What Information Is Needed on an Auto Insurance Application?
Applications for auto insurance may look different with each carrier, but the information needed by one company is likely to be the same as any other. Since automobile coverage provided by an insurer is basically an agreement to pay for expenses arising from an accident, a carrier needs detailed information to issue a policy in order to assess risk and charge a proper premium. The company will need details about the drivers, including birth dates, driver's license and social security numbers, as well as vehicle information and garaging address.
Automobile insurance policies can be complicated products, and insurers use a large amount of data to calculate the risk involved with covering motorists. That's why they need accurate details from applicants to correctly rate drivers.
Information Needed About Drivers
First, insurers will need details about the driver being insured and anyone who will operate or have access to the vehicle that will be covered. The info needed about a motorist will be name, gender, date of birth, place of residence, driver's license number and issue date, social security number, and marital status. All of this is likely to impact a consumer's premium.
For example, when a person tries to find auto insurance and applies for coverage they will be asked to provide a description of their driving record, including whether they have had tickets or accidents. Someone with a clean history will often receive cheaper rates than those with mishaps in the past. Failing to mention negative items can result in a misquote once the insurer runs the applicant's motor vehicle report, which in turn can lead to a higher premium.
All but a few states allow carriers to use credit history as a rating factor, so a motorist's social security number will most likely be needed. Many consumers don't agree that credit reports are a good indication of risk, but numerous studies support the idea that drivers' finances correlate with their likelihood of filing a claim.
The gender, age, marital status, and place of residence will also have an impact on insurance premiums. This is due to the following statistical findings:
- Males are involved in more accidents than females.
- Motorists under the age of 25 are more likely to have a traffic accident than any other age group.
- Married drivers are less likely to be in a crash than singles.
- The risk of accidents and claims are higher in some areas than others. For example, a person living in a high-traffic area will have more of a chance of suffering a loss than a person living in a rural area.
Vehicle details carry a significant amount of weight when insurance providers charge for coverage. Automobiles vary in cost, safety, performance, theft rate, and antitheft features. A vehicle that has a high replacement value will cost more to insure than a car of lesser value. Cars that have high safety ratings tend to be cheaper to insure for coverages that pay for the policyholder's own damages from an accident. Safer vehicles are less likely to crash and are usually equipped with safety features such as airbags that lower the severity of injuries sustained by occupants.
Vehicles with high theft rates will generally cost more to protect with comprehensive coverage because they have a higher risk of being stolen. But if a vehicle owner has an antitheft device such as a tracking system or audible alarm, it may offset some of the premium.
Additional questions that may be on insurance applications would pertain to a person's driving habits. For instance, an insurer is likely to ask an applicant to estimate the miles that the car is driven annually; the more an automobile is driven, the higher the chance of it being involved in an accident, which will lead to higher premiums. An insurer may also ask if the vehicle will be used for business, pleasure, or in a carpool.
Insurance companies need to gather quite a bit of information to help correctly calculate a reasonable premium for the risk they are assuming. Although it may sound like an overwhelming amount of details are necessary to get insured, most consumers have this info readily available on driver's licenses and vehicle registrations.