What do I do if I need car insurance today?

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Things to Remember...
  • Each US state requires minimum liability insurance in order to operate a vehicle legally
  • If you need car insurance today, you might call an independent agent, tell him your situation, and see if he can quickly compare quotes and present you with some good policy options
  • If you visit a website run by an insurer, you will be able to sign up, view quotes, and even purchase your auto insurance policy
  • If you already own an insured car, your rental is probably covered the same way that your current car is covered

As you may already know, each US state requires minimum liability insurance in order to operate a vehicle legally. In addition, your auto financing company might require collision and comprehensive coverage in order to conform to their loan terms.

If you bought, leased, or even rented a car, you might need to get car insurance before you ever think about putting the key in the ignition and driving out of the parking lot.

Lucky for you, lots of insurers can provide you with coverage immediately. You probably do not need to visit an agent in person either. You might be able to do it over the phone or online.

However, it is important to be a prudent auto insurance consumer even when you are in a hurry. When you make insurance choices impulsively, you may not get the best coverage or the best price.

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Independent Agents

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There are two different types of agents:

  • Captive Agents – these can only represent one company
  • Independent Agents – these have the ability to represent multiple insurers

Some agents are captive, and this means that they can only represent one company. Others work independently, and they have the ability to represent multiple insurers.

While a captive agent might have the advantage of truly understanding his company’s products, and independent agent can shop the market for you.

If you need car insurance today, you might call an independent agent, tell him your situation, and see if he can quickly compare quotes and present you with some good policy options.

Online Car Insurance Websites

You can also find many websites to purchase your auto insurance on.

The difference between dealing with websites that are run by auto insurers and independent websites is similar to the difference between dealing with captive and independent agents.

If you visit a website run by an insurer, you will be able to sign up, view quotes, and even purchase your auto insurance policy. But you can only do it for that company.

You can also find websites that can actually give you quotes and sell plans from multiple insurers. These can offer you the chance to quickly comparison shop for the right coverage and prices online.

In either case, you should be able to make your purchase and print out your insurance cards right on the site.

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Insurance Phone Apps

Some insurers even have phone applications that allow you to purchase your coverage immediately.

Instead of printing your card, you may get it delivered as an image so you can store it on your cell phone until you have a chance to print your card.

Car Insurance Down Payments

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You do not need to pay the entire balance for six months or a year of coverage. Typically, payments can be prorated, and you may just need to pay for the first month.

You can also probably set up a payment plan over the phone or online.

Best Choices for Quick Auto Insurance At The Dealer

If you are sitting in the office of an auto lot where you have just purchased a new car, the salesperson will probably be happy to give you access to his computer or phone so you can purchase your required coverage.

You do not need to purchase this coverage from any company or agent that the salesman happens to recommend though.

If you just bought a car, you probably sat through a long and involved purchase process. It is fine if you take your time finding the best auto insurance deal now. Your salesperson can wait for you now.

Quick Rental Car Insurance Choices

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Actually, if you already own an insured car, your rental is probably covered the same way that your current car is covered. You might be prudent to call your insurer and find out if you are not sure.

Keep in mind that if you own an older vehicle, and you only carry minimum liability on that car, that might be all that is covered on your rental vehicle.

In this case, you may choose to purchase collision and comprehensive coverage just to be sure that you will not be responsible for any damage that is caused in an accident.

Some credit cards do provide this additional coverage. But again, lots of people have relied upon their credit card rental car plans and been disappointed when they did need to make a damage claim.

If you are not exactly sure what this plan covers, this is a good time to pause and call your company to get the details straight.

If not, you might be prudent to pay the daily rate at the counter. If you rent frequently, you can also call an insurer and take out a non-owner policy the same way that you can buy any other coverage.

This can be cheaper than paying the daily rate for frequent renters.

Get The Right Car Insurance Today!

Even if you are in a big hurry, remember that getting the right car insurance is critical. You need to protect your investment and avoid paying too much.

On the other hand, you are free to change your mind. It is certainly possible to drop one policy in favor of another before the term of your coverage has expired. Insurers will refund unused premiums.

In any case, a simple phone call or visit to a good insurance website can help you purchase coverage right away. Agents and websites should also be able to provide you with competitive pricing and coverage information.

Enter your ZIP code into the FREE quote tool above to get started now!

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