Organizing Your Information to Shop for car Insurance

Using the Auto Insurance Questionnaire and Auto Quote Sheet

The auto insurance quote sheet and questionnaire will be a primary tool in assisting you to obtain a good rate. Most auto insurance agencies use some type of questionnaire to extract information from customers in order to give them an accurate quote. The quote sheet in this article was tailored after our agency questionnaire.

Very seldom will a customer interview an agent because they do not know what questions to ask. The customer has the ability to ask the right questions to make sure they get the best rates and coverage. Most of the time they just do not know the right questions to ask. If you use this quote sheet and questionnaire correctly you will not go wrong.

The questionnaire is used to interview agencies and companies to determine their underwriting guidelines and practices. This can be done anonymous or not. The more you find out about the agency or company ahead of time, the better prepared you will be when you call for a quote. The information you give an agent or company for a quote will be converted to your application. Once the information is given, it cannot be changed without a good explanation. The following are questions you should ask.

Auto Insurance Questionnaire for Agent Broker or Company
1. What percentage discount do you give for prior insurance?
2. How many months of prior insurance do I need for the maximum discount?
3. Are you an independent agency? If so, what companies do you represent?
4. Which companies are standard and which ones are non-standard?
5. I am considering moving soon to your area; what zip codes in the vicinity have the cheapest rates?
6. What discounts do you offer?
7. Do you offer additional discounts for renters and homeowners’ insurance?
8. Do you use insurance credit scoring?
9. What are the fees for the agency and company (such as late, installment and service fees?)?
10. Do you charge for the first moving violation?
11. What is your threshold for an accident to be chargeable?
12. How many years do you look back to charge for accidents and moving violations?
13. Do you off group discounts?
14. Will I receive a lower rate for higher liability limits?
15. Does your company use a tier system? If so, how do I qualify for the best tier?

7. DL# WK# CELL#
8. Number of At Fault Accidents Over the Last 3-5 Years?
9. If any, please give dates of accidents
10. Any moving violations over the last 3-5 years?
11. If any, please give dates and violation
12. Year, Make, Model of Vehicle
13. VIN# 14. # Of Air Bags ABS Y____ or N_____, Auto Seat Belts Y _____ or N _____
15. Passive or Active Alarm System, Y___, N ___ or None ___. Do you have a LoJack Y___, N ___
17. How many months of prior insurance with no lapse of coverage? ___________
18. What are your present Limits of Liability? ________________
19. Do you have homeowners or renter’s insurance? Yes, ____ No ____ With Who? ________________________
20. Have you taken a 55 Alive or Drivers Training Course? Yes ____ No ____
21. Level of Education: High School _____ College _____ Professional School _____


You should fill out the auto quote sheet before you start seeking quotes from various auto insurer? By using the auto quote sheet, you will be prepared to answer each question the average agent or broker will ask you to determine your premium. The sheet helps you to organize all of your pertinent information needed for auto insurance. Let’s go through the quote sheet line by line.

Line 1

Your name should be the same name that is on your license and registration card. If you are using the married status for premium determination, please remember to hyphenate your last name or have it change to match your spouse’s last name.

Line 1 &2

Giving all of your appropriate phone numbers will assist an agent or broker to contact you promptly with a quote. In addition, these numbers will be stored for future purposes of contacting you. Another good tip is to let the agent or broker know the best time and place to contact you. For example, if you work in an environment that prohibits personal calls, let the broker or agent know to contact you either at home or on your cell phone at a certain time of the day – perhaps on your lunch break.

Line 3

The address you use for your auto insurance quote should be the same address on your driver’s license and registration card. If you are using a different address for another reason please have it changed. You are allowed to have two addresses on an auto policy. One is the mailing address. This address is where the auto insurance company will send all correspondence. The second is where the auto is garaged. The premium of your policy is always based on where you keep your vehicle. Some individuals use a PO BOX for their mailing address, which is a difference in the zip code from their residence. Others might keep their vehicle at a friend or relative’s house, stored in a rented garage, or has a second residence like a summer home. Whatever the reason makes sure you have the street, city and zip code for the garaging and mailing address.

