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Same day car insurance

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Purchasing car insurance is a multi-step process. It starts with researching insurance providers and getting personalized quotes online, followed by choosing your coverage and setting your policy limits. The final step is to buy a policy and sign the contract.

Most car insurance carriers offer same day car insurance, which goes into effect on the day that you purchase the policy, and remains valid for six months to one year. For many drivers, instant auto insurance is the most convenient option. Having car insurance is important because it protects your legal and financial responsibility in the event of an accident.

Same day car insurance can be a good option for many drivers. But before you purchase same day auto insurance, it is helpful to know who can get same day car insurance, where you can purchase it and how this type of policy works.

Who can get same day car insurance?

Almost anyone can get same day car insurance. Because online car insurance has become the industry standard, most providers will give you coverage as soon as you apply and pay your first month’s premium. The entire process typically takes less than 15 minutes.

In certain situations, you might need car insurance immediately. A common example would be after purchasing a new vehicle. In order to drive your car off the lot, the vehicle will need to be insured. With same day auto insurance, you can buy a policy and get coverage instantly.

If you need instant insurance, your best option is to buy auto insurance online. Start by looking at the average cost of car insurance in your state to get a sense of what you can expect to pay. Then, get rate quotes from a few different providers, and choose the cheapest policy for the amount and type of coverage you need.

When you apply for a car insurance quote, you will be asked to submit some basic information about yourself and your vehicle. The insurance company uses this information to estimate your rate. Here is brief overview of the information needed to get a quote:

  • Your personal information: The first section of the online application will ask for your personal information, like your name, address, date of birth, marital status and gender.
  • Your driver’s license number: You will need to provide your driver’s license number as part of the quote process. The insurance company will look at your driving record before calculating your rate.
  • Your claims history: Your claims history contributes to your insurance premium. You may be asked to disclose any accidents, traffic violations or insurance claims you have filed within the last several years.
  • Your social security number: The insurance company may ask for your social security number, which is also used to check your credit score.
  • Your prior or existing insurance provider: If you currently have insurance and want to switch providers, you will be asked to provide the name of your existing insurance carrier and your policy’s start and end date.
  • The type of vehicle you drive: To get a quote, you will need to disclose the make, model and year of your vehicle, as well as the VIN number if available.
  • The vehicle’s mileage: Most insurance applications ask you to provide the vehicle’s mileage, which can be found on the odometer on the dashboard.
  • The vehicle’s date of purchase: On the application, you might be asked when you purchased the car and whether it was bought new or used.

When do you need instant car insurance?

Car insurance is legally required in almost all states. Auto insurance is used to protect your legal and financial responsibility in the event of an at-fault accident. When you purchase same day car insurance, you get to choose what type of coverage and how much coverage you want, as long as you must meet the state’s minimum insurance requirements.

Every state has different minimum coverage requirements, and every state charges a different rate for car insurance. While it is possible to find a cheap auto insurance policy, it is important to buy insurance as soon as possible. Driving without car insurance is illegal in most states, even if you just purchased a new vehicle or switched to another provider.

Most states require drivers to purchase a liability-only policy, which is the cheapest option. However, many drivers may choose to upgrade to a full coverage policy, which includes liability insurance plus collision and comprehensive insurance. The table below includes the standard types of coverage available with same day car insurance:

Car insurance coverage types

Liability Liability insurance includes bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. Bodily injury coverage pays for another driver’s medical bills if you are at fault in an accident, and property damage liability coverage covers damage you cause to another person’s property, such as their vehicle.
Comprehensive Comprehensive insurance is an optional coverage that pays to repair your car’s damage caused by incidents other than an accident. Comprehensive insurance will cover things like falling objects, hail storms, fire, flooding, theft and vandalism.
Collision Collision insurance is an optional coverage that pays to repair your car’s damage following a covered accident. It also applies to accidents with stationary objects, like a fence, mailbox or utility pole.

Most insurance companies offer other types of coverage, but they might not be available immediately. For example, some coverages like accident forgiveness or new car replacement require a waiting period for the insurance company to confirm that you are a safe driver.

When is same day car insurance not necessary?

Same day auto insurance is not always necessary. For instance, if you already have car insurance, but want to switch carriers or are preparing to buy a vehicle that you do yet own, you have more time to purchase an insurance policy. You might also want to take more time buying insurance if you prefer to work with an agent or have questions about the coverage available.

Where can you get car insurance immediately?

Car insurance rates vary by provider, so it is important to get multiple quotes and compare them to see which carrier is the best car insurance company for you. The table below includes the average annual premiums from five popular insurance providers:

Car insurance company Average annual premium for full coverage Average annual premium for minimum coverage State availability
Geico $1,405 $433 50 states and D.C.
Amica $1,378 $405 49 states and D.C. (not Hawaii)
State Farm $1,457 $539 50 states and D.C.
Erie $1,233 $409 Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and D.C.
Progressive $1,509 $582 50 states and D.C.

When choosing a car insurance provider, drivers should also consider factors like coverage options, discounts, customer service and financial strength ratings. If you are buying insurance for the first time, you might choose to talk to an agent in-person to learn more about the company and find out what type of coverage is right for you.

How does same day car insurance work?

When you buy same day car insurance, you will submit the application online, approve the quote, sign the policy and make the down payment with your credit card. Once you have paid, you will be able to download your policy ID cards, which are generally recommended to be kept in your vehicle.

If your insurance company has an online customer portal, you will be able to view your policy documents and make changes to your coverage online. Some insurance companies also have a mobile app where you can access your insurance ID cards, file a claim, request roadside assistance and more.

Frequently asked questions

What is the cheapest car insurance?

You can often find and buy cheap auto insurance policies online. The cheapest car insurance company is different for every driver because car insurance rates are personalized. Insurance companies look at factors like your ZIP code, age, credit score, claims history and your vehicle’s mileage to determine your rate.

Can you receive instant car insurance if you have poor credit?

It depends. Most car insurance companies will sell you a policy even with bad credit, but your rate will likely be higher than average. If you are concerned about getting approved for instant car insurance with poor credit, you could consider getting a policy from a non-standard insurance company that specializes in insuring high-risk drivers.

Can you get same day auto insurance in-person?

Yes, you can generally purchase an instant auto insurance policy if you visit an agent in-person, though it is more common for larger providers to have this option available. To ensure the process goes smoothly, you will want to make sure you have all the required pieces of personal and vehicle information. The application and quote process are the same, but many drivers find that purchasing car insurance online is a faster and more convenient option.

Written by
Elizabeth Rivelli
Insurance Contributor
Elizabeth Rivelli is a contributing insurance writer for Bankrate and has years of experience writing for insurance domains such as The Simple Dollar, and NextAdvisor, among others