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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Shopping for car insurance might seem like a time-consuming, complex task. However, if you know what details and documents you need, getting accurate insurance quotes becomes simple.
We will walk you through everything you have to prepare before starting to look for auto insurance.
Nowadays, it’s easier to compare policies online than to make the effort of visiting each insurer’s headquarters. Shopping for car insurance online is not only more convenient, it also gives you the advantage of making an unrushed, smart decision.
Bear in mind that when you’re shopping for insurance policies online you should look for the most coverage possible.
If you only have the minimum liability coverage required by law, in case of an accident where you are at fault, your coverage can only cover the other party’s expenses and you will most likely have to pay for your own.
Compare car insurance rates to find the coverage you need at the most affordable price. Enter your zip code above to begin shopping.
Buying Car Insurance
When you are purchasing car insurance you need to have these documents on you:
You must have your driving license on you when you are purchasing insurance.
If you plan on adding a second person to the insurance who will also be driving the car, you will need their driver’s license as well.
Before offering you a policy, the car insurer can use the driving license to check your record. They will check for accidents or traffic violations. Drivers who have a clean driving history are likely to receive better rates.
In order to prove ownership of the vehicle, you must bring your vehicle registration forms with you.
The insurance company will also need to check your vehicle identification number (VIN) which you can find on a sticker on the windshield. Your car dealership can also inform you what your VIN is.
Existing Insurance Declaration Page
If you are shopping around for a better insurance rate you will need to present the new insurer with your current declaration page. This stands for proof of coverage and might earn you a better price.
Your future insurer might require information about your credit cards and checking accounts. A vast majority of vehicle insurance firms run credit checks on every customer before they provide a quote for better risk assessment.
The explanation behind this is that an individual’s financial history is an excellent indicator of insurance claims.
If you think you will purchase insurance on the spot, you will also need a voided check. This will be used for verifying your routing number and account information by the insurers who offer online bill pay or auto-pay options.
Drivers can save $859/yr* by comparing car insurance
*based on a survey of 1,000 car insurance customers
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Switching Insurance Coverages
Changing your coverage is not as time-consuming and complex as getting insurance for the first time. However, the process still requires some documents, according to the case:
Cancelling a Policy
If you decide to cancel your policy, your insurer will need to see the proof of replacement coverage. Bring your declaration page with you to show your former insurer the date when your new coverage starts.
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to cancel a policy until you already have a new one.
This rule means you have to synchronize the starting day of the new insurance with the last day of the old insurance.
Adding Another Car or Person to the Policy
To add a new person or vehicle to your coverage you will need to be prepared with the new driver’s license in original and copies, vehicle registration documents, and a declaration that proves compliance with the coverage.
Removing a Person
It’s not mandatory to drop a person from your insurance policy, but you can do so if you want.
For this, you will need to prove the person has new insurance by bringing with you a declaration page or a paper card offered by the insurer which lists effective dates and policy information.
Questions about the Vehicle
All car insurance companies will have a list of questions for you to answer. These range from the purpose you will be using your vehicle for to your marital status and current profession. Here are the most common questions:
- Will you use your car for business? If you plan to use your vehicle for commercial purposes, you will have to look for commercial auto insurance.
- Are you leasing the car? Drivers who want to insure their leased car will need to get liability coverage as well as collision and comprehensive insurance.
- How much will you drive each day? The more you drive, the higher are your chances of having an accident. Insurers will want to know your estimated mileage per day in order to ascertain if you pose a high risk to them.
- Do you have anti-theft and safety devices for your vehicle? Devices such as airbags and car alarms reduce the risk of injury and theft. Providing specific details about your vehicle’s equipment might help you obtain a lower rate.
- Do you have any tickets or traffic violations on your driving record? Your driving history shows insurance companies the level of risk they have to absorb if they decide to insure you. Most insurers will check your history for the last four to five years.
Why is car insurance mandatory?
Vehicle insurance for cars, trucks, and motorcycles dates back to 100 years ago.
After the First World War, cars quickly become widespread and more dangerous. However, there were no insurance policies anywhere in the world.
As a result, the vast majority of the injured victims, as well as the drivers who got into an accident, had to face all the expenses for the damage to their health or vehicle.
Things changed in 1930 when the UK introduced the Road Traffic Act that compelled all vehicle owners to get insurance. Nowadays, auto insurance is mandatory in all American states except New Hampshire and Virginia.
However, as an uninsured driver in one of these states, you still have to pay for liability and property damages if you cause an accident.
Compare car insurance rates today and find the company that’s right for you. Enter your zip code below to begin.