how to shop for car insurance online
quote, compare policies, and buy the one that fits you best
Shopping for car insurance online is a perk of modern living. Before digging into your online search, there are some useful things to know and look for. We'll fill you in.
The info you'll need to shop for car insurance online
Check to see if you have the following info handy:
- Vehicle identification number (VIN) for all your cars
- Drivers license numbers for you and other drivers in your household
- Your social security number
- Loan/lease information for the cars or trucks you want to insure
- Info from your current car insurance policy (if you have one)
- Car make, model, and year
- Driving history (past violations, accidents, etc.)
- Info on aftermarket accessories installed in or on the vehicle
- Address where the vehicle is garaged
- A credit card or debit card, or checking/savings account info
If you're looking to save time, hop into our Express Lane™ quoting feature. With Express Lane, you just need your name, date of birth, and address to get your quote.
Shopping without personal information
With Esurance, you can get a quote without providing your SSN, drivers license number, and VIN. But you'll need to share them before buying your policy because the info they provide could impact your final rate.
We suggest providing this info during the online quoting process to get a more accurate quote.
Your privacy and security
Before shopping for car insurance online, you may want to check the security of the websites you shop before divulging any personal details. Look at the URL when inputting your info. Secure sites tend to begin with "https" instead of "http." You can also look for the lock icon many secure websites have on the page (or near the address bar, depending on your browser).
If you're concerned about sharing anything online, no matter how secure, we're always standing by to help you get a quote. Give us a call anytime at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262).
Evaluating car insurance policies (and companies)
Once you've received some quotes, it's time to find the policy that's right for you. Not all policies are the same, and just because one company's quote is cheaper than another's doesn't necessarily mean it's better. After all, the cheaper policy might lack coverage options you want, or have higher deductibles.
To make the best decision, it's wise to compare policies side by side. This means looking at each coverage, limit, and deductible to see how they measure up.
Once you've compared policies side by side, you'll also want to consider:
- Payment options. When is each payment due? What kinds of payment plans are offered? Can you save by paying the entire premium up front? Are automatic payments available so you'll never miss one? Can you make a payment online or on your mobile device?
- Discounts. Discounts can make a huge difference in savings. Find out which discounts you're being offered, and see if they only apply to a term or 2 or if they continue on into the future.
- Claims and other service availability. Does the company offer claims service around the clock? Can you submit and manage your claim online or through a mobile app? Can you contact customer service anytime?
Checking a car insurance company's reliability
Car insurance is an important purchase. It's not like running to the store to grab a gallon of milk. Make sure the company you choose is reliable. You want them to be there for you if you ever need to file a claim.
So before you buy, do some independent research. A.M. Best, a rating agency recognized by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), gives in-depth reports on insurance companies' financial strength. In case you're curious, A.M. Best rates Esurance's financial strength as A+ (Superior). You can typically find a company's A.M. Best rating somewhere on their website.
Read our complete guide to comparing car insurance policies side by side.
Shop, compare, and switch anytime
It's never a bad time to look around for car insurance that better meets your needs. You don't need to wait until your current policy expires. You can always switch mid-term, although some companies may charge you an early cancellation fee.
If you're ready to start shopping, you can get an Esurance quote online now. We'll show you our quote alongside real comparison quotes so you can find a policy that suits you best, even if it's not from Esurance.
Visit the Esurance Coverage Counselor®
Get personalized recommendations on coverages, deductibles, and limits before you customize your car insurance quote.
Cheapest car insurance = not best?
Find out why the cheapest car insurance policy may not be the best one for you.