online car insurance quoteThere are dozens of car insurance companies out there, and no two are alike.  The reason we encourage you to compare them is to make sure you’re getting the best deal for you, but we’re also looking to save you time.  Every company has a different website with a different quote process, ask for different information and offer you quotes in different ways. We took the time to go through the quote processes for all of the major insurance companies, timed the process and took some notes.  What follows is a brief rundown of the features of each of these companies, plus the time it took me to get a quote, from the minute I loaded their webpage to the time I had a dollar value on my screen.
There are dozens of car insurance companies out there, and no two are alike. The reason we encourage you to compare them is to make certain you ’ re getting the best deal for you, but we ’ re besides looking to save you meter. Every company has a different web site with a different quote process, ask for different data and offer you quotes in different ways. We took the prison term to go through the quote processes for all of the major insurance companies, timed the action and took some notes. What follows is a brief summation of the features of each of these companies, plus the meter it took me to get a quotation mark, from the moment I loaded their web page to the time I had a dollar respect on my shield. To get a jumpstart on the quick on-line quoting procedure – > Click hera .

Car Insurance Quote Process Review Panel:

  1. Progressive
  2. Allstate
  3. GEICO
  4. Esurance
  5. Farmers
  6. State Farm
  7. The General
  8. Infinity
  9. SafeAuto
  10. Elephant
  11. The Hartford
  12. National General
  13. Liberty Mutual
  14. Nationwide
  15. Mercury

About Me

Let ’ s pretend my diagnose is Emily Brooks, I ’ m a thirty-year-old womanhood who has never been married and rents my apartment in Fredricksburg, Virginia. I own my 2005 Dodge Neon SXT, which I bought new in 2004. I drive about 15 miles one-way to work five days a week, and my car has about 120,000 miles on it. It ’ randomness in pretty dependable shape, and has airbags for myself and my passengers.

Some other things about me that car policy companies want to know :

  • I’m employed as an HR Manager for a local business (not the government), and I have a bachelor’s degree.  The reason my occupation is “HR Manager” is because one company asked me what I did for a living and a search under “dinosaur trainer” returned “HR Manager” as an option.  It’s not as flashy, but it pays the bills.
  • I have good credit, have car insurance, and have been insured by the same company (Erie Insurance) for the last three years.
  • I have had three incidents in the last three years – two speeding tickets (more than 10 but less than 20 miles over the posted speed limit) and one accident that was my fault (I hit a car in an intersection.  Our cars were damaged but our bodies weren’t).

About This Article

The goal was to go through the quotation mark process for several car indemnity companies to see what it takes to get a quote. Each quote summons was timed with a stopwatch, so it doesn ’ t take into explanation any time I may have spent chatting with my coworkers or making coffee or replying to emails. It besides doesn ’ t take into account the time it took me to look up my personal data. insurance companies want a draw of information, and different companies ask the same questions in different ways. I had my accident history and policy data handy because I made it up ; if you ’ re a real number person with a real drive record ( presumably you are ) you want to have that information at the fix so you ’ re not scrambling to find the answers while your session times out. You should have at the quick all of the information I list above plus the fastball points below – once you have that, make yourself a cup of chocolate and settle in to type. Some things to get ready ahead :

  • Current insurance provider, how long you’ve been with them, what your coverage levels are, and when your policy expires.
  • State minimums for where you live.  See our state guides or check with your state DMV if you’re not sure.
  • Accident and ticket history going back five years (everywhere requires three years; some want five).  A company will pull your driving history before finalizing your quote, but to ensure accuracy be sure you have as much information as possible.
  • Your car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), located either on your dashboard or in the driver’s side door.  How do I find it?
  • Information about how far you drive to work, an estimate of miles driven yearly (the American average is 12,000), and miles on your car.

