It’s easy to fudge the facts when you compare auto quotes. And it’s okay to do so if you’re only looking for ballpark quotes for car insurance. But when it comes time to actually sign on the dotted line and enter into a contract with an auto insurer, the very last thing you want to do is to tell a few white lies you figure they’ll never have a way of finding out. Because they can and they might.
One of the most frequently told lies—and one of the biggest mistakes that you could possibly make when buying car insurance—is the failure to report a licensed driver who lives in your home and who may use your car on occasion.
An awful lot of people, understanding that having a teenager in the house can send their rates sky high, often lie about this to prevent from having to dig deep on premiums. The only trouble is, if that unregistered teenager happens to get into an accident while driving your car, you could end up having to pay for the damages yourself if the insurance company refuses to cover you, or worse. Your insurer might even drop you altogether for purposefully lying on your contract.
In the end, paying a few dollars extra here and there just to keep things honest between you and your auto insurer is the best possible option. Anything else, and you’re taking unnecessary risks that could lead to financial disasters.
It’s not enough to pick an auto insurer on the strength of their online car insurance quotes. Sure, this is a great way to gauge whether or not you’re going to be able to afford insurance for that fancy SUV you just got for a steal. But when it comes to the point of saying “Yes, I’ll go with this company” you’ve got to look beyond just comparing auto insurance quotes. What you really need to look at is the financial strength of the insurer.
What does the financial strength of the insurance company you’re doing business with have to do with it? Everything. Picture this scenario: two days after someone decides to make your day by t-boning you in an intersection, your car insurance company files for bankruptcy. Talk about your bad timing – in this circumstance you’ll be lucky to get a payout on your claim. But a company doesn’t have to be going under to experience difficulty coming up with the money to pay out.
For this reason, never just base your decision on their online car insurance quotes. Always make sure that the company you’re thinking of doing business with has the financial standing to be able to fork over the funds if and when the time comes. You can do this by using the online services of A.M. Best, an organization that ranks the financial strength of insurance companies. If an insurer receives any of the following 3 ratings, you can consider them a safe bet.
• Superior – A++ or A+ rating.
• Excellent – A or A- rating.
• Good – B++ or B+ rating.
If the insurance company has a rating any lower than this, you might be putting yourself at risk for not getting coverage when you need it the most.
Your ability to compare auto quotes quickly and conveniently is determined in large part by your level of preparedness. If you’re the kind of person who’ll never have to worry about being labeled “over prepared,” then the information below is especially for you.
- Are you the only driver you’re insuring, or are there others in your family you’re looking to obtain coverage for? If that’s the case, you’ll need to have their name, date of birth, and information about their driving record.
- Year, make, and model of the vehicle or vehicles you want to insure, including the VIN number for each, the current odometer reading, and an estimate on how many miles a year they’re driven.
- Your driver’s license. Auto insurers like to know the people they insure are licensed to operate a moving vehicle.
- Whether your car is equipped with air bags, anti-lock brakes, and an anti-theft device. In a lot of cases, website comparison tools will pre-populate information that’s a given (like whether your make and model of vehicle came equipped with ABS by default) but it’s best to know all of this ahead of time, just in case.
- Information on your current auto insurer, as well as details on who’s financing your car.
Getting a quick car insurance quote is also dependent on your ability to process the information you’re being given. If you’re not familiar with car insurance terms, it might be a good idea to brush up on your insurance vocabulary before you compare auto quotes.