Auto Insurance FAQs

General Car Insurance Information

What are some tips for buying car insurance?

Tip #1: Shop early. The best time to shop for a new car insurance policy is before your current policy expires, when a new driver is coming on board, or when you purchase a new vehicle. You can typically get a discount if shopping before your current policy expires.

Tip #2: Be prepared. Before you get started, have your old/current car insurance policy, driver’s license and VIN number on hand.

Tip #3: Ask questions.

  • What should I modify or change to get a better price?
  • Do I have enough coverage to protect me and my family?
  • What additional coverages are available?
  • What discounts are available for multiple cars and drivers?
  • Do I qualify for any discounts if I bundle my home and auto insurance?
  • How do I qualify for discounts?
  • What accident forgiveness options are available?

We will ask you a series of questions before instantly comparing rates from some of the most trusted insurance carriers to find the best policy for your needs.

Tip #4: Let us do the comparing. Don’t get hung up on comparing your rates to your neighbor’s. Factors like your vehicle’s year, make and model, as well as your personal insurance score are taken into account when coming to a price. We can help you find the best car insurance for you, ensuring you and your loved ones are protected in the case of an accident.

What insurance do you need for a motorcycle?

While things like safety apparel and motorcycle insurance are probably the least exciting aspects of owning a new motorcycle, it is still important to ensure that you and your ride are protected. Most states require motorcycle owners to buy liability insurance, which pays out for others’ injuries or damages if you cause an accident. Motorcycle insurance is pretty similar to auto insurance, also including comprehensive and collision insurance for you, your passengers and your bike.

Should your teen driver have their own auto insurance policy?

In short, it’s up to you. Adding them to your existing policy could increase your rates, but you might end up qualifying for discounts if your teen has good grades. In most cases, having your teenager on your policy is the most cost-effective route.

Do good grades matter for teen drivers?

Many larger auto insurance companies offer a “good student” discount for young drivers. You typically qualify if you can keep your GPA at 3.0 or higher. Discounts may not be available in every state and age qualifications may vary.

How does car insurance work?

Car insurance is an agreement between you and an insurance company that covers your car, damages caused if you hit another vehicle and other events that tie back to your car. When you buy car insurance, you’re buying “coverage” which is essentially what your insurer agrees to pay for if something should happen. Choosing the right car insurance can be a complex process and one size does not fit all, but we save customers an average of $510 per year on auto and home insurance.* We can help you compare coverage and rates in just minutes, finding the most affordable plan available to protect you, your car and those who travel with you.

How do you choose the right car insurance policy?

Car insurance is required in most states, but many people end up choosing an insurer quickly after purchasing their vehicle and without looking at the details of the policy. This could be leaving money on the table, but by working with SelectQuote, we can help you compare many of the most trusted insurance carriers in just minutes, making sure you’re truly getting the most out of your policy.

How much car insurance is required in your state?

Car insurance varies by state, but it’s also required in most. Without it, the financial consequences of an accident can be devastating. Let us help you figure out if you have the required amount of insurance to protect you and your family.

How much car insurance is enough?

While most states require some level of car insurance, it’s good to double check that the minimum is enough. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and you want to know that you, your family and your assets are protected. We can help you determine how much insurance you need based on your situation and then help you find the best policy for you at a price that fits your budget.

Do you need insurance to rent a car?

It’s important to know that you and the car you’re in are protected in the case of an accident, whether it’s yours or a rental. The limits and deductibles on your regular car insurance policy typically apply to a rental car, so long as you drive it for personal use. If it’s a commercial or business rental, your personal car insurance coverage may not apply. Be sure to check your car insurance policy or call your insurance company to find out which coverages extend to your rental car.

What other products does SelectQuote provide insurance for?

At SelectQuote, we have you covered for any of your home and auto insurance needs. We can even help you find insurance for RVs, motorcycles, ATVs and boats.

Auto Insurance Costs & Discounts

How much is car insurance?

The cost of car insurance depends on a number of things. Rates can be based on your zip code, driving record, age, marital status, credit score, choice of ride, how much coverage you decide to buy and more. Oftentimes it’s hard to get a true estimate, but at SelectQuote, we can do it for you in just minutes. Let us help you find the amount of coverage you need at a price that fits your budget.

How do I lower the cost of my car insurance premium?

Here are some tips on how you may be able to lower your car insurance rates:

  • Car Safety and Security Features – Driving a car that has built-in safety features such as airbags and antilock brakes, and security features like anti-theft and engine cut-off systems, may qualify you for lower car insurance premiums. These vehicles are statistically less likely to be in an accident or stolen than those that don’t have these features.
  • Higher Deductibles – The higher your deductible—the amount of money you will pay out-of-pocket in the event of a claim—the lower your premium generally is. Typically, deductibles range from $0 to $1,500.
  • Safe Driving Course – Some auto insurance companies offer discounts for drivers who successfully complete a safe driving course at an accredited institution. Typically, these courses are taken by teenage drivers and seniors, but any driver may benefit from them.
  • Garage Parking – Many insurance companies offer discounts to people who park their cars inside a garage, rather than out on the street or in a driveway. Statistics show that vehicles in garages are less likely to be stolen or in accidents.
  • Compare Quotes – Be sure to get several auto insurance quotes when shopping around, then compare them side-by-side to pick the one that’s best for your situation.
  • Bundle – If you buy more than one policy from the same insurer, which is often referred to as bundling, you may qualify for a multi-policy discount.
  • Good Grades – If your full-time student is earning good grades, they may qualify for a lower car insurance rate. Students typically must be under age 25 and unmarried. Your agent can tell you about other potential ways to save if a young driver is on your policy.