Comparing Auto Insurance Companies

For each ship’s company, I started from the begin of the “ Customer Journey ” ( CJ ) and timed how long it took me to get a quote. Each company presented their data differently, and asked for mine in a different order. The below discussions are by no means exhaustive, but they do highlight some of the differences .


progressive ’ s CJ is all about the add-ons. The first thing they asked was if I wanted to bundle my car insurance with my home and life policy ( I said no ). Before they ’ five hundred give me my quotation mark, they told me about Snapshot and asked if I wanted to enroll in that program ( I didn ’ t ) .
The way their quotation offer was structured was a short jumble, but they do give you lots of options. As you edit options, the monetary value changes in real time, so you can see how different options affect your bottomland line. Once you ’ ve decided, you have even more options – pay in wide or in installments ?
After they show you the quote, they require a small more information ( this is reasonably standard ) – my VIN, license number, etc. They then check “ reports ” which may adjust your rate. My rate dropped by about $ 10 a month after they checked their “ reports ” – which was interesting, since Ms. Brooks doesn ’ t exist. They took me to a pay portal vein and gave me a .pdf of the policy to e-sign .
Total time to quote: 9:13.


Allstate wanted more information from me than some early companies – what I do, what separate of the city I live in – but it did take the inaugural and calculate my annually permute for me, which was appreciated .
american samoa soon as I told them were I live, they showed me the picture of and phone number for my local agent – in case I prefer communicating with a person. I liked that personal touch .
There were all sorts of discounts offered to me, some of which I had to opt into and some of which were deducted automatically. It was all laid out very intelligibly, and everyone likes saving money .
The layout of the quotation was easy to understand, and the side-by-side comparison of the packages offered was appreciated. After I selected my software, they asked a few more follow-up questions and sent me to the requital page .
Time to Quote: 13:41.


In addition to the questions early companies asked, GEICO wanted to know specifically what I did for a live, and if I ’ vitamin d been a government employee, they would have asked what GS flush I was ( that is, what my wage is ). This doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate seem like that should be relevant information for my indemnity caller, but given GEICO ’ second roots in insuring government employees, possibly there ’ s a reason for it .
The serve of disclosing my tickets was exceptionally annoying – I had to go through the same process three times. If I were the kind of person who was ashamed of my made-up accents, I would have been extra annoyed at this repeat .
GEICO knew what the minimums were in my department of state and the dropdown to choose my coverage level didn ’ t offer me less than that. When it came to discounts, though, they lone offered me affinity group discounts, and when it came time to pay, there was no benefit to paying in full upfront .
The quote was given to me as two options – any changes I made took me to a “ construct you own quote ” tab. I had to provide them with an electronic mail and call total before they let me see my quote .
Time to quote: 14:14.


Esurance ’ s quote process asks you if you want to take the “ scenic road ” or the “ express lane. ” Turns out they ’ ll pull your car information for you if you put in your date of birth and name, which sounds like it would be reasonably cool…but all they very did was pull my vehicle information. Unless I missed something farther down the line, I ’ m not sure how much prison term the “ express lane ” actually saved me, if any .
The first gear foliate was the discount rate page, which put me in a good climate with its cheerful float graphics and promises of a lower rate. Esurance didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate need vitamin a much detail about my violations as the early sites ( didn ’ t care about dates, for model ), but they did want to know if I had a PayPal bill, which I thought was a little wyrd. They besides asked about my current deductible, which wasn ’ t something anyone else wanted to know .
The quote was intelligibly displayed and the option to customize the policy was contiguous and apparent. They besides gave me the opportunity to compare with other companies – clicking the links took me to the competitors ’ pages, where I would have had to start over if I wanted to see a quote .
Before I purchased it reminded me what I was buying, and what it meant. If I were unfamiliar with the policy diligence, I ’ vitamin d appreciate this level of foil and explanation .
I wasn ’ triiodothyronine able to access the wage portal because I ’ m a made-up person ; my name didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate match the Social Security Number I gave them .
Time to quote: 5: 39

