How to Get Same-Day Car Insurance

How to Get Same-Day Car Insurance

Most car insurance companies will sell you coverage that goes into effect on the same day that you buy it. Once the insurer has provided you with a quote, it will let you purchase the policy and put it into effect right away.

If you want to purchase instant car insurance, enter your ZIP code below to get quotes and start comparing rates. Otherwise, read on to learn more about same-day car insurance.

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Currently insured?

Can I get car insurance instantly?

Yes! If you need car insurance quickly, you can generally call or go online to get a quote and have coverage for your car all in one day. For example, if you've just purchased a new car at a dealership and need coverage in order to drive it off the lot, you can get the policy you need almost immediately.

The most convenient way to buy insurance and put it into effect on the same day is often to buy it online.

Larger insurance companies, like State Farm, Progressive and Geico, are more likely to offer same-day insurance than smaller or more specialized insurers. Smaller insurance companies typically require you to call one of their agents or go into an office to secure a policy.

How long does it take to get car insurance?

When you're buying car insurance, the insurance company will ask you what day you want your policy to start. You can usually choose any date between today — that's same-day car insurance — and a month from now.

If you already have car insurance, you'll want to choose the day that your current car insurance ends so there's no gap or overlap. If you don't already have coverage, choose the date you will own your car. If that's today, choose today. If your car won't be ready until two weeks from now, buy it for then.

Note that you can't buy car insurance retroactively, even on the same day. If you were in an accident or received a ticket for driving without insurance, you can't buy coverage later and expect it to cover you.

What do I need to get a quote and buy insurance online?

Even if you're working with an insurance company that can provide auto insurance immediately, you'll need some information about yourself, your household and your car to get coverage quickly.

The insurance company will use information you provide, plus information available from third parties, like your credit score, to set your rates and provide you with a car insurance quote.

Information you'll need to get a same-day insurance policy

  • Full name, occupation, driver's license and Social Security number of all drivers you want to add to the policy
  • Your average commuting distance
  • Your legal and mailing address
  • Current auto insurance policy details, if any
  • Details of each car you're insuring, including make, model and vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Date you purchased your car and current mileage
  • Credit or debit card number

What can prevent drivers from getting car insurance immediately?

In some circumstances, it's possible that an insurance company won't be able to provide you with insurance coverage right away. This might be because the company is missing key information about you that it needs to set your rates.

For example, car insurance companies consider where you live when they are setting rates. If you recently moved and the insurer can't verify your address, it may not sell you a policy right away.

There could also be something about your current situation that means the insurance company needs more time to set your rate or approve your coverage. You may be looking for coverage for a rare or high-value car that isn't in the insurance company's price database. Or a checkered driving history may mean an insurance company doesn't offer you a quote at all.

Reasons you may not receive an insurance quote immediately

  • You're missing any of the information required to apply for insurance, even if it's listed as "optional" in the application
  • You recently moved
  • You have multiple recent at-fault accidents or driving violations
  • You own a rare or specialty car

If an insurance company isn't able to sell you insurance online immediately, try calling the company to determine what's causing the issue and to solve the problem. If you're not able to take care of it quickly, you may just need to move on to another insurance company.

Are there reasons I shouldn't buy same-day car insurance?

While there's no denying that it's convenient to buy car insurance on the same day you need it, it's not your only option, and there are benefits of planning ahead. If you purchase coverage in one day, you'll have less time to find the lowest prices for car insurance, which is the best way to save money on your insurance premium.

Additionally, some insurance companies will give you a discount for buying insurance ahead of time. Not every company offers this discount, but if it's available, you can save 3% to 10% for buying in advance. For example, American Family gives you a discount if you buy your insurance more than seven days in advance.

Which insurance companies sell same-day insurance online?

Many of the most popular insurance companies will allow you to get a quote and buy car insurance online immediately. And you can often buy coverage on your cellphone or mobile device, so you don't even need a computer to do it.

Here is a list showing which top insurance companies will sell you insurance through the internet:

Insurance company
Can you buy car insurance online immediately?
State FarmYes
American FamilyYes
Erie InsuranceNo
Liberty MutualYes
Safe AutoYes, in some states
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Matt is a Technical Writer at ValuePenguin who works on distilling the complex details of insurance into accessible advice. He previously created educational content at Grovo Learning and MarketSmiths Content Strategists. Matt's consumer-focused analysis of insurance has appeared in publications like CNBC, Yahoo Finance and the Miami Herald.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.