For accurate quotes, give accurate information

Written by Penny Gusner on May 3, 2013 & Posted in Auto Insurance

The No. 1 tip for saving money on car insurance is to shop around.

To get auto insurance quotes from various carriers, you'll need to provide certain personal information. If you get information incorrect or omit something during the quoting process, your rate quotes will all be wrong. This defeats the whole purpose of comparison shopping since you won't really know who is offering the cheapest car insurance quotes.

When comparison shopping for auto insurance, be ready with the following information. If you don't have it on hand, follow the instructions given on how to acquire it.

Driving record: You'll be asked how long you've been licensed and what violations and accidents you've had (for the last three, five or seven years depending upon the insurer).

Obtain a copy of your driving record from your Department of Motor Vehicles before shopping for car insurance so you can refer to it if needed. Auto insurers will pull your motor vehicle record to verify what you tell them, so get it right the first time.

Accidents: Car insurance companies want to know not only if you've had an accident, but many also ask the date of it, what claims were made and how much was paid out. To get complete information on claims resulting from an accident, you need to get a copy of your claims history.

One way to get it is to go online with LexisNexis Risk Solutions, provider of the C.L.U.E. report. You can obtain a free copy once every 12 months, and then you can reference it as you fill out auto insurance applications. Insurers will obtain a copy of their own to confirm the accident and claims information you provide.

Vehicle details: Know the exact model of your car so that the car insurance company can automatically pull its information and find you discounts for safety items such as airbags and anti-lock brakes. Often the vehicle identification number (VIN) can supply this information automatically.

Drivers: Car insurance companies want to know about all licensed household members. Don't leave out anyone or else not only will your quote be wrong, but if you buy a policy without identifying all drivers, there is the possibility your policy could be cancelled later for misrepresentation and claims could be denied.

If you forget something or give faulty information on an auto insurance application, then rates will have to be recalculated once the insurer finds out the correct information (which they will during the verification process). At that point, you may either owe an additional premium to keep your policy intact or an insurer may even find you too much of a risk to offer a policy, and you're back to square one.

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