Farmers Insurance

Farmers annoyed me pretty much immediately because their dwelling screen doesn ’ triiodothyronine cash register me hitting the ‘ enter ’ key as submitting my nothing code. It took me a few second to realize this was what was happening, and I rolled my eyes at it .
Farmer ’ second was the first web site to ask me if my vehicle uses option fuel ( it doesn ’ t ) ; I don ’ t know if that actually affects your insurance, since cipher else asked about it, but it ’ south nice that they ’ re think green .
On the rape section, they asked for more information about my accident, with weirdly non-mutually-exclusive options. The listing of available professions was besides queerly limited, which I can lone assume is because some occupations are more germane to insurability than others .
Farmers gave me one quote, with no customization options. I could adjust my coverage levels, so I played with that for a while. It showed me how much each aspect of my coverage ( Bodily Injury, Property, Uinsured Motorist, etc ) was costing me, and let me tweak those values and recalculate my policy. The only alternatives it gave me under ‘ view more coverage options ’ were more expansive packages with Farmers. There was no mention of comparing with early companies .
Of all the sites I visited, Farmers was the least user-friendly, but it placid did its job and gave me an indemnity quotation .
Time to quote: 7:05

State Farm

state farm made me a fortune of offers – their “ Drive Safe & Save ” course of study, personal place and renters policy – and an entire panel of discounts all located on the like page .
The action came to a rather abrupt arrest after I ’ d entered all of my information ; a second gear attack was no more successful. I ’ megabyte assuming they realized I was a made-up person and kicked me from their system quite than waste resources generating a quotation mark I wasn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate going to use. I can respect that .
The layout of the site had no mascots, frills, or unnecessary images, which was a moment of a palate cleansing agent after five policy companies. I like their no-nonsense design .
Time to quote: 8:29

The General

The General didn ’ thyroxine ask for my last name until after I saw the quote, which credibly makes people feel more secure.

The first thing I noticed about The General was one of those “ chat with a real life person ” bubbles that are all the fury these days. Some other sites had them, but this one scrolled back and forth across my screen until I told it to stop. early than that, the CJ was pretty simple – they didn ’ t want to know that much about my driving history ( rape types, no dates ), and very small personal information .
The way the quote information was presented was a little confuse, and their “ compare other companies ” page didn ’ t give me any more data than to link me to early indemnity companies in my area .
once I ’ five hundred seen the quote, they wanted more data – last name, gender, e-mail and street address, plus the standard questions about the vehicle. They besides asked for the dates of my accidents at this distributor point, so wear ’ triiodothyronine think you can get away with not knowing. This added another five or sol minutes to the quote process. Once they realized I wasn ’ t a substantial person, the summons stalled out, but it looked like my quotation didn ’ triiodothyronine change when I added more data .
Time to quote: 3:54+


If you don ’ t live in California, Infinity ‘ s website will redirect you to, which is an associate company that will show you comparison rates from other companies .
If you live in California, you get an entirely different web site, which includes a little “ live chat ” bubble you have to chase across the blind to close .
The web site was able to calculate how retentive I ’ five hundred been licensed and let me alter the times in case there had been a lapse in my license or insurance condition. They besides gave me a ‘ date obscure ’ option for all of my violations. I ’ m not sure if they look it up for you or just approximate for the preliminary quotation mark procedure, but I liked the flexibility .
Like early sites, Infinity offered me a handful of options and let me customize them if I wanted to. angstrom soon as they failed to verify my identity, they kicked me out of their CJ .
Time to quote: 7:13


Unlike the other sites, SafeAuto insisted that I give it a verifiable address before I could proceed. fortunately, Google Maps shows me everything, so I was able to choose a random street to their atonement. They immediately asked for my full diagnose, date of give birth, and social security number, which would be a turnoff for me if I were concerned about data privacy ( with my own data, I am ). After filling out an initial panel of questions, they asked me to confirm my answers, because apparently I entered some information wrong. Given my answers, they couldn ’ triiodothyronine insure me, so they told me why, and pointed me to some companies that could. I liked that .
Their quote page gave me information about each element of the coverage and how it affected my quote but they didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate offer to compare anything or show me alternatives .
Time to quote: 6:09

Elephant Insurance

Before I could get past the beginning page, Elephant asked me for my date of give birth and earphone number, and then asked about my current six-month bounty, which isn ’ metric ton information I ’ d normally expect to have to give. however, their adjacent step was to show me the discounts that were available to me, which anyone would like to see .
In addition to their quote, they offered me comparisons – and seemed to encourage me to look at their competitors ’ sites. When I added the second gear roll of information ( VIN, license number, ownership status ) the quote bumped improving, but lone slenderly .
Time to quote: 6:12

