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Why a Quote Price May Change After You Click "Purchase"

2016 12 29 Quotepricechange

By Madeline Klein on December 29, 2016 in Insurance Basics

If you've ever quoted for insurance, clicked purchase and sighed with disappointment as the rate changed, you're not alone. No, it isn't a scheme all of the insurance companies are in on, luring you into their web of lies, hoping you're too complacent to click away and quote somewhere else. It's (most likely) something on a driving record or timing. Let us explain, at least from the Say perspective.

Quote Process

When you go to fill out a quote, you will be asked for a lot of personal information—name, age, marriage status, address, car make and model, etc. Then you are asked about your driving record and if you've had any accidents or violations. Then you'll talk coverage—what kind, limits, deductible amount, etc.

The personal details help your insurance predict how you'll be as a driver, and the coverage choices assess what kind of cost could be associated with the type of driver you're predicted to be. As you answer each question honestly, our system does its best to plug in the information and create a premium price prediction as close to your actual rated premium as possible.

Why not give the actual rate up front?

Short answer: getting the actual premium costs money.

In order to make sure we are covering the person they say they are, the car they said they drive, the driving record they claim they have, etc., your insurance has to order a motor vehicle report (MVR). The MVR tells them about any license restrictions, traffic violations and accidents.

It's not that we mind paying for those, obviously they're useful, but quoting a premium prior to running the report helps reduce costs.

Here's how. Once you have a general idea of what your premium will be, you can determine whether or not it’s a price you want to pay. If the premium is outrageous, you know you won't purchase and they know not to order the reports. If the price seems reasonable to you, running the report seems reasonable to the insurance.

That being said, if you forgot about the ticket you got two years ago for running a stop sign, the reports will catch it and your rate might go up. On the other side, your rate might go down if you reported you had an accident, but it actually dropped off of your record two months ago.

I was honest, it still changed. Why?

So your record is claim-free and clean, but the rate still jumped. Still not a scheme, we promise. One option: You quoted a while ago, came back and the rating system changed.

Second, more likely option: You have another driver in your household, and something on their driving record bumped your rate. Even if you're the only one who drives your car, living with someone increases the chance that they will drive it at some point, even if it's as simple as moving spots in the driveway, and insurance companies factor in that risk.

If those reasons still don't explain why your rate changed after you hit purchase, give your insurance a call and they will try to get to the bottom of it with you.

Madeline Klein is Say's Digital Content Producer. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism, emphasis in Strategic Communication. Her experience is in writing and digital media. Madeline loves using her creativity to write and design new and exciting pieces of work for Say!