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Robbie Hoye

By: Robbie Hoye on April 2nd, 2024

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Why You Shouldn’t Get a Quick Personal Insurance Quote

Personal Auto | Individuals & Families | Condo Insurance | Home Insurance | Renters Insurance

Let’s face it, shopping for insurance isn’t exactly everyone's favorite pastime. I mean, the team at Berry thinks insurance is pretty cool - but then again it is our life, so that’s not a fair comparison. 

For most of us, we’re hoping to find new insurance coverage through the quickest possible route - which is completely understandable! Unfortunately, when you set out to only spend 15 minutes in hopes of receiving a quality quote that provides the best coverage and cost - you’re likely going to wind up being disappointed. 

At Berry Insurance, we often get clients only interested in quick quotes - either through a short phone call or plugging their information into an online quoting tool. While this sounds enticing, we frequently inform our clients that we prefer a more thorough walkthrough of policies and assets that will yield them more comprehensive coverage. 

So, in this article we’ll be explaining our reasoning, including everything that needs to go into providing you a quality quote - even if that means it isn’t instantaneous. 

So why don't we give a quick quote? 

When it comes to providing quotes for clients, it’s virtually impossible to give a quality quote that takes into account all the necessary factors needed to determine coverage size/cost. 

When our team at Berry Insurance works with a client, we ensure that we will efficiently walk through every area of the clients desire policy/assets that will give us enough information to then provide a quality quote with accurate cost and coverage. 

When working with any agency or company that markets themselves as providing a “quick quote” we would warn clients about the dangers of being misquoted - resulting in them having improper coverage in the event they find themselves with a loss or filing a claim. 

At the end of the day, you’d rather have an accurate quote that takes only a little longer than a quick but generic misquoted policy that leaves plenty of gaps. 

What goes into getting a personal insurance quote? 

To receive the most accurate and comprehensive coverage on your policy, you should be prepared to provide information and answer some basic questions on you and your family, your desired types of insurance coverage, previous claims history, and more. 

Since you’ll likely be calling about personal insurance, we’ll mostly be referring to home/renters/condo and auto insurance. However, over the course of receiving your quote you may want to include additional personal insurance policies, including personal liability umbrella insurance, life insurance, flood insurance, pet insurance, boat insurance, or RV insurance - which would require additional information. 

We know this can sound like a lot, but remember the end product will be worth it! To help you keep track of what you should prepare before your quote call, we’ve attached a worksheet for you to fill out at the end of this article! 

The main areas you can expect to be asked about by your agent include: 

Contact information: 

Fairly self explanatory, but your agent will need to know all your basic contact information and how you like to be contacted best - over the phone, email, text, etc. 

This will just be information you likely know off the top of your head, such as name, phone number, email address, address, and occupation of all owners of the property. 

Coverage history:

Even when applying for new personal insurance, you will need to provide your previous coverage history - specifically your current policies. 

Your agent may also ask you to list your current policy types, their policy numbers, their effective dates, and the agent/carrier they are placed with. If you are getting a new agent/carrier when changing policies, we would also help to cancel your old policies after you receive a quote you’re satisfied with. 

Additionally, you will be asked if you’ve had any claims within the last five years, if you have any outstanding premium, or if you’ve ever had a policy canceled for non-renewal. 

Information for home/renters/condo insurance:

1. Property info

The chunk of the questions your agent will be asking you when applying for a personal insurance quote will be in regards to your property, whether it is a home, condo, or apartment. 

Depending on the type of property you’re looking to insure, you will need to know when it was built, when you moved in or are planning to move in, square footage, what detached structures are on the property, renovation plans, type of heating, basement, and any special features. 

You will also be asked about how the home is financed, and if it is escrowed.

We will usually ask new clients about their possessions to help determine your policies personal property limits, as well as if you want to consider scheduling any expensive or valuable items (such as jewelry or fine art) on your policy. To learn more about how to schedule items on your policy, check out this guide: Everything You Need To Know About Scheduled Items. 

2. Special exposures

On top of some general details about your property, you will also be asked about more specific exposures you may have on your property or personally that can help to determine personal liability and medical payment coverages. 

Some of these may include:

  • If you have pets
  • If you have a pool
  • If you have a trampoline/playset/treehouse
  • If you have a pond/stream/brook/body of water in or near your yard
  • If you have a second home
  • If you have rental properties
  • If you work from home
  • If you serve on any boards
  • If you are the trustee/executor of any estate

For more on the types of exposures that could affect your policy, read this guide: Unique Exposures that Could Impact your Home Insurance.

Information for auto insurance: 

1. Vehicle information

When applying for an auto insurance quote, you will need to provide information on the vehicles you plan to include on your policy. 

This includes: 

  • Vehicle make & model 
  • Plate number 
  • Where the vehicles will be garaged 
  • If the vehicles have any car seats 
  • If you have any classic cars, motorcycles, or recreational vehicles

Agents or carriers may be able to retrieve some of this information on their own through the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles, but if you’re moving to MA from another state, or getting a policy for a new vehicle, you will need to provide that information. 

You will also need to decide whether to include collision or comprehensive coverage, which your agent will discuss with you and help you decide.

Don’t have a vehicle, but would like to know if you should still have auto insurance? Read this guide: Do I Need Massachusetts Car Insurance if I Don’t Have a Vehicle?

2. Driver information

The next area your policy your agent will ask you about is the drivers you want to be listed on your policy. 

This will require information for each licensed driver in the household, including: 

  • Names
  • Dates of birth
  • License numbers
  • Which vehicles they operate
  • If any drivers have their own policies
  • Driving history 

Agents will also ask you if there is anyone else that operates your vehicles (such as extended family, neighbors, or nannies), if the vehicles will be used for business or ride sharing, and other factors that could affect your policy. For more info on who you should have listed on your auto policy, read this helpful guide: Who Needs to be Listed on Your Auto Insurance Policy?

They may also ask questions to determine discount opportunities, such as “are any drivers in the house currently B or better students?” Additionally, your agent will ask if you have any children who will be receiving their license soon or if they’re currently away at school

After gathering all this information regarding your residence, vehicles, and family, we should now (finally) be ready to get your quote! 

Slow and steady…

Receiving the right insurance quote and coverage for you is not a sprint, and thus shouldn’t be rushed. While getting a quick quote can feel gratifying in the moment, it will often lead to gaps in coverage that policyholders may not realize until they experience a loss and have to file a claim - and by then it’s too late. 

Walking through the steps and questions we outlined above helps to paint the full picture that can in turn provide us with a better understanding of your insurance needs and you with a better, more accurate quote!

Still not convinced Berry Insurance is the right fit for you? Head on over to our article on the benefits of having your insurance with a local agency like us, and what we offer our clients. To know what you should be looking for in an insurance agent or company, check out this guide:  What to Look For when Selecting an Insurance Agency or Company.

Download the Worksheet