How Long Does it Take to Get Auto Insurance After Getting Quotes?

The answer to how long does it take to get auto insurance after getting quotes depends on the method you choose to get your quotes and the car insurance company or insurer you're shopping with. Going to an insurance agency will take the longest to get auto insurance after getting quotes, while shopping online is the fastest. If you want to get your auto insurance quickly after getting car insurance quotes, make sure you have all the information you need to get the most accurate auto insurance quote possible.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Jul 21, 2021

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Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

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What You Should Know

  • There are three ways to get quotes: online, in-person, or over the phone
  • Online is always the fastest method, as you can fill in information easier and have instant activation of insurance
  • While you can buy insurance instantly after getting a quote, make sure you chose the right insurer and rates before committing to a purchase

How long does it take to get auto insurance?

Once you’ve checked on the states with the cheapest car insurance, and companies with the best roadside service, you should ask: how long does it take to get car insurance?

The length of time it takes to have your auto insurance policy activated depends on several factors, including the auto insurance company or car insurance provider that you are working with, the method that you choose to get a quote, and whether or not you have all of the information that is needed to provide you with an accurate quote when getting a quote.

While it is easy to get instant auto insurance quotes, it is less clear how long does it take to get insurance registered after a quote.

Read on to learn about the different methods you can use to get vehicle insurance, and how long does auto insurance coverage take to get with each method. If you want to jump right into finding the best auto insurance rates in your area, enter your ZIP code in our free tool above.

The Three Ways to Get Auto Insurance Quotes

Auto insurance is one of the simplest types of insurance to get, whether you choose an annual policy or monthly insurance. Unlike health insurance, you don’t have to take a medical exam and have the results assessed. Unlike homeowner’s insurance, you don’t have to have a myriad of factors taken into consideration, such as the size, age, condition, and location of your home.

All that is needed to get auto insurance is your credit score, driving record, and some details about your motor vehicle. With that information, a carrier can determine what type of policy they can offer you and provide you with a quote. And, usually, quotes can be given online or over the phone, which certainly helps speed up the process.

If you are shopping for auto insurance coverage, it goes without saying that you want to get the best rates possible, and you want to have it activated as soon as possible.

The better the rate, the more money you keep in your pocket, and the quicker it’s activated, the sooner you can start driving with the security of knowing that if something happens, you are protected.

With one in eight drivers uninsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), it is vital that you have protection while on the road.

But, you may be wondering how long it takes to actually have your insurance take effect once you find a quote that you approve of and an insurance carrier that you want to cover you. Read on to learn about the three main ways to get auto insurance quotes and which way is fastest.

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#1 – In-Person Auto Insurance Quotes

How long does it take to insure your car if you go in-person to an agency? Actually going to an insurance agency to get a quote will take the longest to get your insurance activated.

Why? Because it takes time to actually go to the company and it will take some time for the insurance agent to process your information.

You will either need to walk, bike, drive, or take public transportation to get to the agency, and then once you are there, you might need to wait a minute in the waiting room before being spoken to.

Does car insurance take effect immediately once you’ve visited in-person? As long as you have all of the information needed, it should take about an hour – give or take – to get a quote and have your insurance activated.

#2 – Auto Insurance Quotes by Phone

If you are worried about wasting time in-person and want to know how quickly can you get car insurance without leaving home, phoning an insurance agency will result in getting a faster quote and faster activation of your auto insurance.

Why? – Well, because you eliminate the need to actually go to the company.

Additionally, if you don’t have to remember to bring all of your information with you (though you should certainly have it on-hand to make the process of getting a quote and having your insurance activated as fast as possible).

How quickly does car insurance take effect once you’ve bought it over the phone? It can take just a few minutes to get a quote over the phone and once you accept that quote, it takes just a few minutes to have your insurance activated.

#3 – Auto Insurance Quotes Online

How long does it take to get insurance if you get a quote online? Without a doubt, the fastest way to get a quote and get your auto insurance activated is finding auto insurance quotes online.

