How Long to Get Car Insurance (After Buying a Car or With a New Car Purchase)

How long does it take to get car insurance online? Not long, just a few minutes. Once you've input your personal info and compared auto insurance quotes, you can purchase a policy in 15 minutes or less. How long does it take to get affordable car insurance? Compare car insurance rates online to find the best prices. Read on to learn how long it takes to buy car insurance and how to get the best rates.

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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: Sep 23, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • There are several different ways that you can retrieve auto insurance quotes. Some popular ways include by phone, in person, through email, or via the Internet
  • If you have all of the information that you need when you’re requesting quotes, it won’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes to find out how much you’ll pay for coverage through a carrier
  • Your coverage will be effective on the date that you select. The underwriting period lasts between 30 and 60 days

When you’re shopping for personal car insurance, you’ll quickly discover that there are hundreds of companies licensed to sell policies in your state.

Unlike retail companies, where you can stroll down store aisles to find the best deal, the products sold by an insurance company carry a unique price tag. This is why it’s so important to get quotes to find cheap insurance.

How long does it take to get insurance and how long after buying a car do you need to get insurance? Sometimes, it’s as easy and quick as the same day, but it does depend.

The idea of contacting several insurance companies to get quotes might sound time-consuming but it doesn’t have to take as much time as you might think.

How long does it take to get auto insurance? Get quotes as quickly as today. Enter your ZIP code into the FREE tool above to find cheap auto insurance in your area. How long does it take to get a car insurance company? Only as long as it takes to compare rates and choose which is best for you.

How long does it take to get a single quote for car insurance?

You need to get at least a handful of quotes before you can confidently say that you’ve found the best rate, but how long does it take to get car insurance quotes?

There’s no way to tell how long it will take to get all of your quotes if you request each rate quote separately, but it usually takes around 15 minutes to learn the system and to fill out each field on the form.

According to a survey conducted on online auto quotes, the average person estimated that they spent about 8 minutes filling out direct writing quoting forms from start to finish.

Your rates will be unique to your own circumstances, as insurers look at things like your location, driving record, and credit history. The table below shows countrywide car insruance rates.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates- Countrywide
Type of Car Insurance CoverageAnnual Rates
Liability$516.39
Collision$299.73
Comprehensive$138.87
Full Coverage$954.99
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This video from Allstate goes over some factors that might influence how much you pay for your car insurance.

Consumers that used less advanced systems that didn’t pre-populate vehicle information and addresses spent a few minutes more.

Car insurance quotes can change on a daily basis. So, if you get good quotes, don’t sleep on it.

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Why is comparing car insurance rates so important?

Any financial expert will tell you five to 10 quotes when you’re comparing the premiums.

These experts recommend this because they understand how auto insurance rate making works.

In the industry, there are preferred providers, standard providers, and substandard providers that sell high-risk insurance.

Places like Mass.gov can show you sample quotes of what you may end up with, but keep in mind these rates go by your specific demographic.

How can you save time and still compare several car insurance rates quotes?

Each type of provider offers competitive rates in a different segment of the market. By getting multiple quotes, you can scratch carriers that don’t offer low rates off of your list of options.

Getting 5, 10, or even 15 quotes from competitors in the personal car insurance market can be very time-consuming if it takes 8 to 15 minutes to get each quote.

The best way for time-conscious shoppers to get several quotes in just minutes is to use an online quote comparison system.

You should never pay to use a comparison tool as a consumer. Insurance companies are the ones who pay to promote their products through a comparison site.

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Choosing How to Shop for Car Insurance

There are so many different ways that you can get insurance quotes and so many different types of professionals that you can contact.

When you’re concerned with time, you should know how the method of contact that you choose can matter.

As you’re trying to decide if you want to visit a district office, make an appointment with a broker, call an agent, dial a toll-free number, log on to an insurer’s quoting tool, or use a comparison tool online, know how your choice affects time frames.

Getting face-to-face insurance quotes will always take longer than getting quotes by phone or via the world wide web.

Not only do you have to make the time to visit an agent during office hours, you also have to count the time you spend driving there and back. This is why busy shoppers look to get quotes by phone or on the Internet.

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What is the difference between a direct writer system and a car insurance comparison tool?

If you decide to do business online, you’ll find that there are two different types of quote systems.

There are systems that are developed and managed by the insurer selling the products and there are other comparison systems that are run by a third-party company.

Both types of systems are free to use but you can only get quotes from the direct writer if you use the official tool.

What documents can help you get accurate car insurance quotes?

The rates you’re quoted can legally change after you submit your application. The rates you’re given are based on the information that you give.

If anything changes and it has an effect on risk, your final rate will go up.

To ensure that you have all of the most accurate information, here are some documents that you should have access to:

  • Declarations page
  • Claims Loss Underwriting Exchange report
  • Motor Vehicle Report through the state
  • Bank information for automatic payments

How long does it take to get your car insurance card? Knowing this can reduce your anxiety about shopping and encourage you to shop around for your best price. Keep reading to learn more about the timing of car insurance.

How long does it take to review a car insurance application?

Every insurance application goes through an underwriting period. This is called the binding period of the application process and it can last 30 to 60 days.

If the underwriter finds tickets, accidents, or fraud convictions, the rate can change or the policy can be canceled entirely.

How long does it take to get car insurance rates? Just a matter of minutes: Enter your ZIP code below to compare quotes from multiple companies at once.

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Frequently Asked Questions: How Long to Get Car Insurance (After Buying a Car or With a New Car Purchase)

We’ve added a few more FAQs below.

#1 – How long do I have to get insurance on a new car?

If you already have insurance coverage on another vehicle, you’ll need to contact your insurer ASAP. However, there is usually a grace period so that you can drive it off the lot safely.

During that time — which varies from around two to 30 days— damages that occur should be covered in the event of an accident.

#2 – How long does buying a car take? 

Buying a car is generally pretty quick. Although it may take you a while to decide which vehicle you want, the actual paperwork portion will only take one to two hours most of the time. Sometimes, it’s even faster.

Don’t put off buying insurance. If you don’t think you have the time, you can pull up a website on your laptop or smartphone and retrieve quotes on your lunch hour or before bed.

#3 – How long does it take to get car insurance money?

Most companies try to settle claims within 30 days, though every company is different. How long does it take to get car insurance from Geico may have a different answer than how long does it take to get car insurance from Allstate.

#4 – How long does it take to get a car insurance settlement?

How long does it take to get car insurance payout? In some states, after an agreement is met, companies must pay within 30 days. Most states have rules of some sort in place to ensure a speedy payment.

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Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by State