What is included in a typical auto insurance quote?

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State...

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UPDATED: Nov 15, 2016

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Understanding car insurance jargon can be a difficult if your not familiar with all of the terminology
  • Bodily injury liability is the amount the insured person’s insurance company will pay per person and per accident for injuries to other people
  • Property damage coverage pays for repairs and replacements to property after an accident. Examples include mailboxes, lampposts, and traffic signs

Every car insurance company uses its own verbiage and formatting for car insurance quotes, making them difficult to understand.

Auto insurance comparison sites take away this frustration by using a single, simple quote form. The following details help consumers understand the quote process when they are shopping for vehicle insurance.

Enter your ZIP code above for FREE affordable car insurance quotes.

Application Process


Instead of calling several insurers or clicking from website to website, consumers just enter their details once on free quote comparison sites.

Car insurance companies sign up to compete for their business, so shoppers obtain several competitive quotes within minutes.

Most car insurance quote forms request the following:

  • Car details: make, model, year, mileage, safety features, and custom accessories
  • Drivers’ details: age, driver’s license number, length of driving history, claims history, moving violations, previous accidents, discount eligibility
  • Coverage amounts and deductibles: state-mandated minimum coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, extra financial protection
  • Applicant information: name, address, phone number, email address

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Getting a Free Car Insurance Quote

After the applicant presses the submit button for online quotes, the details are sent immediately to participating insurance companies. The companies compete for business and respond in one of two ways:

  • Immediate quotes – Car insurance quotes appear on the computer screen within seconds. Applicants select the best quote and continue with the application process.
  • Customized quotes – Applicants receive an email when quotes are ready. Some companies call customers to discuss potential discounts before submitting the final quote.

Insurance Quote Coverage Options


Car insurance quotes provide a breakdown of coverage categories that are easy to understand. Some comparison sites list individual costs, while others display only the total premium amount that is due every six months.

Here are some of the common components of a free car insurance quote comparison:

 Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily injury liability is the amount the insured person’s insurance company will pay per person and per accident for injuries to other people. All states require at least a minimum amount of bodily injury coverage.

Required amounts range from $10,000 per person/$20,000 per accident in Florida to $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident in Maine.

 Property Damage Liability

Property damage coverage pays for repairs and replacements to property after an accident. Examples include mailboxes, lampposts, and traffic signs.

The lowest property damage requirement currently rests in California at $5,000. The highest requirement is $30,000 in Louisiana.

Property damage liability and bodily injury liability together demonstrate the financial responsibility necessary to drive a car, SUV, truck, or motorcycle. They form the mandated minimum car insurance coverage in all 50 states.

 Medical Payments


Bodily injury liability pays for the medical bills of other people harmed during an accident, but medical payments coverage pays for the insured’s bills and the passengers’ bills.

This protection can be used in conjunction with health insurance to decrease out-of-pocket expenses. On a car insurance quote form, medical payments options typically include zero coverage, $5,000, $10,000, and $25,000.

 Uninsured Motorist

The Insurance Research Council estimates that one out of seven drivers in the United States is uninsured. In the states of Mississippi, New Mexico, Tennessee, Florida, and Oklahoma, the rate jumps to one out of every four drivers.

Uninsured motorist coverage provides financial protection in case an uninsured driver damages the policy owner’s vehicle or property. The likelihood is high, as policy owners spent almost $11 billion in 2007 to compensate for uninsured drivers.

 Underinsured Motorist

Similar to uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist protection pays for damage if a driver does not carry enough insurance coverage. This might be a good option if you live in Mississippi, New Mexico, Tennessee, Florida, or Oklahoma where one out of every four divers is uninsured.


Collision coverage pays for repairs to the insured’s vehicle after an accident. The policy owner must pay a deductible, typically $500, and then the car insurance company pays for the rest of the repairs up to the coverage limit.


The comprehensive portion of car insurance pays to replace an automobile or repair damage after theft, vandalism, fire, hail, falling trees, or other acts of nature. Many drivers set their comprehensive deductible at $500 or $1,000.

Paying for both collision and comprehensive coverage is known as full coverage. Most banks require a leased or financed vehicle to be insured with full coverage.

 Accident Forgiveness


Some car insurance companies, such as Nationwide, Allstate, Geico, and Progressive, automatically provide small accident forgiveness after two or three years of continued good driving.

When comparing car insurance quotes, some companies offer the ability to pay for accident forgiveness upfront. Accident forgiveness generally lets a driver have an accident without insurance rates going up because of it.

 Rental Car Reimbursement

After an accident, a damaged vehicle can sit in a repair shop for a week or more. Rental car reimbursement lets drivers borrow a rental car while the insurance company picks up the bill. Most insurers will pay up to $30 per day.

 Emergency Roadside Services

Finally, car insurance quotes provide the opportunity to pay a few dollars for emergency towing or gasoline. This coverage is similar to the protection sold by AAA Auto Club. We have more information on roadside assistance insurance.

In the end, no car insurance quote is typical. Auto insurance comparison websites simplify the process while allowing consumers to shop in the comfort of their homes.

They receive competitive rates from multiple companies interested in their business. By comparing quotes, consumers can save thousands of dollars on the exact coverage that they need.

Compare affordable collision coverage options using our FREE online comparison tool today!


  1. https://www.libertymutual.com/auto/car-insurance-coverage/bodily-injury-liability
  2. https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-out-of-pocket-527310
  3. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-09-11/uninsured-drivers/50363390/1
  4. https://www.libertymutual.com/auto/car-insurance-coverage/collision-insurance
  5. https://autoclubsouth.aaa.com/

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