Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: May 26, 2021

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In a nutshell...

Auto insurance is just one of those things that you’ll have to buy when you own a car.

If you’re in the majority of consumers in America, you rely on your car to get you to and from work, the store, and school.

One of the largest expenses you’ll have to cover when you own a car is the insurance expense.

While premiums can be high, consumers are free to shop around for competitively priced policies. Enter your zip code above for FREE car insurance quotes today!

The Major Requirements to Get Insurance

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Auto insurance policies are technically indemnity contracts. When you enter into an indemnity contract, the Indemnitor agrees to pay for the damages caused by the indemnitee.

Like all contracts, you have to meet certain guidelines before you can enter the contract and buy a policy. In contractual terms, you have to have an insurable interest in the property to insure it.

There are specialty policies available in the substandard market that don’t have this requirement, but they only offer limited protection.

If you don’t hold the title to the car you drive it doesn’t mean that you can’t insure it.

You still have an insurable interest in cars that you’re financing or leasing, as long as you’re a party in the finance contract.

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What’s the difference between a quote and an application?

Some believe that auto insurance quotes and applications are the same things, but they are actually two different things issued at different stages in the process of buying insurance.

When you get a no-obligation quote, you’re simply getting a quick estimate to price how much you’ll pay for coverage.

After you choose a quote, you’re expected to fill in details about your driving history and habits so that you can submit your application for coverage.

After the carrier receives your application, it will be underwritten and then issued with a final premium.

What information do you need to get auto insurance quotes?

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You don’t need a whole lot of detailed information to get an insurance quote.

In fact, with new technologies, you can get insurance quotes in a matter of minutes online with just basic driver and vehicle information.

You should have basic information on standby so that you can get through the process quickly.

Here are some of the things you’ll need to provide:

  • Drivers in the home
  • Vehicle assignments for each driver
  • Vehicle year, make, and model
  • Annual mileage for each car
  • How vehicle is driven daily
  • Whether or not you have claims in the last three years
  • Address where vehicle is kept
  • Credit rating
  • Coverage on each vehicle
  • Discounts you may be eligible for

You should have basic information on standby so that you can get through the process quickly.

What happens when you’re ready to proceed with a quote?

The only way that you can tell which carrier has the best rates for drivers with your risk factors is to get quotes.

These quotes are only as accurate as the information that you provide and the rates you’re given aren’t guaranteed.

When you want to proceed with a product, you complete your application and then that information is reviewed and verified by an underwriter.

Underwriters will run several different reports to ensure that the company really knows what type of risk is being taken on.

They run motor vehicle reports, claims history reports, and credit-based reports to decide on a final rate.

After underwriting, the policy is issued and you’ll get paperwork with your final rate.

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What type of information do you need to complete your application?

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Most of the information that’s provided in your quote is used to complete your application.

The agent may need a bit more detailed information if you didn’t have it while you were soliciting quotes.

Here’s the paperwork that you need to have to find every piece of information that’s requested:

  • Your registration or title
  • Lender information to put a loss payee clause on your policy
  • Driver license number, issue date, and prior license numbers from other states
  • Number of miles of your commute
  • Payment installment method
  • Proof of discounts
  • A payment for the first installment

If you want to shop for insurance, make sure you are prepared. Being disorganized and unprepared only delays the process and inhibits your ability to save money.

Enter the information that the company needs to classify you, and then get your papers ready to apply for insurance. Enter your zip code below for FREE car insurance quotes today!