Some individuals in order to get a lower rate will use a phony address for garaging. If you are caught using a phony address that is considered insurance fraud, especially if you are never there. The key is you are never there. If you reside there sometimes, it may not be considered insurance fraud. For example, suppose you have a girlfriend you stay with four days out of a week who lives in a lower rate zip code, that could be considered the garaging address because that’s where the vehicle is located most of the time.

The mailing address could be your parent’s house where you spend some or none of the other three days of the week. If you have dual places were your vehicle is located, consider changing your address on your driver’s license and registration to a place where the vehicle is located most of the time. Remember you can change your address on your license and registration as often as you would like as long as you pay the fees. Changing the address on your pay stub and bills might help.

Line 4

Your date of birth (DOB) is needed to determine your premium. Age is a major factor in determining your rates. Even your birthday is very important. For example, suppose you are shopping around for auto insurance near your birthday and on this particular birthday you will be turning 25 years old. The age group 25 to 29 is a range that is lower in premium than age 24.

In this example say you called for a quote 5 days before your 25th birthday. The agent or broker’s rating software will be based on the premium’s DOB or age 24. In this case, make sure you tell the agent or broker that the effective date (or start date) of the policy should be after your 25th birthday so you can receive the lower rate. Remember once the policy is issued the effective date cannot be adjusted for the sake of your birthday. You might have to cancel the policy and be penalized, or wait 3-12 months to get the lower rate. In both cases you will lose some money, so be careful.

The number of years you have been a licensed driver is important. Your auto insurance rate for most companies is lower if you have been a licensed driver over 3-5 years, depending on the company. You should check the exact date you were officially licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicle for the first State you were first licensed. This must be in one of the 50 U.S. states or its territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and Sonoma Islands).

International or foreign license time does not count toward your licensing time, but you can have two years on a Delaware license and one year on a Pennsylvania license for a total of 3 years. Just remember to keep a copy of all your state licenses even if you no longer reside in any of those states.

The 3-5 years must be continuous with no lapse. That means if you had a driver’s license for 3 years and your driver’s license was suspended for 6 months you would not qualify for the 3-year continuous rate. Being licensed 3-5 years continuously is a major rating concern in areas where auto rates are high, like Texas. Not having the 3-5 years could increase your premium from 50% to 75%. Some companies do not penalize drivers who have a lapse in the 3-5-year period so please ask the company if they penalize or not.

Next question on line 4 is: Do You Have Any Children? Some companies will give you a discount equivalent to a married rate. Usually, you might have to prove custody or present a birth certificate with your name on it. Last on line 4 is your social security number. This is used to establish your identification and check your credit.

Line 5

Your marital status is an important question due to the fact it can lower or raise your premium. Married is usually lower than Single. Last on Line 5 is your driver’s license number (DL), which can be found of course on your driver’s license and in some states your permit (in some states it’s the same number). Your driver’s license number is used to verify your driving history and years licensed in the state that you currently have a license in. Remember if you have been licensed in more than one state in a 3-5-year period, give the agent or broker a copy of the driver’s license for each state.

If you do not have a copy of the license, give them the license number and state. Also, ask the agent if they are going to run your motor vehicle report in their office. Of course, all companies run your MVR before your policy is issued. Now, many agents and brokers are required to run your MVR in their office before giving you a quote. So, ask for a copy to make sure that everything on your record is accurate.

Line 6 & 7

Make sure that you have the correct spelling of your spouse’s name as it appears on their license. It’s best to have a copy when calling for quotes. As an agent, you can generally tell when a person is not telling the truth about their marital status; they don’t know their spouse’s correct name spelling, DOB, social security number, or driver’s license number. Most agents and brokers will ask for a marriage license as proof when this happens. Having your spouse’s correct information will assure that the final rates will be correct based on their DOB, social security number and driver’s license number. Your spouse’s work and cell phone numbers will also help with agent/client communications.

Line 8 & 9

The agent or broker needs to know how many accidents you had during a 3-5-year period. Accidents are either not -at -fault or at -fault. The at-fault accidents can increase your rates significantly in areas where premiums are traditionally high. Some companies will increase your rates up to 30% for just one at-fault accident. Do not let an agent, broker, or company determine if your accident is at fault. You should know for yourself if your accident was an at-fault accident. Always keep records of any accidents you and your vehicle are involved in. Sometimes friends and family will have an accident in your vehicle and not inform you. Be careful if this is the case. If the accident is charged to your auto policy you will be responsible.

