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.

Per the definition of an insurance contract in order for and insurance contract to be effective (bound) there must be consideration (payment). Therefore insurance companies require at least a down payment to begin an insurance policy. The reason being, 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 not contract exists.

If you cannot pay for the full insurance premium at once than 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 own 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 then choose the monthly payment method.

With some of our carriers, you can add an additional 10% in 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.

With you can always make payments on your policy. The only exception is when the state requires a paid in full policy (some SR-22 policies).

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

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Michelle Megna
Contributing Researcher

Michelle is a writer, editor and expert on car insurance and personal finance. She's a former editorial director. Prior to joining, she reported and edited articles on technology, lifestyle, education and government for magazines, websites and major newspapers, including the New York Daily News.