So, you’ve bought a new car. Keys in hand, you’re ready to hit the open road with your new wheels. But wait: you’ve forgotten to purchase car insurance, and you don’t know where to start!

Car insurance can feel like a complicated subject, one that most Americans find themselves dealing with at some point in their lives. When you first start shopping for car insurance coverage, you may be full of questions: why do auto insurance quotes vary from driver to driver and company to company? How do insurance companies decide how much to charge? And what are the best methods to find free car insurance quotes

Read on to answer all these questions and more in our comprehensive guide to free car insurance quotes

And if you’d prefer to skip straight to a personalized, customized selection of dozens of free car insurance quotes and discounts––curated by Insurify in just minutes using cutting-edge AI technology…well, you can do that, too.

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Table of Contents

 

What are car insurance quotes?

A car insurance quote is an estimate created by an insurance company of your auto insurance policy’s cost. Insurance companies use many different factors––including age, gender, location, and driving history––to determine your quote. 

Because each insurance company uses a unique method to calculate your quote, car insurance quotes can vary from company to company. That’s why it’s so important to save money by shopping around and comparing quotes from many different companies, a process made easy with online quote comparison sites like Insurify

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Types of Car Insurance Coverage

The more car insurance coverage you want or need, the higher the price of your policy. Every state except New Hampshire mandates that drivers own some form of car insurance (and even New Hampshire requires proof of financial responsibility from drivers).

But car insurance policies can provide many different coverage levels––from the bare-bones state minimum coverage to a comprehensive package of insurance products often known as full coverage insurance. Full coverage insurance varies from provider to provider, but it usually includes the three following insurance types: liability insurance, collision insurance, and comprehensive insurance. 

Category Covers Doesn’t Cover
Liability Coverage Bodily injury or property damage if you are at fault or if the person at fault is an uninsured motorist or an underinsured motorist. Your medical payments or damage to your car or property should you be at fault.
Collision Coverage Damage to objects (not animals or people) and vehicles due to a collision regardless of fault. Hit-and-run accidents. Doesn’t cover damage due to “Acts of God.” (See Comprehensive)
Comprehensive Coverage “Acts of God”: events out of a person’s control: for example, fire, floods, or vandalism. Doesn’t cover medical costs or vehicle damage due to a collision.

Because comprehensive and collision insurance cover more circumstances than a simple liability plan, adding them to your car insurance will likely mean your auto insurance rates go up. The table below shows how the average monthly cost of your car insurance changes depending on what level of coverage you select.

Remember: liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance are only the most basic forms of coverage type. There’s also personal injury protection, roadside assistance, gap insurance, uninsured motorist coverage, and many other insurance options. 

Average Monthly Car Insurance Cost by Coverage Type

Premiums and Deductibles

When shopping for free car insurance quotes, you’ll see the terms “premium” and “deductible” tossed around. 

  • A premium is the amount of money you pay to your insurer in return for coverage. Premiums are typically paid in monthly installments but can also be paid in total upfront (some companies may even provide a discount for doing so). Even if you never have an accident or use your insurance, you’ll still need to pay your premium.
  • A deductible is the amount of money you will pay out-of-pocket if you have an accident and your insurance steps in. For example, if Susie has a $500 deductible and gets into a fender bender that ends up costing $2,000 in repairs, Susie will pay the first $500––her deductible––and her insurer will cover the rest. You pay your deductible only if you end up using your insurance coverage. 

What goes into determining car insurance quotes?

Insurance companies use many different factors to determine the cost of an individual driver’s auto insurance coverage. Below are some of the most common factors.

  • Age: On average, young drivers are less experienced behind the wheel and pay more than older drivers. Teen drivers pay an especially high amount on average for car insurance.
  • Gender: On average, young men tend to drive more recklessly and therefore pay more than young women.
  • Car Type: What car model you drive impacts your insurance rates. A luxury or sports car driver will face higher premiums for their ride.
  • Location: For various reasons, certain states have higher average car insurance rates, and urban drivers usually pay more than rural ones.
  • Credit Score: In many states, a low credit score will increase your auto premiums.
  • Education: Students are considered lower-risk and are often offered discounts or lowered rates.
  • Marital Status: Married people and homeowners often get special discounts and pay slightly lower rates on average than singles and renters.
  • Mileage: If you spend lots of time on the road (if you drive for Lyft or Uber, for example), you’re statistically more likely to get into an accident, so your premiums will be higher.

