How Long Does It Take to Get Car Insurance?

8 minute read Published on Jul 13, 2022 | Last updated Aug 29, 2022 by BrokerLink Communications

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Purchasing car insurance in Canada can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Even better, it usually doesn’t take long for your new policy to come into effect. Ultimately, how long it takes to get auto insurance depends on how prepared you are for the application process and how confident you feel in your decision.

Below, we provide insight into the length of time it takes to purchase car insurance, as well as tips for finding car insurance fast.

Guide to purchasing car insurance

When broken down into bite-sized steps, purchasing car insurance is relatively straightforward. From gathering your personal information to filling out the application, you’d be surprised how fast you can purchase car insurance.

A step-by-step guide to buying car insurance (with average time frames) can be found below.

Gather your personal information: 15 - 30 minutes

The first step in buying car insurance is knowing what documents the insurance provider will ask for and preparing them in advance. Below is a list of documents and information you will likely need to provide your insurance company to purchase car insurance in Canada.

This step can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on how organized you are, though it will likely take most people between 15 and 30 minutes.

  • Current policy number and renewal date
  • Years of prior insurance
  • Vehicle details including the year, make and model of your vehicle
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Driver’s license number and dates licensed for all drivers in the household
  • Current coverages and deductibles for all vehicles in the household
  • Distance driven in kilometres to work and annually for each vehicle (you must note if your car is used for business)
  • Out of province experience letters and driver’s abstracts
  • Details regarding any tickets (moving violations and/or suspensions) in the last three years or accidents in the last ten years (including date, type of accident, or ticket)

Consider your insurance needs: 10 minutes - several hours

Once you’ve gathered the necessary documents, it’s time to consider your insurance needs. This step can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, as it involves deciding on what types of insurance coverage and coverage limits are right for you.

If you’re happy with your existing policy, you can proceed to the next step. But if you’re buying car insurance for the first time or aren’t satisfied with your current policy, then you will need to weigh your options.

Specifically, you will need to carefully consider whether you wish to choose a policy with optional coverage, like comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, or accident forgiveness coverage, or if you are satisfied with a standard auto insurance policy that includes the likes of uninsured automobile coverage and third party liability coverage.

Should you opt for a basic car insurance plan, you will still need to decide what amount of coverage to purchase. For example, provinces like Ontario and Alberta require drivers to hold a minimum of $200,000 in third party liability coverage at all times.

However, many drivers choose to purchase $1,000,000 or more in liability coverage for greater protection. Determining your car insurance needs takes time. If you need help deciding what level of coverage is right for you, contact BrokerLink.

Our insurance experts can help you find coverage that suits your needs, lifestyle, driving habits, and budget.

Shop for car insurance with a trusted insurance broker: 10 minutes

The next step in the insurance buying process is contacting a reputable broker. Insurance brokerages like BrokerLink make shopping for car insurance easier than ever before. Whether you aren’t quite finished with the last step and want an objective opinion on the right coverage for you or are ready to start shopping for car insurance, contacting a broker is a wise choice.

When you enlist the help of an insurance broker, you’ll have a car insurance expert at your fingertips every step of the way. Contacting BrokerLink takes minutes and you have plenty of options. Give us a call, send us an email, or visit us in person, and one of our friendly advisors will be pleased to assist you.

When you get in touch, we will ask some basic questions about the type of car insurance you’re looking for and start shopping on your behalf. Working with an insurance broker can save you hours spent scouring the internet for the right policy.

Instead, you can sit back and relax while we obtain quotes from Canada’s top insurance companies, compare coverage, and unlock discounts on your behalf. It couldn’t be easier!

Compare policies: 30 minutes - 1 hour

The second to last step in the car insurance process is comparing your policy options. Whether you decided to shop for car insurance independently or enlist the help of a broker, now is the time to decide which policy is right for you.

If you worked with BrokerLink, your dedicated insurance advisor will provide you with multiple policies to choose from. All policies will have been hand-selected based on your unique needs. Plus, as experts, we know where to find all the best deals, so you can rest assured that the policies we present to you offer the best coverage at the most competitive rate.

The process of comparing policies usually takes between 30 minutes and one hour, though it can be even quicker if you have an insurance broker walking you through each policy, explaining the benefits of each.

Apply for car insurance: 10 - 30 minutes

Finally, once you’ve settled on the policy that’s right for you, it’s time to apply! Nowadays, car insurance applications can be submitted online in as little as ten minutes. If you’ve followed the steps above and gathered the necessary documentation, filling out and submitting an auto insurance application should be quick and easy.

