How Long Does It Take To Get Car Insurance

How long does it take to get car insurance?

Getting car insurance might seem complicated with all the different choices and rules. Many people want to know, “How long does it take to get car insurance?” The truth is that the time it takes to get car insurance can vary, but it’s possible to receive coverage almost immediately after applying in many cases. As for the time to complete the application, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to hours, depending on how prepared you are.

This comprehensive guide is here to make things simpler for you. Whether you’re getting insurance for the first time or considering changing your current one, our guide looks at how to purchase car insurance and shares some tips to help make the process go faster.

Your guide to purchasing car insurance

Buying auto insurance doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re prepared with your information and know what kind of car insurance coverage you need, everything can go smoothly. Just make sure to have your and your car’s details ready, and take some time to look at different insurance options. This way, you can get a good deal without feeling stressed.

Here’s a simple, step-by-step guide to help you get started.

1. Gathering your personal information

Gather all the necessary personal information before you start looking for car insurance. This includes:

  • your full name
  • date of birth
  • address
  • driver’s license number

You’ll also need information about your car, like the make, model, year, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). If you have previous car insurance documents, have those handy, too, as they can provide useful information.

2. Know what coverage you need

Understanding what type of coverage you need is crucial. Do you need comprehensive coverage that protects you against all sorts of incidents, or is liability coverage enough for you? Liability coverage is usually the minimum requirement and covers damages to other vehicles or property if you’re at fault. Collision coverage can protect your car if you’re in an at-fault accident with another vehicle or animal. Comprehensive coverage can protect your car from theft, vandalism, falling objects and natural disasters. There are also add-ons like accident forgiveness. Consider what’s important to you, what coverage limits you want, and your budget.

3. Shop around or use a trusted insurance broker

Now, it’s time to shop for insurance. You can do this online, over the phone, or through an insurance broker. A broker can save you time by comparing rates for you and offering advice on the best options for your situation. If you prefer to do it yourself, make a list of reputable insurance providers and visit their websites or call them to get quotes.

4. Compare policies

Once you have several quotes, compare them. Look not only at the price but also at what’s included. Some policies might be cheaper but offer less coverage. Check the deductible amount—that’s what you pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in. A lower deductible usually means a higher premium, and vice versa. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of each policy.

5. The application process

When you’ve chosen a provider, it’s time to apply. You can usually do this online, over the phone, or in person. You’ll need to provide all the personal and vehicle information you gathered earlier in step one. The insurer may also ask about your driving history, including any accidents or violations. Be honest in your application; inaccuracies can lead to higher premiums or denial of coverage.

6. Underwriting and verification

After you submit your application, it goes through a process called underwriting. The insurance company reviews your information to assess the risk of insuring you. They might check your credit score, driving record, and past insurance claims. This process is usually pretty instant and done while you’re speaking to the insurance company or broker. 

7. Car insurance policy activation and issuance

You’ll receive your policy details once your application is approved and the underwriting process is complete. You’ll receive your insurance card and policy documents by email or mail. Make sure to keep these documents in a safe place, and always carry your insurance card in your vehicle.

Tips for getting auto insurance fast

If you need car insurance quickly, don’t worry—there are several ways to make the process faster. First, having all your necessary information, like your driver’s license and car details ready, can save a lot of time. Knowing exactly what type of coverage you need before you start shopping around is also a good idea. Below, you’ll find several helpful tips to help you speed up the process when purchasing auto insurance.

1. Have your information ready

Before you start applying, gather all the necessary information. This includes your personal details (like your driver’s license number), vehicle information (make, model, year, VIN), driving history, and any previous insurance details. Having this information at your fingertips will make the application process smoother and quicker.

2. Know what coverage you need

Understand the type of coverage you’re looking for. Whether it’s just the basic liability insurance required by law or more comprehensive coverage, knowing what you need ahead of time can help you make quick decisions when comparing policies.

3. Use online tools

Many insurance companies offer online quote tools that can provide you with an estimate in minutes. These tools allow you to compare different policies quickly without having to wait for a broker or agent to get back to you. To speed up the process, gather these quotes ahead of time.

4. Consider using an insurance broker

An insurance broker can save you time by doing the shopping for you. They have experience and knowledge of the market, which means they can often find you the best deal faster than you might on your own.

5. Ask about immediate coverage

Some insurers offer immediate coverage once you apply, even before the underwriting process is complete. This can be particularly useful if you need insurance quickly to buy a new car or if your previous policy has lapsed.

6. Use an electronic payment option

Be prepared to make your first premium payment online or over the phone. Electronic payments are processed faster, which means your coverage can start sooner.

7. Ask about a digital insurance card

Many insurance companies now offer digital insurance cards that you can download to your smartphone. This means you can have proof of insurance immediately without waiting for a physical card to arrive in the mail.

8. Follow up

After applying, don’t hesitate to follow up with the insurance company if you haven’t heard back within 24 hours. A quick call or email can sometimes speed up the review of your application.

What could cause a delay in my car insurance process?

Getting a car insurance policy can sometimes take longer than expected due to delays caused by missing information or a complex driving history. Here are some reasons why you might run into delays when trying to buy car insurance:

1. Mistakes or missing information on an application

If your application isn’t filled out completely or has mistakes, the insurance company will need to ask you for the correct details. This back-and-forth can slow things down.

2. You have a complicated driving record

People with a history of accidents, speeding tickets, or serious offences like DUI might face delays. The insurance provider needs extra time to look over these details to figure out your insurance rate.

3. You have a high-risk profile

Young drivers, people with a lot of claims, or those with a bad credit history might find it takes longer to get insurance because they’re considered high-risk.

4. Special Car Situations

If your car is unique, very expensive, or has been modified, it might take longer for the insurance company to decide how much your insurance should cost. Problems with verifying your car’s information can also cause delays.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to get car insurance in Canada?

It can be quick, usually taking a few hours to a few days. If you have all your information ready and apply online, you have a higher chance of getting insured on the same day.

Is insurance high on the first car?

Yes, insurance for your first car can be higher, especially if you’re a new driver. Insurance companies see new drivers as more of a risk until they gain more experience on the road

How to shop for car insurance in Ontario?

Start by figuring out what kind of coverage you need. Then, use online tools to compare quotes from different insurance companies. Don’t forget to check customer reviews and ask about discounts. Finally, choose the best option that fits your needs and budget.