites Help Drivers

Auto insurance websites work by running basic information through a number of different insurance tools and returning several accurate price estimates.

The driver can then choose the least expensive option that matches his or her driving habits.

Comparison websites work best when used regularly.

For the best results, you should use car insurance comparison websites every few months and after any major policy changes.

If you update your coverage or add a new driver, check to make sure that you’re still getting a fair rate.

Likewise, you should compare auto insurance quotes after making claims on your policy. Most insurance companies will recalculate your rates after a claim, which can result in radical rate hikes.

The best way to keep an affordable premium after an accident is to read through a few quotes.

Comparison websites are an extremely helpful resource. If you are looking for a fast, effective way to decrease the cost of your insurance, head online and compare a few quotes before you make a policy decision.

By comparing quotes intelligently, you can reduce your rates without sacrificing your coverage, and you’ll enjoy better peace of mind on the road.

Comparison tools like the FREE one above are perfect for finding and comparing multiple auto insurance quotes. Simply enter your ZIP code to get started today!


  1. http://www.moneycrashers.com/factors-affect-car-insurance-rates/
  2. http://www.360financialliteracy.org/Topics/Insurance/Cars-and-Auto-Insurance/Will-Your-Auto-Insurance-Premiums-Go-Up-after-an-Auto-Accident
  3. https://www.wellsfargo.com/financial-education/insurance-protection/what-is-specialty-vehicle-insurance/
  4. http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/auto-accident/no-fault-insurance-claim-work.html
  5. http://www.edmunds.com/auto-insurance/how-to-get-affordable-car-insurance.html

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