Whether your car insurance policy is about to expire, you’re looking to switch insurance companies, or you just bought a brand-new car, you might be wondering if it’s possible to get same-day insurance. Having car insurance coverage is a legal requirement in most states, and it’s also a good idea if you want to protect yourself from paying out of pocket for damages and injuries that result from an accident.
To get an auto insurance policy the same day you need one, you should know what’s involved. In this guide, you’ll learn how to get same-day car insurance, which companies offer the best rates for immediate coverage, and everything else you need to know so you can get the coverage you’re after right away.
Is It Possible to Get Same-Day Car Insurance?
Getting car insurance coverage the same day you need it is not only possible, but it’s also common. Maybe you bought a car unexpectedly because it was a good deal, or perhaps you had an issue with your current insurance provider and you want to switch companies today. No matter why you need to get coverage immediately, calling an agent or going online and filling out a form to get a quote are the best ways to start the ball rolling so your coverage can begin.
You have the option to choose the day your policy starts, which means you can select the current date. You’ll typically have up to a 30-day window to begin coverage at the quoted rate. If the timeline expires, you’ll have to start the process over by getting another quote.
How to Get Same-Day Insurance
Use these steps if you want to get same-day insurance that provides the coverage you require:
Most car insurance companies offer a way for you to get a quote online. Of course, there are several pieces of information you need to supply to get a quote, but it won’t cost anything. The insurance company uses the information you provide to determine an estimated monthly insurance rate. The information insurance companies need includes:
- Personal information: Online car insurance applications usually start by asking for your personal information, such as your name, address, date of birth, marital status, and driver’s license number.
- Vehicle identification number (VIN): Every vehicle has a unique VIN, and most insurance companies require it before they will issue a policy. If you can’t provide the VIN, at least list the vehicle’s year, make and model.
- Driving history: The application may ask for information about insurance claims you’ve filed, accidents you’ve been involved in, and traffic violations you’ve received citations for. The information may cover several years.
- Social Security number: Your Social Security number allows the potential insurer to check your current credit score to help them understand the risk of you not paying your bill.
- Insurance provider: The application will ask for the name of your current insurance provider along with the start and end date of the policy.
- Vehicle mileage: Most applications require the vehicle’s current mileage if you want a more accurate quote, but this isn’t always a requirement.
- Date of purchase: The application may ask when you purchased the car and if it was new or used when you bought it.
Choose a Company
After you get quotes from several insurance companies, you can choose the company that provides you with the most coverage for the lowest price. Look for an insurance provider that offers the type of coverage you want for your vehicle at rates you can afford and that has a good reputation for handling claims. Get referrals from friends and use third-party sources to learn more about what people think of the company.
Confirm Your Coverage
Once you’ve decided on an insurance company to use, confirm your coverage. You need to know exactly what your policy includes and the limits for each coverage type. The most common types of required insurance coverage are:
- Bodily injury liability.
- Property damage.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist.
- Personal injury protection.
Optional endorsements you may want to add to your car insurance policy include:
- Collision coverage.
- Comprehensive coverage.
- Guaranteed asset protection (gap insurance).
- Rental reimbursement.
- Car replacement coverage.
- Classic car insurance.
- Towing or roadside assistance coverage.
Your insurance agent can help you decide on the coverage limits and deductible that make the most sense for your financial situation.
Provide Your Information
You had to provide some information to your potential insurance company when you got your quote, but when you’re ready to finalize your policy, you’ll need to provide a few more details about yourself and your household. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the insurance provider will need to know how many people live in your household and which ones need coverage for driving your vehicles. You can also expect the agent to ask about your parking accommodations, whether your vehicle has an antitheft device, which safety features your model has, and how far you drive annually.
Approve Your Policy
Before you approve your policy, reread all the details to make sure they’re correct. Look closely at the deductible, limits, and types of coverage. You can always add options to your policy later, but you won’t be covered for anything that’s not in your policy the day it goes into effect — car insurance is never retroactive. When you’re ready, you can talk to an agent to finalize the car insurance contract. This should only take a few minutes, and then you’ll receive an email confirmation about your new insurance coverage.
Decide Whether To Get Instant Car Insurance
Not everyone needs to get car insurance instantly. Consider these pros and cons to same-day insurance:
Reasons to Get Insurance in One Day
Getting car insurance the same day you need it is convenient. You can simply choose a company, sign up, and start your coverage. Taking care of your car insurance in one day eliminates the hassle of spending too much time sifting through car insurance quotes. It’s also great if getting insurance slipped your mind and you’re in a pinch to get coverage fast.
