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Written by:
Shivani Gite
Contributing Writer
Shivani Gite is a personal finance and insurance writer with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She is passionate about making insurance topics easy to understand for people and helping them make better financial decisions. When not writing, you can find her reading a book or watching anime.
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Reviewed by:
Laura Longero
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Executive Editor
Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

You have two options when purchasing your car insurance policy. You can choose to pay in full or you can choose to make a down payment and monthly payments. You will need to have the required down payment to purchase the insurance policy.

To start your insurance coverage now, you must at least make a down payment on the policy. So you cannot sign up for your insurance policy today and wait till next week or next month to make any type of payment.

For an insurance contract to be effective (bound) there must be a payment. Therefore insurance companies require at least a down payment to begin an insurance policy. The reason is that in the event of an accident or loss of some kind the customer expects the insurance company to pay for the damages and or injuries that occur. If no premium has been paid, then the coverage has not been purchased and no claim will be paid because no contract exists.

If you cannot pay for the full insurance premium at once then typically you can get a policy with a down payment and then make monthly payments on it. Whether you will want to pay for an insurance policy in full or to pay for it through monthly payments is a personal decision best ruled by your financial means and abilities. If you can afford to pay the policy upfront and all at once then do so. If instead for your finances it is better to pay it off in installments, than choose the monthly payment method.

With some of our carriers, you can add additional savings when you pay in full. Monthly payments with some car insurance companies come with a fee for each monthly installment. This fee usually covers the cost of processing your payment on a monthly basis.

You can obtain car insurance quotes here to see how much it would cost you and you can even purchase the policy online through a carrier website.

— Michelle Megna contributed to this story.

Laura Longero

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Laura Longero

Executive Editor

Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

John McCormick

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John McCormick

Editorial Director

John is the editorial director for CarInsurance.com, Insurance.com and Insure.com. Before joining QuinStreet, John was a deputy editor at The Wall Street Journal and had been an editor and reporter at a number of other media outlets where he covered insurance, personal finance, and technology.

Leslie Kasperowicz

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Leslie Kasperowicz

Managing Editor

Leslie Kasperowicz is an insurance educator and content creation professional with nearly two decades of experience first directly in the insurance industry at Farmers Insurance and then as a writer, researcher, and educator for insurance shoppers writing for sites like ExpertInsuranceReviews.com and InsuranceHotline.com and managing content, now at CarInsurance.com.

Nupur Gambhir

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Nupur Gambhir

Managing Editor

Nupur Gambhir is a content editor and licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert. She has extensive experience bringing brands to life and has built award-nominated campaigns for travel and tech. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service.

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Contributing Writer

Shivani Gite is a personal finance and insurance writer with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She is passionate about making insurance topics easy to understand for people and helping them make better financial decisions. When not writing, you can find her reading a book or watching anime.