The Hartford

The Hartford promised me a quotation mark in under 8 minutes, and they delivered, although it might take closer to 8 minutes if you need to look up information you don ’ t have handy .
Their serve was exchangeable to other websites ’, with the addition of a chew the fat windowpane that I had to actually tell to go away, and they had an ad for their own stylus of the use-based dismiss ( like Progressive ’ s Snapshot ) .
As with most sites, they offered me greater coverage, adenine well as customization of the policy they showed me. The “ stronger ” package was more than double the basic coverage, but they did a courteous breakdown on why. They besides encouraged me to save a share by bundling with renters indemnity .
After providing far data, like my license phone number, they determined that they can ’ triiodothyronine give me a quote because I don ’ t exist and referred me to a handy aid line .
Time to quote: 5:55.

National General

As I went through National General ‘ mho process, there was a prominently displayed quote phone number you could use if you wanted to leave and come back late. ( If other sites did that, they didn ’ metric ton do it in a way I noticed. ) I besides appreciated that they explained what the different “ limits ” think of, since most folks aren ’ triiodothyronine in the insurance industry and aren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate inevitably clear on what they do and do not need. National General besides defaulted to the state of matter minimums, which saved me the harass of looking it up .
They were unable to verify my identity but gave me the benefit of the doubt and offered me a quote – it wasn ’ t deoxyadenosine monophosphate customizable as some others, but there were dropdown options .
Time to quote: 5:45.

Liberty Mutual

The folks at Liberty Mutual seem to recognize that people are hesitant about giving out personal information, and explain to you precisely why they ’ re asking for each piece of information. I thought it was a fiddling curious that they needed to know what college I went to ; I assume it was in case they can offer me an affinity group discount rate, but apparently my college international relations and security network ’ thymine partnered with Liberty Mutual .
The buttons were massive and the web site was in truth easy to navigate. The quotation mark let me rollover words to see explanations/definitions of the versatile terms, which was considerate ; it was thus findable I discovered it wholly by accident .
When they determined I wasn ’ thymine very a person, they asked to call me to confirm some details, or offered to call me when it was convenient .
Time to quote: 8:18.


countrywide explained to me what the different types of use are, which I appreciated since there ’ s room for confusion about a car you drive for work versus pleasure .
They offered a skid of discounts, and explained both what discounts I qualified for and what share I could save. In the tangle of discounts and promotions and offers, I liked that no-nonsense access to saving me money .
The quote page seemed a little spot drawn out ; lots of scroll, but the data was all there and it gave me the choice among three coverage plans or creating my own. once I ’ five hundred selected a design, they took me to the pay portal without verifying that I ’ m a real person .


Like SafeAuto, Mercury asked me for my birthday and Social Security number immediately. fortunately, it wasn ’ t my information, so I wasn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate worried. Mercury is the only company that allows you the option of setting your limits on everything, which is great if you ’ ra supernumerary insurance-savvy, but may be a trouble for some less-educated folks. insurance can be a complicate diligence, and that much customizability may have a limit on utility .
Mercury was besides the only caller that included a question in the CJ about how you heard about them ( others had feedback forms, but they were optional ) .
I can ’ thyroxine buy the policy on-line ; they asked me to contact an agent who isn ’ t local, but their largest coverage area is California, so that ’ s not a surprise.

Time to quote: 7:05

The bottom line.

In order to gather the information for this article, I spent over one hundred minutes filling out the same information and looking at car insurance quotes. That ’ s an median of about 7:15 per locate. I know that may be person ’ s mind of a good time, but I found it rather boring – and I was getting paid for this. gene in an hour or so to collect all of your relevant information, and you ’ ra looking at a solid clock investment. When I got quotes from, it took me 5:30. How you spend your time is your clientele, but before you go down the rabbit trap of different indemnity carriers, why not compare car policy quotes with us ?

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