Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • Car insurance companies can allow you to bind coverage at any minute of any day
  • The insurance market is such that it is basically on-demand for consumers
  • Backdating coverage is also available if you need insurance coverage for a period in the past


When you are the owner of a car in the United States, it is a requirement that you carry car insurance to be able to actually drive the vehicle.

Car insurance is a great thing to have with the way that it protects you, protects all of the passengers in your car, as well as others around your vehicle while you are driving.

One of the more common questions that people have, though, when buying car insurance is when their policy actually goes into effect.

Having car insurance means that you will be indemnified if you get in a car accident and you file a claim with your car insurance company.

They, in return, will work to make sure that they pay for the repairs to your car, medical bills, as well as other losses that you may be held liable for that are also covered under your policy itself.

Knowing when your policy starts or goes into effect is essential if you want to stay safe and legal on the road.

Be sure to enter your zip code on this page to receive free auto insurance quotes!

As Soon as You Buy Coverage

Car insurance companies are great in that they track policies by the minute.

If you buy the policy at 3:00 p.m. then the policy could, in theory, go into effect at 3:01 p.m., just one minute later.

Car insurance companies have the ability now to bind your coverage almost immediately. All you have to do to get your policy to go into effect is two things:

  1. Open up the policy with an insurance carrier.
  2. Make your initial payment or your deposit.

Once those two things are done, you’re good to go.

Many insurance companies can allow you to shop right online and have your policy go into effect without ever having to even pick up the phone and interact with a customer service representative.

This puts all of the power into your hands as a consumer as you truly can get car insurance on your time, on-demand.

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Backdating Coverage

There is also always the possibility for you to have your policy go into effect at a time period in the past. Though many insurance carriers are going to be reluctant for you to backdate coverage for more than 45 days or so, it is certainly possible.

There may be instances where you are required to show that you had car insurance coverage over a particular period of time, even though you may not have had a policy purchased at that time period. This is where backdating comes into play.

When you shop around in the insurance marketplace you’re going to find that there are plenty of insurers who are willing to take on your policy in a backdated state, even if you, perhaps, had a small loss in the past that would be covered under the policy.

If an insurer wants to make sure you had no losses, they may request a no known loss letter before binding coverage.

You can get car insurance basically on-demand with the way that the market is constructed.

This puts all of the power in your hands as a consumer. It is up to you to shop around in the car insurance market so that you can find a policy and a policy period that is going to suit your needs.

You can have a car insurance policy go into effect this very minute if you need it, as long as you act to have coverage bound and get your deposit in with an insurer.

Enter your zip before you to get free car insurance quotes today!