How long do I have to get car insurance?
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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021
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- If you are preparing to buy or finance a new or used car, talk to your insurance agent in advance about how your current coverage would work
- Almost every car insurance company provides for coverage on an existing policy to be extended to a new vehicle for a certain grace period
- Many dealerships will require that you be able to show proof of coverage before you drive a car off the lot
- The best place to find information on what your current car insurance policy will cover for a new car is on the declarations page of your policy
- If you are planning to switch to a new insurance company, then you need to alert your existing one
If you plan to drive a car on public roads, you must have insurance. This is a state requirement. If you already have auto insurance and are purchasing a new or used vehicle, there may be a short period of time where your existing coverage will protect your new vehicle.
Don’t wait too long to contact your car insurance company to add the new car to your policy; you may not be able to leave the dealership with your new car if you cannot show that you have valid car insurance.
Adding a New Car to Your Car Insurance Policy
There will be important information on your declarations page about what types of vehicles are covered under your policy. Typically, there is a short grace period during which a new car would be covered under your current policy until it is officially added.
You do not want to let this period expire, however, because if you are in a crash without having coverage past the grace period, then you will not have protection for the damages.
It is very easy to have a new car added to your current policy. You simply call up your auto insurance agent and let him know that you have a car to add.
If this car is replacing your previous vehicle, be sure to let the agent know so that you can drop coverage for the previous vehicle and don’t have to pay the premium.
The type of car that you purchase could affect the rate that you pay for insurance, even if you are dropping another car. If you have time to speak with your agent before you make the new car purchase, you can get an idea of what the rates would be for your new car.
Newer models, luxury vehicles, sports cars, and imported vehicles will have higher insurance rates.
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Required Insurance from the Lender or Dealership
Be prepared for a few quirks in your car insurance coverage if you decide to lease or finance a car. Each lender may have a specific set of requirements for insurance so that they can make sure your car is protected in the event of a crash or some other type of accident.
These requirements will be set out in the lease or loan agreement. If you violate them, this could be grounds to terminate your loan or lease. The lender or dealer could also simply force you to pay for the coverage as a part of your monthly payment.
Even if these coverage costs are combined in your monthly lease or loan payments, you still have the option to choose the insurer you want to work with for this coverage. The dealer may recommend one, but the choice is really up to you.
Often times, you will get a better insurance rate by simply extending your coverage through your existing car insurance company. The lender or dealer may require you to show proof that you have purchased all of the necessary coverage.
You can work directly with your agent to make sure that you have the right proof.
When you are choosing between various collision and comprehensive insurance policies, you will want to look for the same things as when you purchase the basic liability coverage.
For example, while the price is certainly important, it is equally important to make sure that you are working with a sound company that you can rely on in case you have to file a claim.
Getting quotes from multiple car insurance companies is a good way to make sure that you do not pay too much for your full coverage policies.
Recap on Getting Car Insurance on a New Car
If you are planning on buying a new car and are wondering what to do about your car insurance, you just need to call your insurance agent to have the new car added to your policy. You can also use another car insurance company entirely.
The most important thing is to not have a lapse in your coverage. The dealer may also require you to show valid insurance before you leave the lot with your new car.
Begin comparing auto insurance quotes from top companies today. Just enter your zip code below to get started.