Car Insurance Coverage Time Limits

Car insurance time limits are affected by the state you live in and the car insurance company you use. Car insurance time limits are usually only a matter of days after you buy a new car. Waiting too long to buy car insurance may result in higher rates and legal penalties. Get a car insurance quote quickly with our free comparison tool below.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Aug 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Car insurance companies limit the amount of time they offer car insurance because the driver has a limited amount of time to become insured
  • Whether you are buying a new car or used car, or are given a car, you only have a certain amount of days to become insured depending on your state’s requirements
  • Anything can happen between the time you receive a quote and actually purchase insurance, so the insurance company must protect itself against loss by limiting the amount of time the quote is active

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How long is a car insurance quote good for?

 

The amount of time a car insurance quote is accurate really depends on the car insurance company. Most companies want you to purchase your car insurance within three days of receiving your quote.

However, many car insurance companies may keep your quote on file within the website so that you can come back, login, and retrieve your quote. Your quote may be available for as long as thirty days or up to a year.

The quote will most likely change the longer you wait to use it due to increases in insurance rates and insurance laws.

The companies that choose to maintain your quote on file are trying to allow you as the consumer to be able to take the time to make a decision.

Another reason the company is saving your quote is because it is a selling tool to get you back at a later date to purchase insurance from them.

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How long do I have to get my car insured?

 

The amount of time you have to get your car insured really depends on the state in which you reside.

However, when buying a car you usually have to prove that you have car insurance prior to driving the car off the lot, according to the Credit Provider Financial Network’s “The Basics of Auto Refinance”.

Having insurance already in place protects the dealer and you from any losses to the car.

When you already have car insurance on a car, and you trade the car in for another, most insurance companies want you to inform them of the trade within thirty days.

However, the sooner you make this call, the better, as it does take time for the insurance company to process your request.

This is also true when you purchase or are given additional cars for your household. The insurance company will simply add these cars to your current policy, but the company still needs time to process the request.

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How long does it take to process car insurance?

Processing car insurance takes time, which is another reason why your car insurance quote will only last for a short period of time.

It can take up to three days to process new insurance, and the insurance companies know this. They want to make sure they have sufficient time to process you as a new customer.

As a customer, you want to make sure you give yourself sufficient time to fine new car insurance.

You do not want to find yourself without car insurance because you took too long to decide on a company.

You will also pay more for car insurance if you wait to the last minute to purchase a new policy before your old one expires.

What happens if the quote I receive is different from what I get billed?

 

Many times the quote you receive you will be different from what you are actually charged. This is usually due to the information that you provided to the insurance company.

After you decide to procure insurance from their company, the company will pull your driving record and credit report.

Upon review of these items, the company may need to increase your insurance premiums if you prove to be a higher risk than originally determined when you received the quote.

The insurance company has 30 days to inform you of the new amount and the reasons why the premium was increased.

If the company fails to do this or if you feel that the company charged you more undeservedly, you can contact your state’s Department of Insurance or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Understand that this quote is just an estimate. Any quotes you receive may end up being different once the insurance company processes your request.

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References:

  1. https://www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm
  2. https://www.creditprovider.com/auto-refinance-basics.asp
  3. https://www.answerfinancial.com/insurance-center/insuring-your-new-car-with-existing-car-insurance-coverage
  4. https://www.esurance.com/info/car/5-steps-to-switching-your-car-insurance
  5. https://www.naic.org/

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