Insurers are greatly incentivized to get you an accurate estimate. After all, if your final premium doesn’t jibe with your quote, you might be rightfully irritated … and we might regrettably lose you as a potential policyholder. In which case, no one wins.

That’s why Esurance tries to err on the side of radical transparency in an effort squelch any surprises down the line. Doing so makes the quoting and purchasing process far easier, plus helps you know exactly what you’re getting into. In which case, everyone wins.

So why might an online car insurance quote be different from your rate?

Why quotes and premiums can differ

Insurers rely on the answers you provide during the quoting process to get you an accurate estimate. But when you purchase a policy, insurers do a deeper dive into your insurance history by accessing what’s called a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report.

What’s a CLUE report?

Don’t have a clue what a CLUE report is? Basically, it’s a consumer-reporting system that allows insurers to look at your claims history and weave together the most personalized premium possible.

So if you can’t remember the date of an accident or speeding ticket and decide to leave the field blank, you may see a lower quote but, eventually, a higher premium. In fact, this is the most common cause of the quote-premium disparity and a testament to how important that information is.

How to recall specific dates

It can be difficult remembering what happened in the last 3 months, let alone the last 3 to 7 years. To help jog a memory, many customers have found it helpful to ask themselves the following questions:

  • What was the weather like that day?
  • Who was I with?
  • Was it around a holiday or birthday?
  • Where was I headed or coming from?
  • Was it light or dark out?

Mulling over these variables can help narrow down, at the very least, the month and year of the accident or violation in question, getting you a much more accurate quote.

It’s also not uncommon for a quote to be higher than a premium. For instance, customers sometimes opt to withhold their social security number and/or VIN during the quoting process. But when insurers get the go-ahead to access this information, they’re able to create a more personalized pricing formula, which, in many cases, results in lower premiums.

So, what info do you actually need to get a quote?

Typically, you’ll need your name, address, vehicle make and model, and drivers license number. Many insurers may ask for your VIN, marital status, education, additional drivers on your policy, and driving history. And again, the more information you’re able to provide, the more accurate your quote is likely to be.

Getting an Esurance auto quote, however, is even easier. With our Express Lane® feature, all you’ll need handy to get your quote started is your name, date of birth, and address — that’s it! We’ll pull up other info like your car VIN, make, and model for you so you can be on your merry way without digging through your wallet or fumbling for your current insurance docs.

Start a fast, free auto quote from Esurance today and find out how much you could be saving on car insurance

Insurance 101 | Car insurance 101


about Evan

From writing content for life coaches to working on indie film press releases, Evan’s motley repertoire has been considerable in the last couple of years. Now he employs his varied aptitude as a content writer for Esurance. He’s also a self-proclaimed polyglot in training with a proclivity for dog-eared books.