Cheap Same-Day Car Insurance

Cheap Same-Day Car Insurance

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You can typically get a policy with the best car insurance companies in less than an hour. Here’s how to get cheap same-day car insurance.

Gather Your Driver and Car Information

The first step in buying cheap car insurance is to have the necessary information on hand:

  • Driver’s license numbers for all drivers on the policy
  • Date of birth for all drivers on the policy
  • Driving history for all drivers on the policy, including traffic violations, at-fault accidents and any completed safe-driving courses
  • Vehicle information for all vehicles on the policy, including year, make, model and vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Garaging address (usually your home address)
  • Your current insurance company (if you have one) and coverage limits
  • Related: How to buy car insurance (5 easy steps)

    Decide How Much Coverage You Need

    Before you purchase a policy, you’ll need to determine how much car insurance you need. If you already have insurance and plan to switch car insurance companies, now is a good time to figure out if your current coverage amounts still meet your needs. If you don’t have enough coverage, you could be underinsured. But if you buy too much, you’re overpaying for coverage you don’t need.

    Here are the main types of car insurance.

    Liability car insurance

    If you cause a car accident that results in property damage or injuries to others, liability car insurance pays for repair bills and medical expenses. It also covers legal expenses if you are sued because of an accident.

    You are required to have liability car insurance in most states, except for New Hampshire and Virginia. For example, if you buy car insurance in Texas, you must buy at least 30/60/25, which means:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury or death of one person
  • $60,000 for bodily injury or death for two or more people
  • $25,000 for property damage
  • It’s a good idea to buy more than your state’s minimum required amount of liability insurance. For example, if you caused a car crash in Texas that caused multiple injuries and resulted in more than $60,000 in medical bills, you would be responsible for the amount that exceeds $60,000. A good rule of thumb is to buy enough liability insurance to cover what could be taken from you in a lawsuit.

    Uninsured motorist coverage

    Even though liability car insurance is required in most states, not all drivers abide by the law. Or some drivers might not have enough liability insurance to cover an expensive car accident. When someone without liability car insurance or insufficient liability car insurance crashes into you, your uninsured motorist insurance (UM) and underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) pays for medical bills and other expenses, like lost wages, pain and suffering and funeral expenses.

    Some states require UM, and others offer UM as an optional coverage (you can reject coverage in writing). Even if you are not required to have UM, it is generally a coverage worth buying.

    Personal injury protection

    If you or your passengers get hurt in a car accident, personal injury protection (PIP) pays for medical bills and other expenses (such as lost wages and funeral costs), no matter who is at fault for the accident.

    PIP is required in some states and optional in others. Check your state’s insurance requirement to determine if you need PIP.

    Collision and comprehensive insurance

    If you want coverage for car repair bills for your own car, you’ll need to buy collision and comprehensive insurance. These coverage types are often sold together, but they cover different types of problems:

  • Collision insurance pays to replace or repair your car after an accident such as crashing into another vehicle or an object (like a pole or guardrail).
  • Comprehensive insurance pays to replace or repair your car after a problem such as vandalism, car theft, fire, floods, hail, falling objects and collision with animals.
  • Both collision and comprehensive insurance have a car insurance deductible. That’s the amount that’s deducted from your insurance check if you file a collision or comprehensive claim. Common car insurance deductible amounts are $250, $500 and $1,000 (or higher). If you choose a higher deductible amount, you’ll pay less in car insurance rates because your insurance company will pay less for a claim.

    If you have a lease or car loan, your leasing company or lender will likely require you to buy collision and comprehensive insurance.

    Related: How to buy car insurance for your new car

    Other types of car insurance

    Here are some additional coverages to consider:

  • Medical payments. This coverage pays for medical bills for you and your passengers, no matter who caused the car accident. Medical Payments is sometimes called “MedPay.” It’s generally sold in small amounts between $1,000 and $5,000. MedPay is not available in every state.
  • Gap insurance. If your car is totaled due to a problem covered by your policy (like a crash or fire), gap insurance covers the “gap” between the depreciated value of your car and what you owe on a car loan or lease.
  • Rental reimbursement insurance. If your car is being repaired or replaced due to a problem covered by your policy (like a car crash), rental reimbursement insurance helps pay for transportation costs, such as a rental car or subway fare.
  • Roadside assistance insurance. If your car breaks down, roadside assistance insurance helps pay for services like a tow truck, locksmith, fuel delivery or a jump-start for a dead battery.
  • Compare Same-Day Car Insurance Quotes

    Now that you have gathered your information and determined how much and what type of car insurance you need, it’s time to start the shopping process. The best way to find cheap same-day car insurance is to compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies. That’s because car insurance rates can vary drastically from one insurer to the next. Don’t skip this crucial step.

