Are You Wondering How Long You Have To Insure A New Car?
Dan Levenson November 08, 2018
So you’re thinking about buying a new (or new to you) car. You may be wondering how long you have to add insurance protection to make sure you’re covered. There are several factors that determine this which we’ll talk about in this article.
Are you purchasing a new car and you don’t have an existing policy?
If you don’t currently have auto insurance, you want to secure coverage for your new car before even taking ownership. In most cases, we don’t need to see the car before you can get covered and we can process the application for you over the phone. It usually only takes about 15 minutes.
Are you adding an additional car?
If you’re adding an additional vehicle for one of your children or another family member, your current policy covers you automatically for a period of time. If there’s more than one car on your policy, coverage from the vehicle with the broadest coverage would apply. For instance, let’s say on your car you have collision coverage but there’s no coverage for this on your wife’s car. Since the coverage on your car is broadest, that’s what would apply.
If you already have physical damage coverage (collision and/or comprehensive) included with your policy, most carriers allow you 14 days to notify them.
If you don’t have physical damage coverage on any vehicle listed on the declarations page, collision and comprehensive coverage are automatically included for 4 days. If an accident or covered loss were to happen during this time, a $500 deductible would apply.
We recommend you contact us as early as possible if this happens so we can make sure you’re adequately protected.
Are you adding a motorcycle?
Your personal auto policy does not provide coverage for motorcycles. If you’re buying one, and you don’t already have motorcycle coverage, you want to get a policy before you take ownership.
Are you replacing your car?
If you’re replacing a vehicle and your policy has liability coverage, and that’s the coverage you want for your new car, you’re automatically covered for the rest of the term of your policy. While notification is not required by most insurers, we highly recommend you let us know about your new purchase.
If you want to add collision or comprehensive coverage, you have 14 days if you already have that coverage on one of your vehicles and 4 days if you don’t.
Has your vehicle been totaled in an accident or not recovered after theft?
If your vehicle is totaled in an accident or has not been recovered after a theft, your policy applies in a couple of ways.
While you have a rental car, the broadest coverage of any listed vehicle would transfer to your rental car. This means you would not have to purchase liability coverage from the rental car company.
If you have coverage for damage to your car, that would apply to the rental car too. If you have liability only, you would need to purchase supplemental coverage from the rental car company in case anything happens to it.
Also, check with your credit card company. They may provide coverage on an excess basis as well.
Once you replace your car, if you previously had collision and comprehensive, you have 14 days to notify the insurance company. If you did not have coverage for damage to your car, you would have 4 days to notify the insurer. You’re automatically covered during the notification period with a $500 deductible.
What coverages should I get?
Each person’s situation is a little different. At a minimum, you should have liability coverage and personal injury protection (PIP).
Depending upon the age and value of your new vehicle, you may also want to consider adding collision and comprehensive coverage. You could also think about rental car coverage and towing coverage.
Do I need gap coverage?
If you’re buying a new vehicle and your down-payment is low or you are leasing, you may find yourself “upside down,” meaning that you owe more on the car than it is worth.
Your vehicle is covered for actual cash value or fair market value—not how much you owe.
To protect yourself from receiving less than you owe if your car is totaled, you may want to consider adding gap coverage. This coverage will pay the difference between what’s owed to your lien holder and the current value.
We want to make sure you don’t find yourself in a situation where you thought you would be covered but it turns out that you’re not. If you’re thinking about buying a new car, contact us us so we can guide you through the process.
You can get a personal auto quote by contacting us directly or visiting InsureYourHome.com.