If you’re old enough to remember the days before the internet, where comparing auto insurance rates would often require an in-person visit to an insurer, you might have good reason to question the validity of websites that offer free quotes—as well as the accuracy of the quotes themselves.
As it turns out, more often than not it’s “user error” that leads to inaccuracies in free online insurance quotes. Remember, auto insurance websites and online comparison tools don’t just ask you what kind of car you drive and whether or not you consider yourself a good driver—there’s a lot more that goes into the bottom price determination. And if you’re unprepared in any way, you shouldn’t be surprised if there’s a big price difference when it comes time to sign your policy.
Your driving record plays a big part in the quotes you’ll get when comparing auto insurance online. If you conveniently forget to mention a major infraction, the quote amount will change drastically once the insurance company investigates your driving record. Your credit score also plays heavily into the kind of rate you’ll get, so knowing where you stand with the credit bureaus is also key to getting an accurate online quote.
The bottom line: if you’re going to shop for insurance online and you want a firm quote, be prepared for complete honesty and transparency.