Also, just like your birth date, accident dates are important. If the accident occurred after the company’s statue of limitation of 3-5 years, they are not chargeable. Usually, there is no charge for an accident that is not your fault. Some companies do consider them chargeable. It is wise to keep all documentation like police reports, attorney correspondence, or claims records indicating any accidents that are not your fault. Some companies will ask for documentation as proof of your innocence.

Line 10 & 11

Similar to accidents, you must give the date and type of moving violation that you had. There are two types of moving violations — minor and major. Some companies will not charge you for the first minor moving violations. You may want to inquire about this. All companies will surcharge you for major violations. Most companies will assign points for each type of violation. Each point can represent a percentage increase in your rates. Major violations carry more points than a minor violation.

The point system that the State Bureau of Motor Vehicle uses is usually different than the point system of the auto insurers. For example, you might receive a minor moving violation that carries 4 points by Bureau of Motor Vehicle, but the insurance company might only assign 1 point for the same violation. Only give the agent or broker the date and type of the moving violation. Do not tell them the x-number of points that were given.

Also, periodically check your motor vehicle report for accidents and moving violations. Just like your credit report, you can have mistakes on your record that you are not responsible for.

Line 12

The exact year, make (i.e. Ford), and model (Taurus LX) are used to determine your premium, especially for comprehensive and collision. Always remember to tell the agent or broker if the vehicle is a LX, etc. Vehicles are rated by symbols (Chapter 3, Strategy #7).

Line 13

The vehicle identification number is needed for a positive identification of your vehicle. When the agent inputs your VIN number into there rating software, the exact year, make, and model should match Line 11. The VIN also identifies passive seat belts, air bags, and factory installed theft systems. Most people do not realize that the letters and numbers in the VIN describe your vehicle in several ways, (i.e. where your vehicle was made).

Line 14

Airbags, anti-lock brakes (as), and auto seat belts are good discounts.

Line 15

A passive alarm system is an alarm that is activated automatically when your car is turned off. A hand remote activates an active auto alarm. Some companies do not give discounts for active alarm systems. The reason being it’s possible that the car might be stolen if you forget to activate the alarm. If you can afford a LoJack system buy one. Some companies offer excellent discounts if you have the LoJack.

Line 16

Prior insurance discounts can possibly lower your rates up 30%. To check effective dates, gather your policies. Try to obtain policies going back 36 months for the maximum discount.

Line 17

Your limit of liability helps the agent do a good comparison of coverage. You also might qualify for a discount based on your limits of liability.

Line 18

These are good discounts if you are a homeowner or have an apartment. Some companies require that you have homeowners or renter’s insurance in order to receive the discount. Many companies that sell auto and homeowners’ insurance will only give you the discount if you have the coverage with their company.

Line 19

The 55 Alive is sometimes confused with the driver-training discount. The 55 Alive is a driving education course offered to drivers age 55 and over. A certified instructor gives the course. (AAA offers this course). Individuals who are trying to obtain their driver’s license usually take the driver education course. The course is given by a driving school as well as some high schools. Both courses could get you up to a 5% discount on your auto premiums. Most companies require a copy of a certificate of completion as proof to receive the discount.

The Company Comparison Sheet is a worksheet for individuals to list their present coverage. From there, they can record the various quotes they receive while shopping around.

Limits of Liability (i.e., 25/50) ____________________________________
Medical ______________________________
Personal Injury Protection ________________________________________
Loss Wages _____________________________
Funeral Benefits __________________________
Accidental Death ___________________________________
Uninsured Motorist Protection ________________________________________
Underinsured Motorist Protection___________________________________
Collision Deductible (i.e., $500) ________________________
Comprehensive (i.e., $250) ____________________________
Car Rental _________________ Per Day

1. $________ $________ $________ _______ $________
2. $________ $________ $________ _______ $________
3. $________ $________ $________ _______ $________
4. $________ $________ $________ _______ $________
5. $________ $________ $________ _______ $________

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