Of course, the most critical component in the price of your car insurance is your driving record. Accidents, moving violations, and DUIs all cause car insurance companies to raise your rates substantially. Good drivers with a clean driving history stretching back several years pay much lower premiums. 

That’s because auto insurance companies consider drivers with a history of accidents to be much more likely to get into a future scrape, creating pesky insurance claims that the insurance company must then pay out.

Free Car Insurance Quotes Calculator

For a lightning-speed look at how much your car insurance may cost, check out Insurify’s handy quotes calculator below. 

Keep in mind that this calculator lacks some of the personalization and customization of a full quote comparison experience. To get a more detailed quote list, you can compare free quotes and score potential auto insurance discounts with Insurify.

Insurify's Quick Quote Calculator Select all that apply to you and compare rates between coverage packages

State Minimum Protection

/month
Body Injury
Property damage
Collison
Comprehensive

Standard Protection

/month
Body Injury
Property damage
Collison
Comprehensive

Asset Protection

/month
Body Injury
Property damage
Collison
Comprehensive

Premium Protection

/month
Body Injury
Property damage
Collison
Comprehensive

* Estimate based on a market average of rates provided to other users in ZIP code 90011 with a clean driving record, and matching your selected criteria: married, under 25 years old, have no kids who drive, own your car worth less than $5k, and rent your home.

Free Car Insurance Quotes by State

Due to different regulations and driving conditions, car insurance costs can vary widely from state to state.  

The least expensive state to insure your car is the sunny isle of Hawaii, with an average monthly premium of $107.

The most expensive state to insure your car is The Wolverine State, Michigan, with an average monthly premium of $479––over four times that of Hawaii. (Though we have reason to believe drivers should be seeing more affordable car insurance quotes in 2020.)

Check out average monthly car insurance rates in your state using our interactive map below. 

Average Monthly Car Insurance Cost by State

Free Car Insurance Quotes by City

Another factor in the cost of your car insurance is whether you’re a city dweller. City drivers are more likely to get into accidents or deal with theft or vandalism, so their average insurance quotes are generally higher. 

Average Monthly Car Insurance Cost by City

Free Car Insurance Quotes by Credit Score

Though three states––Hawaii, Massachusetts, and California––have banned the practice, many insurance companies use a driver’s credit score to determine their car insurance. 

But if you’re a driver with lower-than-average credit, there are options available to you. Certain insurance companies, known as no-check insurers, will provide insurance quotes for drivers without examining their credit scores. And if you’ve recently raised your credit score, congratulations! You may now be eligible for lower premiums. 

Average Monthly Car Insurance Cost by Credit Score

How do I get free car insurance quotes?

You now know a bit more about car insurance quotes and how their cost can vary from driver to driver. But what’s the best way to find free car insurance quotes for you?

Getting car insurance in person

The most traditional method of getting an insurance quote is to speak to an insurance agent in person. 

There are two primary types of insurance agents: captive agents, who work for one specific insurance company, like GEICO or Progressive, and independent insurance agents or brokers, who work with multiple insurers

While captive agents may know their specific insurance company exceptionally well, they also have a strong incentive to push their company’s product, even if it’s not the best match for you. 

Independent insurance agents and brokers are less specialized, but they can offer a broader range of policies. (Brokers, unlike agents, charge a broker’s fee, and they must disclose their sales commission rates to potential clients.)  

But regardless of whether you use a captive agent, independent agent, or independent broker, buying a plan in person will typically offer you fewer options and choices than are available online. Some customers may also not be comfortable with the potential risks of buying their insurance in person during the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

Getting car insurance over the phone

Most insurance companies offer customers the ability to call a phone hotline, where they can speak to an agent, receive a free quote, and finalize a new policy. Getting a quote over the phone may be the right choice for you if:

  • You live in a remote area where internet is unreliable or unavailable.
  • You’re more comfortable using a phone than a computer.
  • You already have a specific insurance company in mind for your policy but can’t or don’t want to meet with an agent in person.

While getting a free car insurance quote over the phone is the right choice for some, it provides a much narrower range of options than an online quote comparison site like Insurify. You might miss out on an exceptionally affordable policy or a specialized discount. 

Also, many hotlines feature long hold times and are only active during business hours, so the process might take more time than you initially expected. 

Getting car insurance online

One of the newer and most promising ways to compare free car insurance quotes is over the internet. Not only can you shop for insurance at any time of day or night from the comfort and security of your own home, but online quote comparison services often offer the widest range of discounts and quotes. If you dislike speaking on the phone, cutting-edge quote comparison site Insurify provides an end-to-end digital experience––no annoying hold times or chatting on the phone required.  

