I Got Dozens of Insurance Quotes on the Job. Here's What I Learned

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These tips could save you time and money.

As a financial writer who writes about and reviews insurance companies, I have obtained dozens of different auto insurance quotes over the past few months.

I obtained quotes from many different insurers and for drivers from many different demographic backgrounds -- all with the goal of finding which insurers offer the best coverage at the right prices.

During the process of obtaining all of these quotes, I discovered some valuable tips about shopping around for insurance that any motorist may find handy. Here's what I learned.

1. Getting insurance quotes can take time

Getting insurance quotes is definitely worth the effort, but motorists need to be prepared for it to take a little bit of time.

That's because consumers shopping for quotes need to fill out a few forms with each auto insurance company they want a quote from. And not all insurers offer online quotes, so it may be necessary to speak with an agent.

Drivers should set aside about a half hour once a year to compare multiple insurance quotes. This little bit of time could lead to hundreds of dollars off car insurance rates, so it's well worth doing.

2. The more information you have, the more accurate your quotes

Insurers ask for a lot of information when providing quotes. The more details you can offer, the more accurate your estimated price will be.

For example, it's important to be prepared to provide specific information on the vehicle to be insured, as well as the drivers who will be on the policy. Get this information together before shopping for quotes in order to make the process much easier.

3. Having your VIN number can simplify the process

Different vehicle makes and models have different insurance prices. But there can also be a difference in cost depending on an individual vehicle's features. To get an accurate quote, drivers may need to answer specific questions about their car, including the exact model number, as well as the optional safety features incorporated in the vehicle.

Many people don't necessarily know all these details and providing them can take time. The good news is, most insurers allow motorists to enter the vehicle's VIN number, and the insurance company can then populate all of these details automatically. It can make shopping for insurance quotes a lot easier and more accurate if motorists write this VIN number down beforehand and enter it when getting prices.

4. There's wide variation in prices and default coverage from one insurer to another

Going through the effort to get quotes may not seem worth it, but the reality is that there's a huge difference between prices from one company to the next. In fact, for the same driver profiles, sometimes it was possible to save hundreds of dollars per year by choosing one particular insurance company over another.

Insurance is an important purchase, but it's not one that motorists want to spend more money on than necessary. So take the time to shop around for cheap and comprehensive auto coverage at least once a year and keep these tips in mind to make the process easier.

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