Auto Insurance Quote Online: Tips to Submit for Accuracy
Wait? Insurance quotes online aren’t accurate?
One of the most common opening lines I hear from clients after doing a car insurance quote on our website is “ Hi Brian, thanks for the quote, what information do you need from me to obtain an accurate insurance quote?”
My first reaction is, “why isn’t the quote accurate?” If the information submitted was correct, the online tool is extremely accurate.
However, clients are now accustomed to the price changing after they speak to an insurance broker. They assume it’s wrong without ever really knowing why and this can be very frustrating.
I am here to help with a few tips to produce the most accurate auto insurance quote. Below is a list of important items where the slightest detail could affect the rate.
Licence and Insured Dates
- This might be obvious to many, but someone licenced 5 years compared to someone licenced 8 years is rated differently. This also applies to “G1” and “G2” licence dates. I often see quotes come through with a 2015 “G” licence date, but when I run their driving history report, it was their G1 in 2015. Well this now changes the quote by about 2-3 years of licenced experience.
- What I see even more than inaccurate licence dates, are problems with insured dates. What’s that you may ask? Insured dates are a) how long you have had insurance continuously and b) how long you have had it with your current insurance company. These are important because insurance companies usually rate you on a 9-year driving record. So, if you put on the quote that you have had insurance for 15 years, but your driving history only shows 5 years, this ends up being many years unaccounted for and the insurance company can’t confirm if you have been claims free for anything longer than 5 years. In addition, all companies offer a “loyalty insurance discount” if you have been with your existing company for longer than 3 years. I often see quotes come through that have continuous insurance with their existing company since the day they obtained their licence. Example; licenced 2005, insured since 2005, and insured with existing company since 2005. If a you changed companies last year, the loyalty discount you received online would need to be removed.
Tickets and Accidents
- Not surprisingly, car acccidents and tickets affect your insurance rates. Not adding these to your online quote, or genuinely forgetting about the minor collision you had 6 years ago, will always affect the accuracy of an online car insurance quote. Furthermore, often the interpretation of the ticket/accident causes just as much confusion.
- For tickets: I often hear clients say, “Well I fought that in court and they reduced the fine” or “The officer said if I paid this right away it wouldn’t affect anything because its my first ticket”. In both of these scenarios, the offence of the ticket still happened, and will show on your driving record. This driving record is what the insurance company use to base it’s rates on.
- For accidents: The biggest mistake I see in terms of adding an accident to your quote profile is determining who was at fault. An at-fault accident plays a large factor in your insurance rates, where a not-at-fault accident has little to no impact. There are countless examples I come across where a client assumes they are not at fault, but after a driving record history check, its determined they are at fault, or partially at fault. How would you ever know if you are at fault or not without a history check? A couple basic rules that should help determining fault:
- Single vehicle accidents are usually at-fault (Weather can’t be used as an excuse for fault- you need to drive to the conditions). This includes such things as sliding on ice and hitting a snow bank/light post, damage where you hit a curb/post, or hitting a large pothole that causes damage.
- One myth I have heard multiple times recently, is that parking lot accidents aren’t rated for, because they did not happen on a road. Often the responding police officer may tell them this. The officer may be implying that there are no violations to warrant the issuance of a ticket according to the Highway Traffic Act. However, damage to your car in a parking lot, road or your driveway is considered a claim to the insurance company. Also see our article, “Who is at Fault for a Collision in a Parking Lot“?
Need help? No problem, give us a call and we can walk you through the process for the most accurate quote.