How Long Does It Take to Get Car Insurance?

Why You Can Trust trust shield

At, it’s our mission to find simple ways to help our customers save money on the things they need. While we partner with some of the companies and brands we talk about in our articles, all of our content is written and reviewed by our independent editorial team and never influenced by our partnerships. Learn about how we make money, review our editorial standards, and reference our data methodology to learn more about why you can trust

How long does it take to get car insurance: person signing a contract with a car key and a miniature car on it

You have the car, so how long does it take to get car insurance? Depending on how you purchase your policy, it can take just a few minutes or up to a few hours. The car insurance application process is generally pretty fast. Since you can set your policy date to start immediately, your coverage will begin as soon as you purchase a policy.

In this article, we’ll cover how to purchase car insurance, how long it will take, and what to look for when you’re selecting a policy.

How Long Does It Take to Get Car Insurance Coverage for Your Vehicle?

There are a few steps you’ll want to take when applying for car insurance coverage and purchasing an auto insurance policy, including comparing rates from multiple providers, selecting an insurance company, and applying for a policy. How long each of these steps takes will determine how much time the entire car insurance process involves.

Comparing Rates: A Few Minutes to a Few Hours

Because rates can vary so much from person to person – and from insurer to insurer – the best way to find the best company for you is to get auto insurance quotes from as many insurance companies as possible. That might seem daunting, but luckily, it doesn’t have to be as stressful as you think.

In the old days, you would call up insurance agents to get quotes. So if you wanted to get quotes from several companies to compare rates, you’d be making call after call, turning the whole process into something that could take hours or even days.

Luckily, there is a better way to shop for insurance and get personalized car insurance quotes. brings the car insurance companies to you. All you have to do is enter your information once, and you can get free quotes from dozens of the top insurers in your area in just a few minutes.

Compare Rates from Dozens of Companies

Choosing an Insurance Provider: A Few Minutes to a Few Hours

Toy cars, stacks of coins, and a calculator

Once you’ve received your personalized rates, the next step is choosing an insurance provider. But how do you know which offer is the best one for you? With so many options, where do you even begin?

First and foremost, you should compare insurers based on price. After all, when most people purchase an insurance policy, they look for cheap car insurance with the lowest possible insurance premiums. The insurer with the lowest personalized quote is a good option.

That said, price isn’t the only thing you should consider. For example, you may also want to factor in a company’s financial stability. Older, established auto insurance companies with high financial stability are more likely to be able to pay out claims, should you need to file one.

You should also consider the insurer’s reputation, customer satisfaction, and other customer perks and benefits. While these might not be a deciding factor in and of themselves, they could help to tip the balance between providers with similar rates. For example, if one insurance company has a sleek mobile app, 24/7 customer service, and an easy online application process, it might be a better fit than a company with a bare-bones website that only allows applicants to apply in person or over the phone.

Applying for a Policy: A Few Minutes

Once you’ve selected an insurance provider, it’s time to apply for a policy officially. In most cases, this takes just a few minutes. However, some insurers may require customers to apply over the phone or in person, which can take longer.

Before applying, you’ll need to gather some basic personal information and vehicle information, including your driver’s license number, date of birth, license plate number, vehicle identification number, and past insurance coverage history.

If you’re purchasing a new car, some insurers may offer a grace period of a few days to up to a month. But others may require you to begin your insurance coverage as soon as you drive off the lot, and some dealers require proof of insurance before they hand over the keys. You should check your policy details to ensure you’re covered once you begin driving your new vehicle.

You’ll also need to decide your deductible, what types of coverage and coverage limits you need to purchase, and ensure that you’re meeting insurance requirements for your state. Coverage options that you may need include:

  • Liability insurance coverage: Liability coverage includes bodily injury liability and property damage liability and is required in almost all states
  • Underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage: Also abbreviated to UM or UIM coverage, some states require this coverage, while it is optional in others
  • Personal injury protection: Again, personal injury protection – or PIP – may be required in your state or optional
  • Collision coverage: This type of coverage is usually optional, but lenders may require collision coverage if you finance and lease your car
  • Comprehensive coverage: Your lender may further require comprehensive coverage if you finance and lease your car, but it is otherwise optional.

Bonus: Canceling Your Existing Policy

If you’re switching from one insurance provider to another, you’ll need to cancel your existing policy. You can generally do so online or over the phone, depending on your insurance provider. To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea for your old policy and your new policy to overlap by at least a day. That way, you’ll have continuous coverage between the two policies.

Why You Should Get Multiple Car Insurance Quotes

Man happily driving his car

Whether you’re looking to get the cheapest possible car insurance or want specific coverage for your pride and joy, comparing car insurance is the only way to guarantee you get the best fit for you.

No Two Drivers Are the Same

You may have recently seen an ad offering major savings, but you go to their website, enter in your information, and the quote they offer you isn’t even close to the number you saw in the ad. How can that be?

Despite what the latest advertisements might say, no one company offers the best rates for all drivers across the board. Because car insurance companies base their rates on a variety of factors – things like your age, gender, address, driving record, vehicle make and model, and even your credit score – rates can be drastically different from driver to driver.

At the end of the day, there isn’t one company that’s right for everybody. The only way to make sure you find the one that’s right for you is to compare quotes and see which company is the best fit.

Comparison Platforms Can Save You Time

You don’t have to spend hours hopping from company to company, entering your information multiple times, just to find the best quote.

Insurance comparison platforms like bring the insurance companies to you, not the other way around. Simply enter some information and answer questions about you, your vehicle, and your driving record once. You’ll be presented with quotes from dozens of the top insurance companies in just a few minutes, all for free.

You could be well on your way to a new, cheaper car insurance policy in less than 30 minutes from start to finish. Wasting valuable time going from company to company to compare quotes is a thing of the past.

Comparing Can Save You Money

Seeing your possible rates in one place is the only way to ensure you get the best deal on your next car insurance policy. By comparing car insurance, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you found the most savings and have a policy best suited to you and your wallet.

After all, it’s no coincidence that customers save an average of $720 a year on their car insurance. Now that’s a lot of moola!


Unlock Your Cheapest Auto Insurance Rates 

Compare Car Insurance Quotes

About’s #1 goal is to save you money. We publish resources that are based on hard-hitting data and years of industry experience to help you make more informed decisions with your wallet.

  • All of’s content is written and reviewed for accuracy by a team of experienced writers and editors who are experts on the topics they cover.
  • None of’s content is ever influenced by the companies and brands we partner with.
  •’s editorial team operates independently of any of the company’s partnership or business development interests. We publish unbiased information strictly for the benefit of our readers.
  • All of the content you see on is based on comprehensive analysis and all data is gathered and vetted from trustworthy sources.

Learn more about us, our team, and what makes us tick.