Reasons Not to Get Insurance in One Day
If you give yourself more time to look at each car insurance quote, you may end up with a better deal. Giving yourself time to gather more quotes means you have a larger pool of options to choose from, and you could end up with a lower insurance rate than if you had taken a quote that came back to you the same day you requested it.
Some online application tools won’t show you discounts that insurance companies offer, so you have to talk to an agent to get an accurate quote that includes any discounts you qualify for. Talking to several agents to get quotes that include discounts could take time, much longer than it takes to compile car insurance quotes online. But by doing so, you’ll get a more accurate rate for your estimated monthly premium.
If you still have questions about getting car insurance in one day, the answers to these FAQs may help:
Which Car Insurance Companies Offer Same-Day Coverage?
These are some of the companies that sell same-day insurance:
- State Farm.
- American Family.
If the insurance provider you want to work with isn’t on this list, they may still offer same-day car insurance. You can check their website or talk to an agent to find out about thier coverage options.
How Long Does It Take to Get Insurance Coverage?
How long it takes to get auto insurance coverage depends on whether you’re starting a new policy or you already have an existing one. For a new policy, the process may take an hour or less. You’ll most likely have to make a down payment that’s determined by the company and the level of coverage you want before activating the policy. A car insurance down payment is usually just the first month’s premium, and it doesn’t affect the overall policy amount.
For those with an active policy, it only takes a few minutes to get an immediate quote online, or you can speak directly to an insurance agent. If using the online option, you can access your account to view your policy and make changes to your current coverage.
What Are the Average Rates for Same-Day Car Insurance?
AutoInsurance.org details the average rates for car insurance from some of the best car insurance companies offering same-day car insurance
- American Family: $48.50 per month for minimum coverage, $115.50 per month for full coverage.
- Geico: $24.17 per month for minimum coverage, $82 per month for full coverage.
- Liberty Mutual: $64.25 per month for minimum coverage, $176.67 per month for full coverage.
- Allstate: $50.42 per month for minimum coverage, $166.08 per month for full coverage.
- Farmers: $56.17 per month for minimum coverage, $139.50 per month for full coverage.
These rates are based on a 45-year-old male who has a clean driving history. Insurance rates vary widely depending on a wide range of factors.
Why Didn’t I Get an Insurance Quote the Same Day?
There are several reasons you may not receive a quote immediately. These include:
- Missing information: You may not have provided the VIN, your driver’s license number, or other information required by the insurer , or you may have entered something incorrectly.
- Residence: You recently moved to a new residence or changed your address.
- Violations or accidents: Your driving history shows that you have been involved in multiple at-fault accidents or other driving violations. If either of these is the reason, you may need to contact insurance companies that sell policies to high-riskdrivers, which could mean a more expensive premium.
- Specialty vehicles: If your vehicle is considered classic, rare, or specialty, insurance companies may not be able to provide a quote. You might have to consider using a company that specializes in insuring these types of vehicles.
- Timing: You may not receive a quote if you don’t have possession of the vehicle or, to avoid a gap in coverage, you choose a start date that doesn’t match the coverage date for your old policy. If an insurer is offering a “pay today and start coverage later” discount and you want to take advantage of the offer, you could have to wait on a quote.
Can I Have Auto Insurance for One Day Only?
Car insurance is technically always one-day coverage because you can terminate the policy at any point. However, there are downsides to being insured for just one day, including:
- Down payment: Most insurance companies require a down payment of up to 30-45 days’ worth of the premium. If you choose to cancel the policy the day following its issuance, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the down payment refunded.
- Legal requirements: For all states except New Hampshire, drivers must have car insurance. Each state has its own set of consequences for driving without insurance, but some of the more common ones include having your license suspended, getting your vehicle impounded, and receiving citations that can have a negative effect on your driving record.
- Leased and financed vehicles: The contract for a leased or financed vehicle often requires having insurance coverage . When financing or leasing through a bank or dealership, you must maintain full coverage insurance, including collision, comprehensive, and liability coverage. If you cancel the policy and the lender receives notice, they could repossess your vehicle. Or, they could pay the insurance premium and pass the cost on to you, which can be expensive.
Legal issues: Driving without insurance coverage, even for one day, is risky. If you’re found to be at-fault in an accident and you’re notcovered, you may be issued a ticket, your license might be suspended, and a lawsuit can be filed against you for liability and property damages.
Idalia Garcia is a licensed insurance agent with extensive knowledge of various insurance lines. She has more than 12 years of experience in auto insurance and 10 years in property insurance.