You may be buying a car but haven't chosen one yet, or maybe you want to make sure you're insured when you drive even though you don't plan to buy a car. In either case, you can get a car insurance quote from your insurance agent.
How to get quotes for auto insurance if you don't own a car yet
Insurance prices can vary a lot based on what kind of car you buy, so it's smart to get some quotes before you decide on your new set of wheels. The easiest way to do this is to shop with an insurance agent, who can quote multiple insurance companies at once and can change the kind of car they're quoting with just a few clicks.
It shouldn't have to be hard.
Tell your insurance agent you are car shopping and give them a few examples of the kinds of cars you are looking at. They'll set up the quote for you with your address, license information, and what kinds of coverages and limits you want. Then they can easily plug in the cars you are looking at to get you a price.
Make sure the quotes include physical damage coverage if you will have a car loan or lease. Physical damage coverage, also known as comprehensive and collision coverage, pays to fix the vehicle after an accident. The lender or lessor will require these coverages, and they often also specify a maximum deductible, which is usually around $500.
When you get the quotes, check that your personal information and garaging address are correct. If you've had any crashes or driving violations in the past several years, make sure those are listed on the quote. Just before you purchase a policy the insurance company will check the driving record databases. They'll add any newly discovered incidents to your policy. This can change your price significantly, so it's better to ask the agent to list these in the quote proactively.
When you're ready to buy, just let your agent know which car you settled on. They'll finalize the quote for you, take payment, and get you the paperwork you need to register your car.
You can also do this yourself online. You'll want to run quotes on a couple of different insurance company websites for each of the makes and models you're looking at.
If you'd like to read more about insuring your first car, we've published a guide to car insurance for first-time car buyers.
How to get quotes for car insurance if you don't plan to own a car
If you drive but don't own a car, you may be worried about making sure you're insured. You can buy a kind of auto insurance policy called a non owner auto policy to cover your liability in a crash.
Non owner policies are a bit more limited than the name would suggest. They do cover you when you drive a car you don't own, so long as you 1) are driving for personal use and 2) you aren't driving a car you have regular access to, like a family member's car, or a friend's car you borrow frequently. In addition, the same limitations that apply to most regular car insurance policies also apply to non owner auto policies.
For example, they'll often only cover you in the US and Canada. And, since the vehicle you are driving is not listed on the policy, there is no coverage for it if you damage it. Damage to the vehicle has to be covered by the car owner's policy, or in the case of a rental car, through a specific collision damage waiver coverage.
If you are driving for work, you need a commercial auto policy, which an insurance agent can help with. If you regularly drive a car, including a car subscription or a car you borrow frequently, you need to be listed on a policy that also lists the car.
Despite these limitations, non owner auto insurance can be a good choice if you don't want the hassle of buying a car but want to make sure you're covered when you drive. Check out our complete guide to non owner policies for more information.