Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

Full Bio →

Written by

Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 23, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right car insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our car insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different car insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Key takeaways...

  • Car insurance is required by law in almost every state
  • You should never wait until you have an accident to find insurance
  • There are many types of supplemental coverage that you may want to purchase

Everyone understands the importance of buying car insurance. If your car is not insured, you are running a risk for loss of your property every time you get in your car.

In addition to the risk that you take on your property, you also have liability risk for the lives and assets of others.

Make sure you have the coverage you need before it’s too late! Enter your zip code above to begin comparing rates from several companies side-by-side.

Insurance was invented for the purpose of protecting your investment and protecting you from lawsuits and liability. Let’s look at some of the legal terms that are used in the insurance field and see how you can afford these legal scenarios.

What is liability?


Liability is a legal term referring to the amount of legal responsibility you have to others for damages that you cause to their person or property.

For example, if you hit someone in your car while driving and they suffer damage from the collision, you will legally owe them for property damage in the amount of the damages.

This obligation would generally be upheld by most courts if you were to take it to court.

Usually, in cases of a car accident, the case would be brought by the plaintiff who had their car damaged. In order to win the case, they would have to prove negligence on your part.

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is negligence?

Negligence is another legal term that refers to an act of failure to do what was necessary to avoid damage to property or individuals through lack of attention, carelessness, or failure to act accordingly to avoid the problem.

Negligence is actually composed of four principles:

  • Duty – Duty is the legal responsibility that you have to care for the outcome of others’ possessions, life, or property. The court considers any obligation that you have to others as legal grounds for the “duty” criteria.
  • Breach – Breach involves showing that the person had the duty to do the above but they failed to do so.
  • Causation – The plaintiff would have to prove that the defendant caused the damage or loss.
  • Damages – The damages clause means that the plaintiff was harmed or injured in some way (either through physical damage or other) due to the actions of the defendant.

The above criteria would have to be shown to be evident in court in a negligence case.

If your case goes to court, you would have to be ready to show evidence to the contrary in an accident case in order to avoid a judge ruling that you owe for the damages brought forward by the plaintiff.

Insurance helps you avoid this scenario by covering you for any potential damages that you would have to pay in order to settle the case. In short, insurance can save you thousands and thousands of dollars in a car accident in which it was ruled that it was your fault.

Compare Car Insurance Companies

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

When to Buy Insurance

In answer to the question in our title, now is the best time to buy insurance. You don’t want to wait until you have an accident to purchase insurance. The time to buy insurance is before you have a fender-bender or accident.

If you have let your insurance policy lapse or you do not know if you have enough coverage, now is the time to look into your policy and see if you have the minimum requirements mandated by your state of residence.

Then, you will want to look further to see if there are optional coverages that would make you more secure when driving.

It’s Not Health Insurance


Some people think that car insurance has an open enrollment period like health insurance does.

During open enrollment periods in health insurance, people are able to sign up without any questions being asked regarding their pre-existing conditions and they are usually guaranteed enrollment.

No such open enrollment period exists with auto insurance and you do not have to answer questions about the “health” of your car. All you need to start an insurance policy is the following information:

Insurance companies need this information so that they can enter it in their database to identify your car within the network.

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Optional Coverages You Should Consider

The question everyone wants to know is what types of coverage they should get to have enough. While some insurance is better than none, you should always budget your car insurance as a major part of your monthly expense and make sure it takes priority.

First, you should know your state requirements so that you will make sure you have what is required in your state.

Second, consider the following optional coverages so that you will be covered for other unexpected situations.

  • CollisionCollision insurance is focused on offering claim money to cover the cost of your car repairs when you have an accident that damages your own car.
  • ComprehensiveComprehensive insurance includes both collision and other coverage that covers anything other than accident coverage. Some examples of comprehensive coverage include theft, vandalism, acts of nature, and more.
  • Uninsured/underinsured – Uninsured and underinsured coverage pays for damages with your insurance that others’ insurance does not cover when they are uninsured or underinsured.
  • Roadside assistance – Roadside assistance offers help if you are stranded on the side of the road with no help. It is relatively inexpensive insurance but it can have a high value due to its ability to offer help on the spot when you need it most.
  • Car rentals – Car rental insurance guarantees that you will have a car if your car is being repaired and you have no other means of transportation.

Shop and Compare Policies


In order to get the best deal on car insurance, you have to do some research. That’s why we developed this site. We want to make the process of getting car insurance easy. So look around, shop, and compare at least three policies before purchasing one that works best for you.

Ultimately, today is the best time to get car insurance. Tomorrow may be too late.

Enter your zip code into our free rate comparison tool to find the car insurance coverage that’s right for you.