How to read and understand your car insurance quote

Customers signing contract

If you've ever shopped for car insurance, you've likely gotten a "fast, free quote." But do you know how those numbers are determined? No worries if you don't … it can be confusing. Below we're breaking down a car insurance quote. So you can feel confident that you're getting the right coverage for you.

Get a free insurance quote.

or call 1-800-378-7262

Or call 1-800-378-7262.

Car insurance quote: explained

Whether you're browsing for a better rate or buying a new car, knowing what goes into your car insurance quote is always useful. Armed with this knowledge, you can decide what works best for you.

Let's start with the basics. Your car insurance quote is roughly how much your car insurance will cost. It can vary depending on a few factors:

  • Coverage – some coverages will be required by your state and others you may include for added protection
  • You personally – your age, driving history, and coverage needs
  • Your deductible – generally the higher your deductible, the lower your premium

In most cases, once you purchase your policy and accept your policy terms, your quote becomes your premium. Your premium is the amount you pay on your insurance. Typically, you'll have the option to pay your premium all at once or in installments.

The declarations page: decoded

The declarations page is an overview of your insurance policy. It "declares" or lists your policy details including your coverages.

It might look like a lot of jargon and numbers but it's an important document. Depending on your state, the declarations page will look different. But here's what you'll typically find:

  1. Your info – name, address, email and policy number
  2. Coverage period – the length and effective dates of your policy term
  3. Cars on your policy – make, model, VIN, and financing info (if applicable)
  4. Drivers on your policy – additional or excluded drivers
  5. Coverages – a list of coverages, limits, deductibles, and the premium for each coverage
  6. Premium – your total premium
Esurance declarations page

Heads up, your declarations page could be multiple pages. Make sure you don't miss anything.

Car insurance terms: clarified

In reading your Declarations page, you might run into some insurance-y words. Let's clarify that jargony language.

Deductible: A deductible is the amount you agree to pay out of pocket before a certain coverage kicks in after you file a claim. Generally, higher deductibles mean lower premiums.

Effective date: The effective dates are when you're officially covered by your policy – from start date to end date.

Policy: Your policy is the contract that states what your car insurance coverage includes (coverages, limits, and deductibles), as well as your official annual premium. It's a document or group of documents that typically includes a declarations page, a list of exclusions, and other terms and conditions of your coverage.

Policy term: A policy term is the length of time an auto insurance policy is valid. Auto insurance policies typically have terms of 6 months or 12 months.

Rate: A rate (also known as an insurance premium or premium) is the amount you pay for your insurance policy.

If you're ready to shop, start by getting a fast, free Esurance quote online. Now that you know how to read and understand your quote, you can feel confident you're getting great coverage at a great price.

Related links

Esurance Coverage Counselor®
Coverage Counselor is an online tool from Esurance that makes it simple to find the right car insurance coverages for you.

The right amount of coverage
We offer tips on determining the coverages you select and the limits you choose when you buy a policy.

Safe drivers should save more on insurance.

Finish your saved quote.

or call 1-800-378-7262

Or call 1-800-378-7262 and let us help you out.