Compare Rates and Save on Auto Insurance


Buying car insurance online has become a popular, efficient way to obtain coverage. It allows people to compare quotes, tailor coverage, and activate same-day insurance. Online platforms may offer discounts and real-time adjustments to premiums. While this method is attractive to tech-savvy and price-conscious consumers, it may only suit some. Those needing personalized assistance or specialty coverage might prefer working with an agent or broker.

Key Takeaways

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Buying car insurance online is quick and straightforward. It allows for same-day insurance, easy comparison of multiple quotes, and offers discounts with some providers.

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Buying car insurance online is like buying it in person but without pressure from sales agents. It's good for those who like to take their time.

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Purchasing car insurance online is generally safe when using reputable platforms. Secure encryption technologies protect personal and financial information, and tools like online calculators can direct you to reliable providers.

Can You Get Car Insurance Online?

Yes, you can get car insurance online. It’s the best way to go if you need same-day car insurance. It’s also an efficient way to get multiple quotes within record time by requesting quotes via company websites or online car insurance calculators.

Shopping online is a great way to get an idea of available car insurance premiums. If you have questions or want to ensure you’re exhausting all possible discounts, you can print out your online car insurance quote and discuss it with a direct agent.

If you’re sure about what you want and know what you need, buying car insurance online is straightforward. Some car insurance companies may even offer a small discount if you request an online quote and check out.

How Does It Work?

Car insurance companies allow you to get quotes online instead of through a direct agent. Many will also allow you to check out and activate your policy if you need same-day car insurance.

Just like how you get coverage from a company agent, you need to provide personal data, information about your car, and how much insurance you need.

Similar to purchasing insurance face-to-face, you can pay yearly, quarterly, or monthly.

How to Shop for Car Insurance Online

Buying car insurance online offers a convenient alternative to face-to-face purchases. Shopping online is the quickest way to identify the most affordable car insurance companies with the best coverage. MoneyGeek recommends exploring the cheapest and best insurance companies to find a policy that matches your needs.

After you understand what coverage you need and gather all your personal and car details, get quotes online. Compare quotes from at least three providers, considering price, service, and discounts.

Once you find your preferred provider, buy your new policy. For most car insurance companies, making your first payment activates your policy. Once you’ve secured your coverage, make sure to get a physical or digital copy of your insurance ID or proof of insurance.


Determine your coverage needs

Start by understanding your state's legal minimum insurance requirements to ensure you're in compliance. Consider your unique needs and circumstances. You may want to explore additional coverages such as collision and comprehensive coverage, personal injury protection, uninsured motorist insurance, medical payments, and gap insurance. Consider your vehicle's value, driving habits, and financial situation to tailor a policy that suits you.


Prepare the necessary information

Before you begin the online quote process, gather all the necessary information. This includes personal details of all the drivers included in the policy, like your:

  • Address
  • Driver's license number
  • Occupation
  • Social Security number
  • Ticket and accident history.

You'll also need specific vehicle information, such as the following:

  • Year, make, model, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Garaged address
  • Ownership
  • Anti-theft features
  • Current mileage
  • Previous insurance provider
  • Desired coverage start date.

Having the needed information will streamline the process.


Get multiple online quotes

Seek quotes from at least three different insurance providers to ensure a broad comparison, also evaluate customer service, coverage options, and available discounts. Consider the quality of customer support, financial strength ratings, and potential discounts for being accident-free, completing defensive driving courses, or having anti-theft devices.


Select an insurance company

After comparing options, choose the company that suits your budget and coverage needs. Consider the price and the customer service reputation. Review the policy details carefully to ensure that the policy meets all your requirements. Reach out to the company if you have any questions.


Buy and activate your policy

Once you've selected your policy, you'll need to choose a payment method. Options may include credit/debit cards, bank transfers, or electronic payment systems. Understand the available payment plans, whether paying in full upfront, twice a year, or monthly and select what's convenient for you. Some insurers may offer discounts for certain payment methods.


Secure your insurance ID card

After the payment is processed, you'll receive a confirmation email with your policy details and insurance ID card. Print the insurance ID card or save it on your mobile device for easy access. Some companies also provide digital ID cards through their mobile app, allowing you to easily show proof of insurance.

Take advantage of online insurance shopping by collecting as many quotes as you can. To sign with the best car insurance company, you need to look for a provider that balances affordability, quality service, and extensive coverage.

Ways to Buy Cheap Car Insurance Online

By exploring online-specific discounts, shopping around for instant quotes, and considering options like bundling policies or paying upfront, you can find affordable and suitable coverage.


Get online-specific discounts

Some car insurance companies, like Progressive, offer a discount if you sign up for a policy online.


Shop around

Online is the best way to shop around. You can get instant quotes faster than you would get from direct agents.


Bundle insurance policies

If you have other insurance needs, such as home or renters insurance, consider bundling them with your car insurance.


Avoid monthly payments

If possible, pay for your policy upfront rather than in monthly installments. Many companies offer discounts for paying in a lump sum online.


Choose your coverage carefully

Customize your coverage to match your specific needs. Avoid unnecessary add-ons or higher limits that may increase the cost. Use online tools to see how different coverage levels affect the price.


