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Auto Insurance Estimates

Do you need auto insurance estimates or car insurance quotes? While many people use the two terms interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between them. Be sure you are using the right term for your needs.

Think of auto insurance estimates as an educated guess as to what your premium is going to be. For example, if you are trying to choose between a brand new Dodge Avenger and an older model Ford Taurus, you want an estimate of what your insurance will cost so you know which one you can better afford.  You don't have to have the insurance figured out to the last penny, just a ball-park figure to help in your selection process.

On the other hand a car insurance quote is the actual price the insurance company is offering you for your policy. This is the money you must budget into your finances to give you all the coverage you and your passengers need.

Every Good Quote Needs These

While auto insurance estimates are good to have when you are beginning to choose a car it is much better to have a car insurance quote in most cases. That's because it is based on your specific detailed information. Here are the factors that go into creating your car insurance quote:

1. The make and model of the car and the year it was built. In general newer cars will have higher quotes than older ones. Likewise sportier models will have more expensive premiums than sedans and mini-vans.

2. Driver information: Insurance companies will want to know your age, gender, education, job, driving record and credit history. Each of these gives an indication as to how much of a driving risk you are. The same information will also be needed for each person who will be allowed to drive the car, for the same reason.

3. Driving circumstances: Will this car be used only for personal use or will it be used for business? Business use entails more risk because it generally means it will be driven more. In addition, coverage must generally be provided for company products, employees and customers who may be in the vehicle if there is an accident or theft.

Other driving circumstances include: Does the owner participate in a carpool? (This may lower your premiums because it means your car is being used less.) Do you drive many miles?

Ask Yourself these Insurance Questions

In addition to these basic questions, there are also some specific questions you must answer about your coverage:

1. How much of a deductible do you want to have? If there is an accident, the deductible is the amount you will pay out of your own pocket for damages before your insurance policy takes over.  The higher the deductible, the lower your premium. A common rule of thumb is to make your deductible about equal to one week's take-home (after taxes) pay. However, only you can decide whether that figure meets your budget.

2. Do you want comprehensive insurance? Comprehensive insurance provides complete coverage for your car, no matter what incident happens. (This includes "Acts of God," vandalism etc.) Again, the higher the deductible, the lower the cost for comprehensive coverage.

3. How much collision insurance do you want or need? If you have a brand-new car, you will probably want more collision coverage to protect your investment. On the other hand, you may decide to reduce or even eliminate collision coverage for an older car. For example, if a car's value has depreciated to the point where it's only worth $3,000 or so, that's the amount your insurance will pay to replace it. You may be better off cancelling collision coverage, saving the difference you save in premiums so the money will be on hand when it is time to replace your wheels.

4. How much liability insurance do you want? State laws vary as to how much liability coverage is required. In some states drivers involved in a collision must prove who is at fault. An insurance provider pays the costs for which its driver is legally liable. If more than one driver is at fault, those costs are portioned out proportionally. Other states have no-fault insurance laws, designed to eliminate the confusion and legal wrangling over these matters.

5. Who is allowed to drive your vehicle? Do you have a driver under the age of 25 at home? Is there someone with a poor driving record? Will those people be allowed to drive the car? Your car insurance quote will reflect your decision.

On the other hand, if your young driver has excellent grades, driving record and/or credit score, those factors can result in a lower rate. Even if someone's driving record is less than perfect, you can reduce your car insurance quote by enrolling in a defensive driving course. The difference in your premiums will far outweigh the cost of the course.

6. Do you want roadside assistance? Many insurance companies offer this service. It can be comforting to know that a tow-truck is only a phone-call away if you need it on a stormy night. However, it is a service that you must pay for. If you only drive short distances and rarely, if ever, far from home, you can save a lot of money by dropping roadside assistance.

There is no way rough auto insurance estimates can take all of these factors into account. It is much better to take a few extra minutes to get a car insurance quote from several companies. You'd be amazed at how much variance there can between companies.

Fortunately a car insurance quote is easy to get. Thanks to the internet it can be even easier than getting auto insurance estimates. To get a quote, all you have to do is enter your ZIP code in the box provided on our home page. Then, on the next page, choose one of the many reputable companies listed. Next provide the vehicle and driver information and click "submit." That's it, you will soon have a written quote that you can use to compare rates and make your decision.

We have a variety of large and small insurance companies so you can compare rates and services. It's nice to have a choice between your hometown insurance carrier, the longstanding national chain with the memorable jingle and the upstart company with the clever and funny ads. They are all high-quality companies that meet specific  needs.

Better yet, the quotes provided are free and there's no obligation to buy. Contact information is provided for each company so you can call if you have specific questions.

In general, three quotes are considered sufficient, but because the online quote process is so quick and easy, who doesn't have the time to check out all the companies listed? The next quote you get may be the lowest rate offered. If you don't check them all, you'll never know what you missed.

If you are still in the dreaming stage in the buying process, several auto insurance estimates may be all you need. But to make those dreams come true, why not get some auto insurance quotes during your lunch break? Within minutes, you'll find out what it takes to make those dreams come true and keep them safe in the process.

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