If you have plans to purchase a vehicle in the near future, you can begin by using the make and model of your intended car to compare car insurance quotes. Once you have selected a specific vehicle, you can use its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to purchase insurance before making the actual purchase.
It's important to note that if you're a first-time car buyer, you must have your insurance coverage secured prior to finalizing the purchase as it is required to drive your new car off the lot. Regardless of your circumstances, the following information can help you understand the process of buying car insurance before acquiring a vehicle.
How to find auto insurance before buying a car
If you’ve never bought a car insurance policy before, don’t worry—getting the coverage you need as a first-time car owner is fairly straightforward. It’s also quick: most insurance companies will give you same-day coverage that activates within a few hours of your first payment. But don’t leave insurance shopping to the last minute just because you can! Instead, shop smart by taking these steps early on in the car buying process.
Before picking the car:
Before you can purchase auto insurance, you will need to obtain the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the particular car you intend to buy. However, this doesn't mean you can't start exploring insurance options beforehand.
In fact, many car insurance providers can offer you an estimate based on your personal information and the make and model of the vehicle you are planning to purchase. It's important to keep in mind that once the full VIN is available, the quote may be subject to change.
Here are some steps to begin with:
- Assess your budget and coverage requirements: Determine how much you can comfortably allocate from your monthly budget towards car insurance. If you're also taking out a car loan, consider the additional expense. Find out the minimum coverage mandated by your state and compare the insurance offerings of different companies to determine the most suitable one for you.
- Obtain quotes from multiple providers: Auto insurance companies have different methods of calculating premiums and may offer varying discounts. Request quotes from at least three to five different providers to compare and choose the best rate.
- Gather driver information for the policy: Collect the full names, birthdates, Social Security Numbers, driver's license numbers, and driving records of all drivers who will be included in the new policy.
Once you've chosen a car:
Once you have selected a particular vehicle, you are ready to purchase an auto insurance policy. Here are the steps to follow:
- Choose your insurer: Select the insurance company that meets your requirements based on the quotes received, customer feedback, and financial ratings.
- Obtain the VIN: Provide the VIN of your new vehicle to your chosen insurance provider to obtain a policy.
- Schedule the policy start date: Ensure that your insurance policy starts before you take ownership of the vehicle to avoid being uninsured when you're ready to drive it home.
- Your insurer will issue an insurance card as evidence of coverage that you can show at the dealership when you purchase the car. It is also recommended to keep a copy of the proof of insurance in your car at all times. Moreover, it is now legal to present proof of insurance on your mobile device in all 50 states.
Can you ever buy a car without insurance?
Technically, you might be able to buy a car without insurance—but you won’t be able to drive it away until it’s covered by a valid insurance policy. That’s why dealerships check your insurance before you sign. Even if you find a dealer or a private seller that’s willing to finalize the deal without proof of insurance, you won’t be able to legally drive the car until you’re covered.