Why? – Because all you have to do is input the necessary information to get a quote, such as through Geico online activation. How long does insurance take to kick in? Once you accept the quote, your insurance will be activated almost immediately.

Fortunately, there are many websites, including this one, that offer car insurance quote comparison services. Simply enter your zip code above, or click the banner below, follow the instructions, fill out the brief questionnaire, and you can be insured in no time.

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Quotes for Average Auto Insurance Rates

Even if you are trying to get auto insurance quickly, it is important that you take the time to find the best rates possible. Otherwise, you could be stuck with terrible rates for a policy period. To give you an idea of what different insurers charge, we partnered with Quadrant to bring you rate data.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Company
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates with Low CoverageAverage Annual Rates with Medium CoverageAverage Annual Rates with High Coverage
Allstate$4,628.03$4,896.81$5,139.02
American Family$3,368.49$3,544.37$3,416.40
Farmers$3,922.47$4,166.22$4,494.13
GEICO$3,001.91$3,213.97$3,429.14
Liberty Mutual$5,805.75$6,058.57$6,356.04
Nationwide$3,394.83$3,449.80$3,505.37
Progressive$3,737.13$4,018.46$4,350.96
State Farm$3,055.40$3,269.80$3,454.80
Travelers$4,223.63$4,462.02$4,619.07
USAA$2,404.11$2,539.87$2,667.92
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While you may be tempted to go with low coverage to save money, keep in mind that you will be paying more after an accident.

Frequently Asked Questions: How Long Does It Take to Get Insurance on a Car After Quotes

If you still have questions about how long does it take to get car insurance, keep reading. We are going to go over some of the most frequently asked questions about how fast can I get car insurance.

#1 – What should I keep in mind when getting auto insurance quotes?

No matter what method you choose to get an auto insurance quote, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Firstly, make sure that you have all of the information that is needed to get a quote on-hand.

You will need a record of your driving history, including any tickets you have gotten, the year, make, and model of your car, the vehicle identification number (VIN), whether or not you have a loan on your car or if you own it outright (if you own it outright, you will need to have proof of ownership), your license and your credit score.

Additionally, if you want to set up automatic payments, make sure that you have your bank account information handy.

It’s also important to note that even if you have all of the information needed to get a quote and process your request for insurance coverage once you accept a quote, there are some factors that could slow the process.

For instance, if you aren’t sure what type of insurance you would like, or if you want to customize your insurance coverage, it will take some time to do so.

Also, bear in mind that it will take a few minutes to fill out the application, no matter what method you have chosen to attain your quote.

Additionally, the company you choose to get your insurance from will also impact the amount of time it takes to get a quote and to have your insurance activated.

#2 – How long does it take to get an auto insurance card?

Your auto insurance card is proof that you have insurance. Usually, insurers will mail it to you within a week of purchasing insurance. Until your car insurance card comes in, you will have a temporary proof of insurance (you can print this off as soon as you purchase your insurance).

#3 – How long does it take to change auto insurance?

If you are getting a quote because you want to switch insurers, you can change your car insurance quickly through the phone, online, or in-person. Just make sure that once you get your new insurance policy, you remember to cancel your old policy. Otherwise, you will be stuck paying for two insurance policies.

#4 – How long do I have to get insurance?

Are you wondering how fast to get car insurance if your insurance is about to end? The bottom line is that you need to get auto insurance before your policy ends.

Even a day or two of driving around without car insurance can result in higher rates if your insurer finds out. If your policy is expired, then you need to get insurance as soon as possible.

Driving without insurance is illegal and isn’t something you should ever risk. Luckily, insurers make it easier than ever to get

From the beginning to the end, it can take an hour or so, or just a few minutes, to get your auto insurance activated after getting and accepting a quote.

Therefore, depending on your time restraints, make sure to choose the method of receiving your quote wisely. If you want to start comparison shopping for auto insurance quotes today, enter your ZIP code in our free tool below.

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