    You can get free quotes:

  • Online. Get free car insurance quotes by going to an insurance company’s website or by using a comparison site that lets you compare several policies at once.
  • An insurance agent. If you prefer to speak with someone, contact an insurance agent. It’s better to speak with an independent agent who sells policies from multiple insurance companies compared to a captive agent that only sells policies from one insurance company.
  • How to Buy Same-Day Car Insurance

    Once you select a company and policy, you’ll need to submit an auto insurance application. This process can typically be done online or through an insurance agent.

    If you are eligible for the policy, you’ll need to make a payment. By paying your full premium up front, you may be able to score up to a 10% discount, depending on your insurance company. If you prefer to pay in monthly installments, you may be able to get a small discount for using automatic withdrawals.

    When you have the policy, your insurer will send you proof of insurance by email, fax or mail. Some car insurance company mobile apps provide the option to download your proof of insurance. Most states (except for New Mexico) accept digital proof of auto insurance.

    If you are buying a new or used car, your state will likely require proof of insurance before you can register the car and drive it off the dealership lot.

    Cancel Your Old Coverage

    If you had a policy in place before you purchased your same-day car insurance, you can cancel your old policy after you confirm your new coverage is effective. If you cancel auto insurance before your new coverage is effective, your car will be uninsured, which could lead to financial and legal consequences if you get into a car accident.

    Once you have confirmed your new coverage is effective, you can cancel your previous policy. If you paid in advance, you should get a refund for any unused months. Make sure you get confirmation that your old policy was canceled.

    Related: What happens if you don’t have car insurance?

    How Much Is Same-Day Car Insurance?

    Here’s a look at car insurance costs at large insurance companies for drivers with a clean driving record.

    Cheapest car insurance by company

    Your ability to find cheap same-day car insurance will depend on several factors that affect car insurance rates:

  • Your driving history
  • Your driving experience
  • The driving experience and history of other drivers on your policy
  • The type of car you drive
  • Where you live
  • Other pricing factors, such as gender, age and occupation
  • Your insurance-based credit score (this practice is banned in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan)
  • Cheapest car insurance company by state

    Here’s a look at the cheapest auto insurance company by state.

    Best Car Insurance Companies 2023

    With so many choices for car insurance companies, it can be hard to know where to start to find the right car insurance. We've evaluated insurers to find the best car insurance companies, so you don't have to.


    We used data from Quadrant Information Services.

    The average annual rate is based on large insurers in each state for liability coverage of 100/300/100, uninsured motorist coverage and collision and comprehensive insurance for a 30-year-old female insuring a 2021 Toyota RAV4. In some cases, USAA is the cheapest company but membership is limited to military personnel, veterans and their families. Not all states are listed due to data availability.

    Cheap Same-Day Car Insurance FAQ How can I save money on same-day car insurance?

    The best way to find cheap same-day car insurance is to compare car insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies. That’s because prices can vary drastically and you could save hundreds of dollars for the same policy at a different company.

    And make sure you ask about car insurance discounts. Common discount opportunities include those for bundling your auto and home insurance, insuring multiple vehicles, being a good driver and being a good student.

    You can also lower your car insurance costs by choosing a higher car insurance deductible. The deductible is the amount that’s deducted from your insurance check if you make a claim. Ask your agent how much you would save by raising your deductible.

    Is it cheaper to buy same-day car insurance?

    While getting same-day car insurance is convenient, if you shop ahead of time you may be able to score an early-shopping discount between 2% and 15%, depending on the car insurance company.

    For example, you can get an early signing discount at Allstate when you buy a policy seven or more days before it becomes effective.

    What is the difference between same-day car insurance and short-term car insurance?

    “Same-day” car insurance goes into effect the same day you buy it, often in less than an hour. It’s a full-term policy that typically lasts six or 12 months before renewal.

    Short-term car insurance policies generally cover 30 days or less. For example, you might buy short-term car insurance because you are lending a car to a friend, in the process of switching car insurance companies, or selling a car and need coverage for the vehicle while it’s being driven by potential buyers.