Increase your deductible

If you're comfortable with a higher out-of-pocket cost in the event of a claim, consider increasing your deductible. This can often be done easily online and can lower your premium.


Apply for membership discounts

Check if the insurer offers discounts for affiliations with certain organizations, alumni groups, or employers. These discounts can often be applied directly online.


Add your teen driver to the family policy

If you're adding a teen driver, some online platforms offer specific tools and discounts for young drivers, such as good student discounts. Adding a young driver to the family is also generally cheaper than a young driver buying their own policy.


Monitor price changes

Car insurance prices fluctuate. Consider using online tools that track price changes to find cheaper options.

Where Can You Get Car Insurance Online?

Many major car insurance providers allow you to get quotes and activate a policy online without speaking to a captive agent.

Though it might be tempting to check out immediately and get instant coverage, remember not to buy the first quote you see.

Since you can buy car insurance online and shop around with as many providers that serve your area, you can maximize your savings and get the best possible coverage for the right price.

What Is the Best Way to Buy Car Insurance?

There are two types of agents you might encounter when buying coverage: a captive agent and an independent broker.

A captive agent represents a specific insurance company and sells only that company's products. In contrast, an independent broker works with various insurance companies, offering a broader range of products and prices.

Buying car insurance online is best for tech-savvy people, those looking for the best price, and those who want convenience without meeting in person.

If you need personalized help or have unique insurance needs, speaking with a captive agent may be the right choice.

Insurance brokers are good for people who want multiple options, have complicated insurance needs, or value personalized service without commitment to one company.

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    Buying Car Insurance Online

    Who should consider this?

    • Tech-Savvy Individuals: If you're comfortable navigating online platforms and prefer a self-service approach, buying car insurance online might be ideal for you.
    • Price-Conscious Consumers: Online platforms often allow for easy comparison of multiple quotes, helping you find the best deal.
    • Those Seeking Convenience: If you prefer handling things at your own pace without the need for face-to-face interaction, online purchasing offers flexibility and convenience.
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    Buying Car Insurance From a Captive Agent

    Who should consider this?

    • Brand Loyal Customers: If you have a specific insurance company in mind and want to stick with them, working with a direct agent who represents that company is a good choice.
    • Those Needing Personalized Guidance: Direct agents have in-depth knowledge of the products offered by their company and can provide personalized recommendations.
    • Individuals with Specific Needs: If you have unique or complex insurance needs, a direct agent's expertise with their company's products can be invaluable.
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    Buying Car Insurance From an Independent Broker

    Who should consider this?

    • Those Seeking Multiple Options: Independent brokers work with various insurance companies, allowing them to offer a wide range of products and prices.
    • Individuals with Complex Insurance Profiles: If you have a complicated driving history or specific coverage needs, an independent broker can help find a company that caters to your situation.
    • People Who Value Personalized Service: Independent brokers can provide personalized service and advice, helping you navigate the complexities of insurance without being tied to a specific company.

Buying car insurance online offers a convenient and potentially cost-saving option for those who are comfortable navigating online platforms and have a clear understanding of their insurance needs. It may not be suitable for those who require personalized guidance or have complex insurance profiles, as the lack of direct interaction with an agent could lead to misunderstandings or mistakes in coverage.

What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Buying Car Insurance Online?

Buying insurance online offers the convenience of quick quotes and easy comparisons without the need for agents, allowing you to see how coverage levels affect premiums in real-time. However, it may lack personalized assistance and might not be suitable for specialty coverage needs, such as classic car insurance.


No agents, no middlemen. Insurance brokers may charge a fee for their services.

You can see in real-time how your coverage level affects your premiums, helping you balance coverage and affordability.

Online platforms provide quotes and process applications quickly. You can often get quotes in a matter of minutes, and if you find a policy you like, you can buy it and download your proof of insurance within an hour.

Online platforms often allow for easy comparison of multiple quotes, helping you find the best deal.


You’ll need to approach a direct agent or insurance broker if you need specialty coverage like classic car insurance.

You may not get answers to pressing questions, unlike if you had a person to speak to.

Online platforms may offer less personalized assistance, which could result in selecting inadequate or unnecessary coverage.

Is it Safe to Buy Car Insurance Online?

Yes, buying car insurance online is generally safe, provided you are using a reputable insurance company's website or a trusted comparison platform. These sites typically employ secure encryption technologies to protect your personal and financial information. Be sure to look for indicators of a secure website, such as an "https://" prefix in the URL and a padlock symbol in the address bar.

Researching customer reviews and ratings can give you confidence in the legitimacy of the online platform. If you have concerns, you can contact the company directly through their official contact information.

Online car insurance calculators allow you to find the best car insurance companies based on your driving profile anonymously. These online tools redirect you to reliable insurance providers, where you can get coverage instantly.

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About Mark Fitzpatrick

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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content director at MoneyGeek with over five years of experience analyzing the insurance market, conducting original research and creating content that can be personalized for every buyer. He has been quoted on insurance topics in several publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Mark earned a master’s degree in Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his economics and insurance knowledge to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.