How can I save money on car insurance?

There are many ways to save money on car insurance but the first is to shop around for the best price. It may seem obvious, but there are many drivers who only look at one or two quotes before making a decision. We can help you compare rates from many of the industry’s most trusted insurance carriers in just minutes, finding the best coverage for your situation.

Other opportunities to save include bundling—or insuring multiple vehicles under the same policy, increasing your deductible, reducing (or removing) optional coverages, listing your vehicle’s safety features or consider usage-based insurance. Learn more about car insurance discounts.

What is telematics?

Many large insurers have discounts for driving behavior tracking similar to those young driver training apps. Known as telematics, you can often receive a small discount for joining the program/downloading the app, then a larger discount is often applied once your driving has been analyzed. Here are major insurers with a telematics system.

  • American Family: KnowYourDrive
  • Esurance: DriveSense
  • Farmers: Signal
  • Liberty Mutual: RightTrack
  • Progressive: Snapshot
  • State Farm: Drive Safe & Save
  • Travelers: IntelliDrive

Auto Insurance Coverage

What does car insurance cover?

It depends on your state, your insurance company and the coverage you choose. Since bodily injury and property damage liability insurance is required in most states, at a minimum, your policy should cover vehicle and property damage, injury-related expenses and legal fees for other people involved in an accident you cause, up to the state-mandated policy limits.

You and your car, however, are not automatically protected by the minimum coverage requirements. To get the most complete protection for your individual needs, let us help you find the best coverage for your situation at a price that fits your budget.

Does car insurance cover theft?

Comprehensive coverage will usually cover theft of a vehicle, as well as repair costs from break-in damages. Liability insurance likely won’t cover theft, as it usually protects against bodily injury and property damage resulting from an accident.

Does car insurance cover the car or the driver?

Your car insurance coverage typically applies to any driver listed on your policy, which is why it’s important to list all drivers in your household on your policy. Your policy may offer some protection for licensed drivers not listed on your policy who you occasionally let drive your car, such as:

  • Extended family (grandparent(s), parent(s), aunt/uncle(s), niece/nephew(s))
  • Friends (sharing shifts on a road trip, borrowing while their car is broken down, etc.)
  • Boyfriend/girlfriend (who doesn’t live with you)

What is comprehensive car insurance?

Comprehensive car insurance can help pay for covered losses if your car is stolen or damaged by something other than a collision. This could include:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Vandalism
  • Severe weather events (windstorm, hail, flood, etc.)
  • Animal impact

The maximum comprehensive coverage payout is the actual cash value of your vehicle minus the deductible amount you choose. Comprehensive coverage limits and deductibles may vary by state, and is generally required if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle. Otherwise, coverage and limits are optional.

Does car insurance cover repairs?

Car insurance does not cover regular repairs, but it does cover repairs you need to make as a result of an accident, vandalism or some kinds of bad weather. If you’re worried about how you’d be able to afford those types of repairs, look into adding collision and comprehensive insurance to your auto insurance policy.

Does car insurance cover vandalism?

Only comprehensive insurance covers vandalism and it covers any damage that happens to your car that wasn’t the result of a collision. In addition to vandalism, comprehensive insurance can cover instances like flooding, hail, fire and theft.

Car Insurance Claims and Deductibles

How do you file a car insurance claim?

Whether it’s a fender-bender or major mashup, the idea of dealing with insurance adjusters and claim forms can be nearly as stressful as an accident itself. Take these steps before and after a collision and to handle the experience with as little worry as possible.

Keep the following in your car and/or on your phone:

  • Registration, auto insurance policy number and agent contact info
  • Roadside assistance information
  • Medical information for you and your family members

Following an accident, use your phone’s camera to take photos of all cars and collect the information you need for calling your agent and making a claim:

  • Name and contact information of all parties
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • License plate numbers and registration for other cars
  • Make and model of all involved vehicles
  • Location where accident occurred as well as time of day, weather and road conditions

Once you exchange information, file a police report, and leave the accident site, it’s time to contact your insurance agent. Your policy may require prompt reporting and your memory of what occurred will be clear the sooner you place a call. Be prepared to tell your agent:

  • Which vehicle covered under the policy was involved in the accident
  • Who was driving and where/when the accident occured
  • A general description of what happened and the severity of damage to all vehicles
  • The name and insurance company information for the other driver
  • Any witness names

Your agent will also want a police report number. If a report was not done at the scene, you can still get one at the local police station. Stick to facts and provide any photos you can. You may be required to take your car to a certified repair shop for inspection. The adjuster will then consider and evaluate your claim and decide what compensation, if any, you should receive.

How does car insurance deductible work?

A deductible is the amount of money you must pay out of your own pocket before your car insurance kicks in. Deductibles only apply to certain coverages, such as comprehensive and collision coverages, and typically range from $100-$1,000. Generally speaking, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. To keep monthly premiums low, drivers often opt for higher deductibles, but it’s important to choose a deductible you can afford in the event of a loss.

We do the shopping. You do the saving.