Tips for finding auto insurance fast

Do you want to find car insurance as quickly as possible? We feel you. BrokerLink’s car insurance experts have put together the following list of tips to help you find an auto insurance policy fast.

Prepare the necessary documents for your insurance company

You will need to provide a wide range of information when purchasing auto insurance. Know the documents you need to provide and gather them beforehand to speed up the car insurance buying process.

A few key documents you may need to provide are as follows:

  • Your current insurance policy number and renewal date: If you have a current car insurance policy, you will need to provide the name of your insurance provider, your policy number, and the renewal date of your policy.
  • Your driver’s license number and expiry date: Insurance companies will require your driver’s license number and expiry date. Remember that you must hold a valid (not expired) driver’s license in order to purchase car insurance. Further, if anyone else drives your car, be prepared to provide the driver’s license numbers and expiry dates for these drivers.
  • The make, model, year, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle: You will need to provide an array of information about your car, including its make, model, and year, its vehicle identification number (VIN), the physical condition of the vehicle, if it’s four-wheel drive or two-wheel drive, and whether it’s equipped with any safety devices like anti-theft locks.
  • Information on past traffic violations: All drivers should be prepared to provide the insurance company with information about their past traffic violations. Specifically, the details of any tickets received in the past three years and any accidents in the last ten years.
  • Your claims history: You must provide a history of all claims made to your past insurance provider(s), including everything from accident-related claims to comprehensive claims of vandalism, theft, windshield damage, and more.
  • A letter of experience from your last insurance company: If you recently moved from another province or country, you may have to provide a letter of experience. A claims experience letter is an up-to-date record of your insurance history. This is provided directly by your past insurance provider.

Most insurance companies offer free quotes

A second tip for getting car insurance fast is to obtain free quotes before you start shopping. Knowing roughly how much car insurance costs will allow you to budget for it in advance.

Although most insurance companies in Canada provide free car insurance quotes to drivers, you can also obtain a free quote from an insurance brokerage like BrokerLink. BrokerLink quotes are accurate, competitive, and obligation-free.

Decide on your coverage needs in advance

If you know how much coverage you need, the process of purchasing car insurance will be much faster. Since settling on your preferred coverage types and limits is one of the most time-consuming parts of the process, it’s best to get this out of the way in advance.

Will my car insurance policy go into effect immediately?

Car insurance policies typically go into effect on the date you specify, which can be on the day you purchase it. When purchasing car insurance, especially if done online, you will need to enter your policy start date.

Once your purchase has gone through, your policy will begin on the date stipulated. Remember that driving without insurance or with an expired insurance policy is illegal. Therefore, you should always make sure that your new policy starts the day your previous one ends so there is no lapse in coverage.

Can I buy car insurance the same day I get into an accident?

Yes, you can purchase car insurance the same day you get into an accident. However, your new insurance policy will not cover any damage that occurred before it was purchased. This means that buying auto insurance after an accident, even if you buy it that same day, won’t help you pay for the costs associated with it.

If you drive without insurance and get into an accident, you will have to pay for any damages out-of-pocket.

How long does it take to add a new driver to an existing car insurance policy?

This depends on the insurance company, but most insurers can add a new driver to your existing policy the same day the request is made. To add a driver to your auto insurance policy, contact your insurance company, either online or over the phone, and provide them with some basic information about the additional driver, such as their driver’s license number and expiry date, name, age, date of birth, and address.

How long after buying a new vehicle do I need to purchase auto insurance?

If you have an existing car insurance policy under your name, then you don’t have to get a new policy right away. Insurance companies usually have grace periods for updating auto insurance for a new vehicle. However, if you don’t have an existing policy, you will need to purchase car insurance before hitting the road.

Luckily, purchasing car insurance is simpler than ever before thanks to brokerages like BrokerLink which can help you purchase policies quickly and easily.

Learn more about how long it takes to purchase car insurance by contacting BrokerLink today.

To learn more about how long it takes to get auto insurance or to have your other car insurance FAQs answered, get in touch with BrokerLink today.

Our insurance advisors will be pleased to offer their insight into the car insurance buying process. We can explain the documentation you will need to provide, the coverage options available to you, and a rough time frame as to how long the entire process will take.

Plus, we can provide you with a free car insurance quote. We offer complimentary quotes to all drivers in Canada.

What are you waiting for? Get in touch by phone, email, or in-person and jumpstart your car insurance journey.

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