How long does a car insurance quote last?

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently...

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business...

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Reviewed byBrad Larsen
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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Things to know...
  • An auto insurance quote is based on several factors such as demographics, driving record, vehicle information, etc. and as such, can take a quite significant amount of time to process
  • Auto insurance providers will keep quotes active for some time, and it’s therefore important to know how long the quote is valid if you need some time to shop around
  • Upon application, some auto insurance companies will specify the validity of the quote right away. Some will communicate via email later while others won’t provide details about the offer’s validity period
  • Typically, an online auto insurance quote will only be good for 2-3 days or a week after you receive it. The validity period can be extended up to a month in a bid to entice customers to revert to the provider

Getting a car insurance quote, however simple it may seem, can take time. Auto insurance providers use factors such as demographics, driving records, and vehicle information, among others to determine quotes for potential clients.

The process may take time, which explains why some auto insurance quotes take forever to process. It’s important for customers to find how much time their quotes will take to generate and how long they will last.

Having the information on the validity of a quote will help you know exactly how much time you have for comparison shopping. Comparing quotes from several providers before you purchase an auto insurance policy helps you to obtain the right type of coverage at a good price. It’s the most effective way to bring your rates down.

The Validity of a Car Insurance Quote

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People are different. It’s evident in the way we conduct our daily activities including routine tasks such as shopping. Some of us are impulse buyers, you see something that you like and if you think it’s a good bargain, you just buy it, no questions asked. Others like to mull over as they look at the alternatives but keep their options open such that they can come back and make the purchase if they feel it was good.

The same case applies to car insurance; some people will just purchase the first policy they come across if they like it. Others will say – you know what, it’s a pretty good deal but let me look around and see if I can find something better.

It’s always recommended that you shop around when it comes to car insurance.

The latter will end up saving a significant amount of money every year in auto insurance premiums just because they did a bit of comparison shopping before they purchased coverage.

But when it comes to comparison shopping, you need to keep your options open because you don’t know what you may or may not find. You need to be able to come back retrieve a quote you had found earlier if you don’t stumble on anything better. A quote’s validity period dictates the amount of time you need to decide. But for how long does a quote remain valid after you have received it?

It Depends on the Insurance Provider

In most cases, an auto insurance quote will be valid for two to three days or a week upon receiving it. Some providers will extend this period and save your quote for about a month to give you time to look at other options before you make your decision. The issue of how long an auto insurance quote solely depends on the insurance provider.

When you get a quote that interests you, make sure that you print it. If you get a quote through an agent, ask them to put it in writing. Having a quote in writing may help you out if you come back to purchase coverage after some time.

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Prices Change

The price of an auto insurance quote may change depending on how long it has been saved. Changes can occur at any time since some websites update in real time. An insurance provider will save your quote, but the company cannot guarantee that the price you get on the quote is the price you find when you come back to make the purchase.

However, price changes in a quote will be relatively minor in most situations regardless of how much time you take to call back the agent or go back to the website.

Big changes in the price of an auto insurance quote can only occur if there is a change in your policy.

Auto insurance is competitive, and prices can change with the slightest tweak on the details in the quote. If you printed out your original quote and there’s a slight variation by the time you purchase the policy, the auto insurance provider may decide to honor your original quote to win your business.

Auto Insurance Quotes Are Not Binding

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It is important to remember that a quote does not guarantee that you will be charged the indicated rates, irrespective of what the website says or how long the quote lasts. It is just an estimate of your rates and in no way binding. Auto insurance becomes binding once you sign the contract.

Until then, the auto insurer is allowed to make changes to the quote if they stumble on additional details not specified on the quote.

Can I change my mind if I click buy too soon?

Yes, some auto insurance providers give you several days to change your mind upon purchasing the policy. If this ‘cooling off’ period is exceeded, you’ll just have to cancel the policy the traditional way. With others, if you change your mind, you’ll just have to cancel the policy. You might have to pay a cancellation fee to cancel your policy.

As you can see, it’s imperative that you take all the time you need to compare auto insurance quotes before you make the purchase. Auto insurance providers will save your quote for a given period, so you will have time to compare and come back if you need to. Buying car insurance is a major step, take your time.

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