How Long Does it Take to Get a Car Insurance Quote?

Fran Majidi
November 3, 2020

So, you’re in a rush because you need car insurance ASAP but don’t know what to expect. You want to get it quick and to do it all online. Well, you’re not the only one.

Getting a car insurance quote comes with lots of questions, the main one being how long it takes to get a quote. That all really depends on you and how organized you are.

With SmartFinancial, which offers the widest range of options, and over 200 insurers to compare rates with, you have to fill out a brief questionnaire. It could all happen in 5 minutes or less if you have everything close by. And it’s free. The better prepared you are by having the information close at hand, the faster you can fill out the important information.

Why all the information, you ask? Your car insurance rate is based on many factors, some of which are easy to pull up based on your basic information, so don’t lie, because it could increase your rate further.

First, let’s look at what you’ll need for a car insurance quote. And then we’ll look at how you’re rated. And keep in mind that auto insurance quotes change quite frequently. Even daily quote changes are possible as an insurance company assesses the risk profile of a potential customer. If you move, make modifications to your vehicle or have changes in your driving record, your risk profile will change and you will be given a different auto insurance quote. So the quote you were given last week or even yesterday is no longer valid if your risk profile changes. And sometimes, an insurance company will update changes to risk assessment, which may change your rate.

What You Need for an Auto Insurance Quote

1. Basic Information

You’ll be asked for your legal name and your garaging address, which is where you park your car. You’ll also be asked for your birthdate and your Social Security number.

Do you rent or own your home? Let them know, and consider bundling renters or home insurance with your auto for maximum savings. Homeowners tend to get lower rates because they drive more safely and have lower chances of having a car accident.

Your address also determines your auto insurance rates. Some neighborhoods have higher theft rates than others. The lowest auto insurance rates are in safer neighborhoods where vandalism and car theft are rare.

2. Your Current Job

You’ll be asked about your current job and occupation. Are you employed full-time or part-time? How long have you been working there? What is your income? They may ask for your assets too.

Your job, believe it or not, is an assessment factor. Some people are considered less risky, like school teachers and nurses. While others, like stunt doubles and artists, may pay more. Car insurance companies have found a correlation between safe driving and reckless driving based on occupations. So, if you are considering becoming an accountant, you’ll pay less. If you’re going to be a skydiving instructor, you’ll pay more.

3. Prior Address

You may be asked where you lived before you moved to your current address, so make sure to have that on hand. And make sure it’s accurate.

4. Car Insurance Company Information

You will ask about the car insurance you have now. Which company are you with? Are you happy with your policy? Are you ready for a new one?

If you’ve had any lapses in coverage, like that six months you stopped insurance because you didn’t have a job, will raise your rates. Consistently having coverage keeps your rate low.

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5. Vehicle Information

Your vehicle identification number (also called a VIN) will tell the agent who gets your questionnaire quite a bit about your car, so be ready to enter it into the questionnaire. You should also be prepared to answer these questions: What is the year and make and model of the car you are looking to insure? Do you own or do you finance the car? Do you lease the car? Be prepared with answers.

6. Car Safety Features

Not only do safety features lower your auto insurance rate, they cost more to fix so you kind of break even sometimes, but more often, you end up saving money. So, find out if your car has airbags, backup cameras, anti-lock brakes or special sensors. Does your car have an alarm? Insurance companies love theft deterrents.

7. How Much You Drive

What is your car’s annual mileage? How often do you drive your car? Do you drive less than 5,000 miles a year or do you have a long commute for your job? Low mileage drivers pay less for insurance. Be honest because you will be asked about it again. If you’re caught lying you’re considered higher risk!

8. Driver Information

You will be asked for your driver’s license information for you and any other drivers of your car. An agent will ask how long you’ve had your driver’s license. Don’t make things up, even though having more experience usually means a lower rate. If your answers don’t cross-check, that’s not a good thing.

9. Driving History

How many tickets, accidents or other violations have you had in the past five years? You will need to share this information with an insurance agent when shopping for an auto insurance quote.

10. Coverages and Policy Limits

You’ll be asked how much coverage you need and how high you want to set the deductible. The higher your deductible, the lower the monthly payments but you’ll have to come up with the money for the deductible if you’re in an accident and need your car fixed. But if you don’t have collision coverage, you won’t be covered if the accident is your fault. If it was the other driver’s fault, their liability insurance covers your repairs. But if it is your fault, your liability insurance will only cover the other driver’s losses, not yours. Make sure your limits are high enough so you don’t have to reach into your pocket.

These are the coverage details for the policy that you are shopping for. Not sure where to start? Using the declarations page of your current auto insurance policy is a good idea. Here's more on cheap car insurance.

Get a Free Auto Insurance Quote Online Now.

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