Tips for Getting an Anonymous Car Insurance Quote

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In 2018, getting a free estimate for car insurance costs is as easy as googling “car insurance” and entering your zip code, car details, commuting habits… and a lot of other personal information.

That's not surprising: Insurance companies are highly motivated to recruit and retain new clients, and have zero incentive to allow you to shop around without giving them your personal information so that they can follow up. While this may seem selfish, providing your personal details also provides the insurer with the most accurate picture of you -- and thus helps you find the most accurate rate.

Unfortunately, with so many options for comparison tools out there, it's hard to know if your data is safe. While any site with a URL starting in “https://” rather than “http://” is probably "safe" (because it’s a secure site), some users still might not relish the idea of handing over their personal info to a company.

Thankfully, there’s a way to find an accurate car insurance quote while avoiding sharing your personal information on the web.

How To Get An Anonymous Car Insurance Quote 

I tested over 35 websites claiming to offer this service, and I can say with confidence: You absolutely cannot get an anonymous car insurance quote from an insurance company without giving your personal information. Even if you think you are tricking the system by using a fake name and email address (I used Liam Neeson, the first name I thought of!), you won’t be able to see any of the quotes. If you want to know within the dollar how much you can expect to pay, you are going to need to either contact an insurance agent, or suck it up and enter your personal information on a secure site. 

But you can still get a reasonably accurate estimate of what you should expect to pay without giving out your personal information willy-nilly. In order to do so, you will need to tweak your method slightly. Instead of turning to the insurance brokers who have no incentive to help you without your info, turn to companies who aim to provide you with info.

It’s surprisingly hard to find such a company. One of the very few tools I saw was a simple car insurance cost estimator from Nerdwallet. The calculator won’t be as accurate as a quote calculated given your personal information, but it does ask for your state, driving record and credit score, which can be a fairly good indicator of what your costs will be. Live in New Jersey, have a good credit score and a clean driving record? You are looking at about $100-200 a month, especially if you buy from Travelers, New Jersey Manufacturers, or Allstate, the tool tells you. What if you’re a young driver in the same situation? You’re going to be spending around $70-136 a month. If you have caused a major accident, your costs could balloon to $404, according to the tool. 

Essential Factors Anonymous Quotes Won’t Include

The Specifics Of Your Car: There’s a reason virtually every car insurance quote system first asks you for your vehicle’s make and model -- this is one of the most significant factors missed in the anonymous quote process that goes into your car insurance costs. If you have a pricier car, an older car, or a car that attracts reckless drivers (think a sports car), your rates will likely go up. 

Type Of Coverage You Need: Do you want to purchase the state-required minimum coverage? That’s going to cost you a lot less than buying comprehensive and collision coverage. 

The Specifics Of Your Driving Record: A lot of things go into being a “good” or “bad” driver that is missed by superficial estimation tools. The top five violations that will increase your car insurance costs are getting a DUI/DWI, driving recklessly, speeding, running a red light, and driving without a valid drivers license. If you get a DUI, you can expect your premiums to increase by around 25% -- if you were paying $100 / month, that means your costs would go up by $300 per year! Speeding and running a red light are also severe violations, though they will only cause your insurance to go up by 10% on average. 

Looking to purchase car insurance? Check out The Balance's line-up of the top car insurance companies of 2019.