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Ready to Start Shopping for a Policy? Get the Following Information Handy

Required Application Information

Ready to apply for auto insurance or find some competing quotes? Get the following information ready to go before filling out your application at sites like

  1. Names of all owners of the vehicle(s) and operators in your household. Some companies will also need the name of all members of your household who are old enough to drive. The price of your policy may be based on information on all licensed drivers as well as all potential drivers.
  2. Physical address. Rates vary based on where you drive. A resident of a small, remote community is less likely to be involved in an accident than a resident of a large, urban community where there are many more miles of road and many more vehicles on the road.
  3. Age, Gender and Marital Status. Insurance rates are based on statistics that each company has compiled. For example, if statistics indicate that single men under the age of 25 have been found at fault in more accidents, the company will charge a higher rate for customers who fall in that category because, as a group, they will increase the need for funds to cover the expense of claims.
  4. Your Driving History and License Status. Insurance carriers will need to know how long each person has been driving, any involvement in accidents, any moving violations, any suspensions and/or revocations of license, and if there is a need for a Financial Responsibility Filing (SR-22). Although the company will request a copy of your driving record if you apply for a policy, disclosing as much information as possible will make it more likely that your estimated price will match your actual price.
  5. Year, Make and Model of Your Vehicle(s). Rates for vehicles are also based on statistics compiled by the insurance industry. These statistics include information such as the frequency of theft and accident claims, the cost to repair a vehicle, the size and type of vehicle, and their safety performance and history. If you have the serial number, or vehicle identification number (VIN), for your vehicle, the quote you receive will be more accurate than one based solely on year, make, and model. The VIN can indicate features such as the engine size, presence of anti-lock brakes, and whether your vehicle has four wheel drive.
  6. Estimated Vehicle Usage. Rates may vary based on whether your vehicle is used only for pleasure, used to drive back and forth to work, or used in the course of your business. Each type of usage is defined in the policy and the terms used to describe usage may vary from company to company. Usage may also include the number of miles of your daily commute or an estimate of your annual mileage. Because terminology differs between companies, it is better to describe the use of your vehicle and allow the person providing your quote to decide which term best fits your description.
  7. Prior or Current Insurance Policy Information. If you currently have an automobile insurance policy or have had a policy in the past, you will need to provide the name of the company, the dates you were insured, and the liability coverage limits you carried. Some companies will offer you a better price if you have carried liability limits higher than the minimum required limits. If you have not owned a vehicle, were not legally required to carry insurance, lack of prior insurance coverage may not be considered as a factor in rating your policy.
  8. Employment and Homeowner Status. You may be asked for information related to the length of your employment in your current job or occupation and whether you own or rent your home. While insurance companies are looking for financial stability, this information may also open the door to discounts based on your status as a homeowner or due to special discounts for your specific occupation.
  9. Credit Information. You may be asked to provide information regarding any bankruptcy, judgments, or credit problems. The insurance company may also ask your permission to obtain a credit report or will disclose to you that an insurance score will be used to complete the premium quote. Your insurance score is similar to a credit score that insurers will look at before pricing your policy, and is based in whole or in part on your credit history. To obtain your credit history, the insurance companies may ask you to supply your date of birth, social security number, and current or prior address. Details of your credit report are usually not provided to the company, but a credit score, insurance score, or rating is assigned to you based on information contained in your credit report.