Why Is My Premium Higher Than My Online Quote?

With the rise of technology, auto insurance customers have more choices than ever before when it comes to getting the most affordable prices on their auto insurance premiums. What once required a phone call and several minutes of your day — getting a quote — you can now do instantly through a number of websites. But sometimes the auto insurance quote you get may not be the right one. When that happens, a number of things can be to blame. Things such as:


Data Entry Error

Maybe you forgot to include a ticket or an accident, which later showed up when the agent pulled your motor vehicle report (MVR). The omission can be either intentional or unintentional as many customers are not aware of how long an infraction stays on their record and will try to play the odds by not reporting a past incident. Sometimes it may work in the applicant’s favor, but more often than not, the MVR will ensure the most current information and result in a more accurate quote, though it may be higher (or lower) than the one you initially received.


Barebones Application System

While there are many online quote websites out there, some are more detailed than others. Generally speaking, the more reporting opportunities that a website affords you, the more accurate your quote will be. If for the sake of simplicity, an online quoting system doesn’t ask for enough information in submitting to companies, then you could end up with a cheaper quote than what the reality turns out to be.

It’s this unpredictability that causes many auto insurance customers to continue relying on agents even though it’s now possible to purchase directly from a company via online channels. There is still a level of trust between customer and agent that the online world has yet to replace.


Getting The Best Quote

Whether you’re dealing directly with a company or communicating with an insurance agent, getting the best quote before you buy is more likely when you opt for full disclosure. If you’re concerned about a past infraction on your record, get it out there from the very beginning. Remember, the MVR will bring every detail to light, so it’s almost impossible to “fool” a company into providing cheaper prices if your record doesn’t warrant it.

Beyond that, it provides you with peace of mind. By sharing all the details upfront, you have an opportunity to financially plan for your coverage, and you can take advantage of the application process to find out just how long an infraction will stay on your record. This gives you something to work towards as you begin driving under the new coverage.

Just remember, the best way to lower your premiums once you are covered (while maintaining the same deductibles and coverage limits) is to drive safely, avoid distracted and drowsy driving, and obey traffic laws while operating a motor vehicle. Insurance companies reward a consistent record of cautious driving, and even if you’ve had a few bumps in the road, so to speak, it’s never too late to start rebuilding your record.


In Summary

Direct quote access is ultimately a great thing for auto insurance customers, but the initial quote doesn’t always line up with your final premium. Much will depend on the information that you provided when applying for a policy, and the extensiveness of the details that make it to competing insurance companies. Your best tool in getting a clear picture of what to expect, is to share all you can at the time you submit the application.

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