Money is an obvious one. And, of course, having a vehicle to insure and a garaging address is another. A completed application with signatures applies to all polices. Also, each company will have their own unique set of guidelines for what you will need. Lastly, legal requirements can change in different jurisdictions.
Payments to start a policy are mostly made by check or credit card. Many policyholders now a days use an electronic form of payment. For credit and debit cards the account number, expiration date, and security code are needed. For an electronic funds bank transfer the account and bank routing numbers. In either case the account holder, which is not always the policyholder, must provide authorization.
Before a policy can begin the exact Vehicle Identification Number or VIN (17 digit alpha numeric) is needed. Providing the year make and model is insufficient. Each car has a unique VIN which identifies the characteristics for that particular car. Air bag, antilock brakes and other vehicle features are verified. CLUE reports (Claims Loss Underwriting Exchange) indicating vehicle claims history require the correct VIN.
Information not provided on computer generated reports such as the MVR and CLUE are necessary to complete the application and issue (begin) a policy. Be prepared to provide the employer (school) name and address for all drivers. When making payments on the car the bank or leasing company name and address is necessary. The application will have to be signed and payment authorized.
Companies often require a variety of documentation supporting the policy. Proof of prior insurance or school transcript for discounts is typical. Photographs of the vehicle or policyholder picture identification are less common. If there are different vehicles in the household covered by another insurance policy you may be asked to provide proof. Not all jurisdictions have the same legal requirements. For example, 7 counties in Florida require mandatory vehicle inspections when starting a new policy that include physical damage coverage.
Most, but not all, of the necessary information for a policy is generated by reports from your name, address, drivers license and VIN numbers. It is imperative that the 17 digit VIN number you provide is correct. Complete information, payment details, specific requirements, and signatures are the things you need to set up an insurance policy.