6 mistakes to avoid when comparing car insurance quotes online

Shopping for car insurance online is fairly easy, with few forms to fill out. But to compare insurers and get the very best rates, you’ll want to avoid these six mistakes. (iStock)

Shopping online for car insurance quotes is a fairly easy process. Generally, insurers look at a few common factors but might have their own magic formula for setting rates. That means the same driver may get quotes that are nothing alike.

To get the best rates possible, avoid these costly errors when comparing car insurance quotes online. And, because comparison shopping takes time, check out Credible's partners to eliminate the time-consuming part of your search.

Avoid these mistakes when comparing auto insurance

Car insurance companies have different types of insurance coverage and rates vary, so you'll want to do your due diligence when taking a look at quotes online. Here are six mistakes you should avoid whenever you compare quotes.

  1. Skipping discounts
  2. Paying in full
  3. Setting a low deductible
  4. Not getting multiple quotes
  5. Providing incorrect information
  6. Hiding a poor driving record

1. Skipping discounts

Many online insurers offer discounts, but it can take a bit of digging to find them. Since discounts can save you hundreds of dollars on your car insurance policy, it pays to take the time to find or ask which discounts you may be eligible for. If you own a home, for instance, you may qualify for a discount to bundle your house and car insurance.

With Credible you can compare car insurance companies and find your quotes for free. Plus, you'll get a better understanding of your coverage limit, comprehensive coverages, and more.

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2. Paying in full

Paying your car insurance policy in full may be out of the question for many people, but it does have its good points. Generally, insurers charge fees for making installment payments. It can be argued that putting the money you save by making installments into a savings account will earn money, but at interest rates teetering on 1%, the fees insurers charge can easily outweigh the interest you’ll earn.

3. Setting a low deductible

Many online car insurers will set deductibles during the application process. However, choosing a too-low deductible will amount to paying a higher premium. On the other hand, a higher deductible will likely save you money in the long run. Increasing a deductible from $300 to $1000 can save you as much as 40%. A low deductible can be easier to pay out upfront if an accident happens.

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4. Not getting multiple quotes

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is getting too-few car insurance quotes. It can take time to shop around, but it's worth the effort. One insurer may offer better rates but poor customer service. Another insurer may offer several levels of protection but high rates. Comparing quotes is essential.

With Credible's partners, ​you can eliminate the time-consuming part of your search.

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5. Providing incorrect information

A wrong email, phone number or a misspelling of your name can hold up the application process. So can misstating the real number of miles you drive each year. Online insurers will check all of this information, and if something is incorrect or inaccurate, your application may be held up or rejected altogether. Apart from that, assembling your documents before you shop around will help you provide the correct information.

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6. Hiding a poor driving record

While it’s true that a poor driving record will set you apart as a high risk for insurance, hiding your imperfect driving record may disqualify your application entirely. Past accidents, felonies, and traffic tickets may also prove more challenging to get a low rate, but insurers will research your driving record, so concealing any negative information is pointless.

Shopping online for car insurance is easy and an excellent way to get the best car insurance rates. Visiting Credible ​to explore their auto insurance options all in one place is also strongly encouraged. But making mistakes on your application can be a cause of concern for online insurers, set you apart as high risk or throw out your application entirely.

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