Car insurance is one of the most important aspects of owning a vehicle. An insurance policy helps protect you in case you get in an accident, or in case your vehicle is damaged when you are not in it. Not only is auto insurance incredibly helpful, but it is legally required in most states.
Because you need to have your vehicle insured, it’s important to shop around and find the price and plan that is right for you. The price of an auto insurance policy changes depending on your age, location, and type of vehicle, as well as the company you are getting insurance from, and the kind of coverage that you wish to receive. In order to spend your money in the best way, you’ll want to get quotes from multiple different insurance providers, to be sure that you find the plan best suited for you, your budget, and your car.
Part 1 of 2: Gather your pertinent information
Step 1: Get the driver information. Gather all of the driver information needed.
In order to get a quote, you will need basic information about the drivers that will be insured on the plan. Usually, this just means a full name and a date of birth. If you are planning on having a partner or a child of yours insured on your auto insurance plan, you will need their information as well.
Step 2: Get the vehicle information. Gather all of the basic information for the vehicle you are insuring.
If you want to get an insurance quote, you will need to know the year, make, and model of your vehicle. If you don’t know this information, you can find it in the vehicle manual, which should be in the glove compartment.
Many insurance companies also require your vehicle identification number before giving you a quote, so make sure that you have this number on hand as well.
- Tip: If you don’t know your car’s vehicle identification number, you can find it on the driver’s side of the dashboard, where the dash meets the windshield. The number is easily viewed from outside the car, through the windshield.
Step 3: Get the right zip code for your garage. Get the zip code for the garage location.
You will need to provide an insurance company with a zip code in order to get a quote. This zip code should be from the garage location, which is the place where your vehicle will be parked most of the time that it is not being driven.
If you have multiple residences, or the car will be frequently parked at different houses, choose the zip code from the primary residence.
Part 2 of 2: Get a quote from an insurance provider
Step 1: Try corporate insurance providers. Get quotes from large, corporate auto insurance companies.
Find the online insurance quotes portion of their website, and click on it. Input your driver and vehicle information, and submit your request for an insurance quote. After a few days, you should receive a quote by email, or possibly in the mail.
If you would prefer to get a quicker quote, or to be able to ask questions about different policy options, call or visit the local office for these insurance providers.
Step 2: Try local, independent insurance providers. Get quotes from local, independent auto insurance companies.
Often times, the small insurance companies can give the best rates, in addition to giving the best customer service.
Do a quick Google search, or look in a phonebook to find independent auto insurance companies in your city. Log on to their website, call them, or visit their office, provide your driver and vehicle information, and get a quote from them.
- Tip: You should never have to provide any compromising information when getting an auto insurance quote. If a website asks for your social security number, your credit card number, or your bank account information, it is almost surely a scam, and you should not proceed with that site.
Step 3: Look for the best deal. Search and negotiate for the best deal from the provided quotes.
After you’ve received all of your auto insurance quotes, look through them to find which companies provide the best options for you and your budget.
If you have multiple options that are competitive, try calling the companies and negotiating for a better price. When you have the leverage of a quote from a competitor, you’re more likely to be able to work out a better price for your policy.
- Tip: When choosing an insurance policy, always pay attention to the deductible price. Finding the right deductible for your budget is a very important part of choosing an insurance policy. It can be tempting to choose the cheapest policy you can find, but that likely comes with a large deductible, which can be problematic if you don’t have any money saved up.
Choosing the right insurance policy can save you hundreds of dollars a year. Thankfully, getting quotes only takes a small amount of time. If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to quickly and easily get an auto insurance quote, which will help you find the provider and police that are perfect for both you and your wallet. Be sure to keep your car on a regular maintenance schedule so your car is safe and running well.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Get a Car Insurance Quote and was authored by Brady Klopfer.