Is My Car Insurance Quote What I’ll Actually Be Paying? - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Feb 13, 2018

Is My Car Insurance Quote What I’ll Actually Be Paying?

“How much will I actually pay for car insurance?”

That’s an important question you’ll want to know the answer to when determining which insurance provider to choose and which coverage types you want to purchase.

There are a number of factors that could impact the rate you pay for car insurance, including your age, location, marital status, and vehicle. These, and more, will help your potential insurance company determine what your final insurance premiums will be.

When you’re beginning your research, you’ll find a number of free online quoting tools available. Sometimes, agents will help provide quick initial estimates, too. It’s important to note that these initial price quotes may not reflect what you’d actually pay.

Prior to getting a final quote, you’ll likely need to provide access to certain records such as:

  • Driving history
  • Prior insurance
  • A credit inquiry 

These items and more will help the insurance company provide a quote specifically tailored to your coverage needs and based on your driving history.

Why would my initial insurance quote be different from my final insurance rate?

As long as you are providing accurate information and using a reputable insurance agent or comprehensive online tool to retrieve your quote, you are likely to pay an amount quite close to the estimate you’re given. However, there are still a number of factors that could cause your rate to be different from what the initial quote shows.

Your quote and final rate may not match if any of the following apply:

1. You are using a car insurance calculator.

Some online calculators will estimate your car insurance quote based on aggregate data within a geographic location. They will then provide you with estimated rates for each of the main insurance providers in your area. Unless you are in the preliminary research stages of your car insurance search and understand this quote may not be accurate, you should avoid this step. These types of tools are the least effective method of determining your car insurance rate. As discussed earlier in this blog article, a fair amount of data is required to calculate your quote, not just your location.

2. You’ve entered incorrect information or skipped some areas.
You may have accidentally missed some important data or chosen not to provide answers to all questions. Unless you’re an insurance agent, there’s no way of knowing exactly what types of information will or will not affect your rate. If you’re unsure about what information you should provide, it’s best to speak with an agent over the phone or in person.

3. You haven’t factored in discounts.
Your rate may be even lower than the initial quote!
You can save money on your car insurance if you qualify for certain discounts. For instance, you may qualify for a discount based on your previous driving record, if you’re a student, if you are married and/or if you are combining this policy with other insurance coverage, such as homeowners. These may not be visible at the time of your quote or before you’ve provided qualifying information. Some quoting tools will provide you with the amount you will be paying before any discounts are applied, though others will automatically apply these discounts for you based on the information you have submitted.

Are insurance companies required to provide me with an accurate final quote?
Yes. Prior to confirming the purchase of any insurance policy, the insurance company has to provide you with a transparent document that outlines the complete price of your insurance coverage, the payment plans you can choose from, and what your insurance coverage provides.

Should I get a quote online or talk to an agent?
Many times an agent will price you differently than an online tool because of the various types of criteria necessary to obtain an accurate rate quote.

An agent will know of any mandatory requirements for car insurance in your area and may recommend some additional insurance add-ons that will save you money down the road. An agent may even be able to find additional discounts that you aren’t aware of.

While online quotes are a fine place to start for many people, if this is your first time purchasing insurance for your vehicle or if you would like assistance in finding the best rates for you, speaking to an agent is the best route for you to choose.

It pays to be prepared.
Remember, when searching for car insurance, it’s in your best interest to do your research before committing to an insurance plan. Talk to an agent regarding any questions you have during the process, and make sure you fully understand your final estimate before agreeing to any policy.