These days, you can do virtually anything online, like: read the newspaper, find a date for Saturday night, pay your bills, or even get a rate quote for your car insurance. As with any of these, ease and efficiency are their primary selling points. That is, of course, unless something in the digital world gets misrepresented and there’s no human around to answer exactly why that is.
Customers often times express confusion about why the auto insurance rates they’re quoted online can then increase or decrease when they call and speak to an insurance agent. To answer that question, it’s first helpful to understand how these online systems figure their quotes.
How Online Car Insurance Quote Generators Work
When you visit a website like AIS to investigate car insurance, a survey asks a number of general questions before calculating a basic quote for you. The rate is based on information such as your zip code, gender, years of driving experience, vehicle type, marital status, number of drivers on the policy and incidents of record. These are the basic factors that a quote generator relies on to spit out figures.
To make the process quick and simple for the customer, however, the generator makes certain assumptions on the back end that will eventually get further clarified when you go to enact the policy with an insurance agent. For instance, it uses the industry average for annual mileage driven as a starting point for its calculation. If you, however, commute 85 miles to and from work each day, this will likely affect your policy rate. (At AIS, this is why our quote generator provides you with a range of our auto insurance partners’ rates with four levels of coverage.)
How Auto Insurance Quotes Get Refined
When speaking with an agent, quotes can change for a number of reasons. In California, a rate might get reduced once an agent adds qualifying discounts like membership to an alumni association or multi-vehicle policy savings, for example. Or, a rate might increase if the customer has more activity on his or her driving record than originally input online. In other states, a customer’s credit can also be a factor. (Within California, credit does not affect auto insurance rates and can only be used for a few limited things, like determining payment plans. AIS will never have access to your credit history.)
No matter where you live, an insurance representative will be able to spend time with you, asking the appropriate questions that lead to a refined quote. In some states, auto insurance companies are even required to file exactly how they calculate customer rates—and insurers cannot deviate from the calculations on record. Again, this is true for California. For information about filings and required state approvals where you live, contact your state’s Department of Insurance.
In the meantime, while auto insurance quotes you receive online are subject to change, inputting your information as accurately as possible into a quote generator is a great place to start. It’ll save you time when you finally do get on the phone with an insurance agent.
Another wonderful asset of online quotes is the ability to compare rates from various, competing insurance companies—all within minutes. See what we mean and get to shopping right now; simply enter your zip code here and you’ll be on your way.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.
Photo credit: Got Credit