There are some dangers, however. Many sites that advertise themselves as providing real-time insurance quote comparisons are, in fact, “lead-generation sites.” Instead of providing you with real-time personalized quotes from various insurers, lead-generation sites sell your personal information to external agencies. 

This can lead to an avalanche of annoying emails and phone calls. That’s why it’s so important to go with a trusted quote comparison site like Insurify, one which not only protects your data privacy but also provides you with the broadest possible range of discounts and quotes.  

What information do I need to provide to get my free car insurance quote?

The information you need to provide to get your free car insurance quote will vary depending upon what company or service you use. However, some of the information you typically need to provide to receive an accurate quote is:

  • Your name, address, and date of birth.
  • Your current car insurance company if you have one.
  • Your current job or occupation.
  • Driver’s license numbers and driving history for you and anyone else on your policy, including speeding tickets, traffic citations, and prior accidents.
  • Current and annual mileage on your car.
  • The level of coverage you’re looking for, ranging from the state minimum to a pull-out-all-the-stops “full coverage” policy.

How do I decide which car insurance quote to choose?

Once you’ve compared a wide range of car insurance quotes, deciding with policy to pick ultimately can be a difficult choice. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you choose:

  • Does this plan provide an adequate level of coverage for my family and me? 

It’s important to choose an affordable and comprehensive plan to protect you financially if misfortune strikes. No one expects to get into a car accident, be vandalized, or experience a freak weather incident, so it’s easy to simply go for the minimum, bare-bones level of coverage. But such unlikely events do occur, and a slightly-more-expensive plan that keeps you covered if they do strike may be a wise choice.

  • Are both the premium and deductible for this plan financially affordable? 

Owning or leasing a car can involve many hits to your wallet, from expected monthly bills to unexpected repair costs. You may want the most comprehensive full-coverage plan, but it’s crucial to make sure that you can afford both your monthly premiums and the potential cost of your deductible in the event of an accident.  

  • Do I have a rapport with this insurance company? 

Customer service is a sometimes neglected facet of picking a new car insurance policy. But you don’t want to spend the stressful hours and days after an accident dealing with a cold, uncommunicative insurance provider. Before signing off on a plan, take the time to read reviews and feedback from other customers to ensure your insurance company will be a help, not a headache. 

Before you sign on to a new policy, make sure you’ve canceled your policy with your current insurance provider. This process varies from company to company but may require you to speak to insurance agents on the phone or physically mail in a cancellation letter to company headquarters. 

Conclusion: The best way to compare cheap car insurance quotes

If you’re on the hunt for free auto insurance quotes and affordable car insurance, leading quote comparison site Insurify can provide you with dozens of claims from the nation’s top insurance companies in just minutes. With an average customer rating of 4.8/5 from over 2,900 reviews, Insurify can help customers save an average of $585 per year on their car insurance. Get a quote today with Insurify

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FAQs: Free Car Insurance Quotes

What is a car insurance premium?

A premium is the amount of money you pay to your insurer in return for insurance coverage. Premiums are typically paid in monthly installments, but can also be paid in total upfront (and some companies may even give you a discount for doing so). Even if you never have an accident or use your insurance for any reason, you still need to pay your premium.

What is a car insurance deductible?

A deductible is the amount of money you will pay out-of-pocket if you have an accident or other misfortune, and your insurance steps in. For example, if Susie has a $500 deductible and gets into a fender bender that ends up costing $2000 in repairs, Susie will pay the first $500––her deductible––and her insurer will cover the rest. You won’t necessarily have to pay your deductible; you’ll pay it only if you end up using your insurance coverage.

What personal information do I need to give to get a free car insurance quote?

Different websites and companies have different information they ask for to provide you with a free car insurance quote. You’ll often be asked for your age, location, marital status, education level, driving record, and the year and model of car you drive.

Should I look for free car insurance quotes online, in person, or over the phone?

There are benefits and drawbacks to all three methods. For the quickest and most comprehensive quote comparison experience with the broadest range of coverage options, your best bet is a reputable online quote comparison site like Insurify, which never sells your data to scammers.

Updated October 28, 2020

Isabella is from Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated from Columbia University in 2020 with a double major in English and Creative Writing. Though writing is her first passion, she also loves hiking, biking, hang gliding, white water rafting, skydiving, extreme eating, and the occasional swim with sharks.