Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • Insurance quotes are an important first step in the process of getting car insurance
  • Find out how to generate a custom insurance policy that provides protection
  • Explore the options for getting an insurance card quickly

Getting car insurance is a must if you plan on driving anywhere in the United States. It doesn’t take long to get car insurance, though there are steps you need to take.

If you are organized, you can receive quotes on coverage very quickly, and this makes it easier for you to make a decision on the company you wish to go with.

From there, insurance companies are prepared to provide you with a policy almost instantaneously.

Get free quotes from several insurance companies to compare side-by-side. Just enter your zip code above to begin.

Receiving Insurance Quotes


Insurance quotes are an important part of the process when getting car insurance. It only takes a few minutes to get multiple quotes. You put in all of the information, such as:

  • Zip code
  • Car details
  • The type of coverage you want

The online comparison tools are smart enough to know the state requirements for insurance based upon the zip code you enter. Entering your zip code means that you won’t be able to choose liability limits less than what the state requires.

However, you can choose to add additional liability coverage, which is highly advisable for the average driver.

Once the quotes are generated, you will see what the cost is going to be from multiple insurance companies. They will all offer the same level of coverage based on the information you provided.

Take the time to review the insurance company reviews and the cost before making a decision as to who you want your carrier to be.

This review should only take a short amount of your time. If you sit down at the computer with your vehicle’s VIN number, your driver’s license number, and car details, it will make it easier to submit all of the information that is requested of you.

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Obtaining a Custom Policy

A custom policy is important, regardless of where you live. This means you want to look at what’s included with a basic auto insurance policy and then determine if you want more coverage.

Add-on coverage could include:

In addition to a quote, it’s a good idea to talk to the insurance company that you ultimately decide to go with. This conversation will allow you to explore the policy in greater detail to determine if there is anything that you want to add.

While online comparisons cover a lot, they might not cover everything and that is why you call the insurance company to finish up your policy.

When the custom policy is being created, the insurance company will ask about payment. In many instances, you have the option to pay for six months at a time or pay monthly. Either way, you will be asked for payment immediately, even if it is just a down payment.

From there, they might ask you for bank information to make auto withdrawals each month. Some insurance companies will provide discounts for setting up an auto payment, too.

The time it takes to obtain a custom policy is entirely up to you. Insurance companies are often prepared to have the policy created in a timely fashion.

However, it will depend on whether you have decided on the coverage you want and you have a payment method ready to provide.

Getting an Insurance Card


The final step to getting car insurance is to get an insurance card.

It is required that you show proof of insurance in the event you are pulled over. If you are at a car dealership and want to drive away with your car purchase, they might also require you to show proof of insurance before leaving.

Thanks to the internet, insurance cards are often generated immediately.

They will be found within your online portal on the insurance company’s website. You will log in and then download a PDF or other file with your insurance card.

In some states, it is permitted for you to show a digital copy of your insurance card. You can save the image to your smartphone. Some insurance companies offer an app, as well, where you have a digital copy of your insurance card.

The insurance company will mail you a physical card, too. However, this will generally take seven to 10 business days. When you don’t want to wait, the easiest solution is to get it online and then print it out to place in your wallet or glove compartment.

In the end, it doesn’t take long to get car insurance. Between getting the quotes and talking to the insurance company, it should be a straightforward process assuming that you have all of the information ready to provide.

Then, the insurance card can be downloaded from online, allowing you to have the insurance card to show right away, without having to wait for it in the mail. Online comparison tools make the insurance buying process easier than ever.

Enter your zip code below to begin comparing today!