April 11, 2011

What Car Insurance Companies Need To Know Before Insuring You

Car insurance companies collect very specific information about you before agreeing to insure you. Whether you are speaking to a car insurance customer service agent over the phone or getting quotes online, you will be asked for details that determine whether you pose a low or high financial risk to the car insurance company. The dollar amount of your car insurance premium will depend on a combination of factors.

When getting quotes online or calling a car insurance company by phone, you will want to have specific information within reach. Besides collecting your full name, gender, marital status, and date of birth, car insurance companies will want to know your zip code. This is important information because some cities and neighborhoods have a higher rate of crime, which poses a greater risk for car theft and vehicle damage.

You will also be asked to provide the year, make and model of your car. The value of the car impacts the amount of money that the car insurance company will have to pay in the event of damages. You will also be asked how many miles your car was driven in the last year and for what purpose you primarily use your car. You are generally asked to pick from the options of commuting to work or to school, business or commercial use or for pleasure use only.

The insurance company will determine your premium based on the number of miles you travel. The lower the number of miles, the lower your premium will usually be. However, if your annual mileage falls below 4,500 miles, you will often be asked to provide documentation.

One important set of questions that car insurance companies ask is regarding your driving record. They want to know if you have had any moving violations, usually in the last three years. If you have had any accidents in the last five years, you will have to indicate that. Any DUI/DWI convictions that have occurred in the last ten years are also relevant. If any violations have already been cleared from your driving record, you do not have to mention them.

Some car insurance companies will offer discounts if your vehicle is equipped with anti-theft devices, electronic recovery systems and airbags. Usually the online car insurance quote system will ask about the presence of these devices. Be sure to also ask car insurance customer service agents about applicable discounts.

When getting quotes online, you will be asked to indicate your email address. This is so that your car insurance quote can be emailed to you. When calling a car insurance company, you will generally be given the quote over the phone.