4 Steps to Getting Same Day Car Insurance in California

You can usually get same-day car insurance in California by shopping online.
Written by Amy Bobinger
Edited by Jessica Barrett
Most insurance companies sell policies that begin the same day, although there can sometimes be delays in processing.

Here’s how to get same-day insurance in California

1. Get some basic information ready

Before you start shopping for quotes, make sure you have the following information on hand: 
  • Your name, date of birth, and phone number
  • The address where you live and park your car
  • Your vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number of vehicle identification number (VIN) 
  • The average mileage you drive each day
  • The date of any traffic violations or insurance claims from the past five years
  • How many years you’ve had your current insurance policy (if you have one)
If you’re shopping for same-day insurance because you’re planning to buy a car, you can request quotes using the make and model of the vehicle you’re considering. Once you decide for sure that you want to buy that car, add the VIN to finish purchasing your insurance policy.

2. Compare quotes to save on your car insurance 

Even if you’re in a hurry when you’re shopping for car insurance, it’s still worth taking the time to shop around. Drivers who shop around before buying insurance save an average of $600 a year on their policies.
The fastest way to shop for quotes is to use the
app. Jerry will compare rates from dozens of insurance companies, and in minutes, you’ll have the best offers sent straight to your phone. 
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 Within minutes, you can browse real quotes from some of the nation’s top insurance companies with
Choose the plan you like the best, then purchase your new policy right in the app.

3. Choose your coverage levels

When you’re comparing quotes, take a few minutes to check out how much you would pay for different levels of coverage. 
You can choose anywhere from state-minimum liability-only coverage—which could leave you under-protected in the event of a serious accident—all the way up to high-liability full coverage insurance with all the extras.
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California drivers are required to carry a policy with at least the following:
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For most people, a policy that falls somewhere in the middle is the best fit. 
Insurance experts generally recommend purchasing liability limits of 100/300/100. You should also consider adding physical damage protection—which includes
comprehensive coverage
collision coverage
—to cover damage to your own car.

4. Finalize your policy

After you’ve compared quotes and coverage options, choose the policy that you like best. Add your payment information and choose a payment plan—you’ll usually be given the option to pay your premium in full or make monthly installments, but some insurance companies will also give you the option to split your policy into 3 or 4 payments.
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If you choose to pay your insurance in monthly installments, you may need to make a down payment, so your first month’s premium may be higher.
At this point, your insurer may request additional information, including: 
  • Your car’s VIN if you haven’t already provided it 
  • Your driver’s license number
  • Proof of your current insurance policy (like an insurance ID card)
  • Details of your car’s equipment, like safety features and anti-theft devices
  • Lienholder’s information (if your car is financed)
  • Proof of home ownership (mortgage documents)
  • Report card or certificate of driving course completion (to qualify for discounts)

Roadblocks to same-day insurance

While you can usually get same-day insurance in California, there may be a few things that could slow down the process:
  • When you buy the policy: If you’re finalizing your policy during off hours—like late at night or on a holiday—you may have to wait until the next business day for your policy to be finalized.
  • Uploading verification documents: If there’s an issue with verifying the information in your uploaded documents, your new policy might be delayed until it’s resolved.
  • Incomplete or incorrect information: If you fail to disclose previous tickets or insurance claims, it could do more than just slow down the start of your policy—it could lead to a raise in your rates, and your policy could even be cancelled.
  • Unique vehicles
    : Rare, unique, or classic cars may not qualify for same-day insurance. The insurance company may require an underwriter to review your application before determining your coverage levels and premium.


Is it possible to get same-day insurance in California?

Yes, you can often get same-day insurance in California, although there may be circumstances that will delay the start of a policy.

How quickly can you get car insurance in California?

When you shop for car insurance online, you can often get a new California car insurance policy on the same day.

How many days do you have to insure a used car after purchase in California?

There is no grace period for driving uninsured, so if you do not have an existing policy, you need to buy insurance as soon as you purchase a used car in California. If you do already have a policy, your new vehicle may be covered under your existing policy terms for a short amount of time—check with your insurance company for the specifics.

Can you get temporary car insurance in California?

Temporary car insurance does not exist in California—but depending on why you need it, you may have options for short-term insurance, like rental car coverage or a non-owners policy.

How much does car insurance cost in California? 

The average cost of state-minimum liability-only insurance in California is $1,394 a year, or $116 a month. For a full-coverage car insurance policy in California, the average cost is $2,436 a year or $203 a month.

What are the requirements for auto insurance in California?

Drivers in California are required to carry at least $15,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person, $30,000 of bodily injury liability per accident, and $5,000 of property damage liability per accident—but we recommend raising these limits.

Is there a way to get a quote for car insurance without having a car?

Yes, you can get a quote for car insurance without having a car. If you’re thinking of buying a car, you can request quotes for the make, model, and year that you’re considering. If you don’t have a car and don’t plan to own one anytime soon, you might consider a non-owners policy, instead.

Can I buy car insurance then register my car the same day in California?

Yes, you can buy car insurance then register your car the same day in California. You can actually register a car without insurance in California as long as you show proof of insurance within 30 days.

Can I get insurance the same day as an accident?

You can get insurance the same day as an accident, but an insurer will not cover an accident that occured before the policy started. So even if an accident occurs at 11:00 AM and you purchase a policy at 1:00 PM the same day, the accident will not be covered.

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