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An insurance quote is the estimated cost of a policy based on the information you provide to the insurer and the coverage you select. You typically receive an insurance quote when you're shopping around for new coverage. Quotes contain information that is helpful to use when comparing policies, so it's important to request several so you can make an informed decision.
What Does an Insurance Quote Include?
An insurance quote will tell you how much a potential policy will likely cost. It also includes other pertinent information about the policy and the items being insured.
You can use the information on your insurance quote to compare it to other policy quotes for the same or similar coverage and see which policy offers the best price. It's also a good time to double-check that all the information about your home, your car and yourself is listed correctly.
Different types of policies will include different types of information. Home, auto, life and health insurance quotes may contain some of the following details.
Besides the financial quote, your home insurance may break down your coverage into individual limits. For example:
- Personal liability
- Medical payments
- Living expenses/loss of use
It may also document the estimated value of:
- The home
- Other structures on the property
- Personal property
Along with the policy coverage amount, your auto insurance quote will contain the following information:
- Personal information identifying all drivers on the policy
- A description of each vehicle on the policy
- Coverage categories and limits, such as:
- Bodily injury coverage
- Property damage coverage
- Towing and roadside information
- Rental car reimbursement coverage
- Uninsured motorist coverage
- Personal injury protection coverage
- Coverage for driving out of the country
Life insurance quotes typically include the policy coverage limit and term limits if the policy is term life insurance.
Health insurance quotes explain which kind of plan you've been quoted on, such as an HMO or PPO, and the costs you would be responsible for such as:
- Monthly premiums
- Maximum out-of-pocket cost
Your quote should come with plan details and what coverage is offered. It may also tell you if you qualify for a tax credit and how much if so.
How to Get an Insurance Quote
There are a few ways to get insurance quotes. First, you can go directly to one insurer and request one, usually online or by phone.
You can also use a site that aggregates quotes from multiple insurers so you can compare. For example, Experian's auto insurance comparison tool allows you to compare your current plan to policies provided by over 40 providers. Get quotes for apples-to-apples coverage so you'll know if you've already got the best deal.
Lastly, you could work with an insurance broker or agent to get quotes. Brokers tend to be independent and have the freedom to offer you quotes from a wider range of companies. Agents may work for one or two companies from which they can provide quotes. Both can help you find the right amount of coverage for your needs and budget.
Information Needed for an Insurance Quote
When applying for an insurance quote, you'll need to provide some personal information including your:
- ZIP code
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Contact information
You'll also need to provide information specific to the insurance for which you are applying. For example:
- Tobacco use for health insurance
- Weight, height and amount of remaining mortgage for life insurance
- Vehicle make, model and mileage for auto insurance
- Home address, size and year built for home insurance as well as information about pets, fencing, home materials, acreage and more
When getting quotes, you'll be asked to provide a lot of personal information. Make sure to practice safe internet behaviors that protect your identity.
What to Know Before Selecting an Insurance Policy
Before selecting an insurance policy make sure you understand the stipulations of the policy and the provider. Some of the key factors to consider before selecting an insurance policy include:
- Coverage amounts: The amount of coverage the policy carries. This may be divided into subcategories, so make sure the total amount is adequately divided over the subcategories for your needs. For example, a bodily injury policy with a coverage amount of $300,000 may only offer $100,000 per injured victim.
- Legal requirements: There are some policy requirements stipulated legally, such as that mortgage lenders require minimum coverage that equals the amount of your loan.
- Insurer reviews: Make sure to check the reviews on your potential insurer. Just because they offer the lowest-cost policy does not mean they are the best option. Make sure your agent has positive reviews before signing up with them.
- Claim process: Try to familiarize yourself with your insurer's claim process before signing on with them. Will you need to contact the company or can your agent assist you? Knowing ahead of needing to file a claim can make the process smoother.
Get the Best Quotes With a Good Credit-Based Insurance Score
Before shopping for new insurance, try to improve your credit score to help ensure you get the best deal. Many insurance companies will use your credit-based insurance score to come up with a quote for you.
Credit-based insurance scores are different from your regular credit scores, but are still based on your credit history. Behaviors that can help your insurance score—just like your regular credit score—include:
- Making on-time payments
- Maintaining low balances
- Having a well-established credit history
With a higher insurance score, you may get quoted better insurance rates. Start improving your credit today to get the best rates when you request your free credit report and credit score from Experian.