1. 15645 POINTS
    Edward HarrisPRO
    Owner, Best Health And Car Insurance Rates - Instant Online Quotes, US
    Typically, on most car insurance policies, you have up to 30 days of coverage when you purchase a vehicle and it is replacing another vehicle. The coverage matches the coverage you had on the previous car. For example, if you had $50,000 per person of bodily injury and $100,000 per accident, along with $250 deductibles, the new vehicle would also have those limits.

    Each policy may be different so don't assume you have 30, 10, or even 5 days of coverage. Contact your agent when you are considering buying a vehicle and he/she can review the estimated rate along with the length of time you have to add the car to the policy.

    If you are purchasing a new vehicle, and your existing coverage is "liability only," it's critical to add the car to your policy before it is driven. Also, be aware of the date you will be charged for the new car coverage. It may not be as "free" as you believe, if the vehicle is added effective the day of purchase, and not the day of reporting!

    IMPORTANT: Answer was provided by Edward Harris, one of the premier auto insurance authorities in the US. His website, Carinsurancezoom.org, provided free online quotes and the lowest car insurance rates from top-rated companies in your area.
    Answered on May 16, 2015
  2. 552 POINTS
    Ruth Ladas
    CEO, RLI - Ruth Ladas Insurance, LLC, Fort Myers, Florida
    Since the rules on this can change from one state to another, check with a local agent on the rules. In Florida, if you're buying a car with finance you have to give proof of insurance to take the vehicle off of the lot at purchase.

    If your car purchase is replacing one vehicle for another, a quick call to your agent prior to finalizing the deal is all that's needed. If the car is an additional car (and additional policy) a new policy will need to be written. This can often still be done with a quick call to your agent, but plan for the expense of starting a new policy.
    Answered on May 17, 2015
  3. 37376 POINTS
    David G. Pipes, CLU®, RICP®
    Business Development Officer, T.D. McNeil Insurance Services, Fresno, California
    Your state probably requires that you have auto insurance before you drive out the dealer’s driveway. Your current policy may well provide coverage for a specified period of time (usually 30 days.) Many consider that “free coverage.” That is not the case as the policy on the newly acquired car will revert back to the date of purchase. The best idea is to provide the dealer with evidence of current coverage and then call your insurance agent with all the details including the VIN, the date of purchase, the price of the car and any coverage changes that are necessary. That way you are covered and that is really the issue.
    Answered on May 18, 2015
  4. 14231 POINTS
    Tom Sheehan
    Agency Owner, The Thomas G Sheehan Agency, 27 Glen Road Sandy Hook, CT 06482
    In most if not all states, auto insurance is required in order to register a car for use on public access roads and highways. So the short answer to your question is right away because you will need to provide an insurance ID card and binder (if there is financing involved) to your dealership so that they can complete the transaction and register your car. Be sure to keep your INsurance Professional in the loop when you are shopping for a new car. That is the best way to make sure you have the insurance protection and documentation that you need, at the time you need it.
    Answered on May 20, 2015
  5. 447 POINTS
    Thad Bynum
    Owner/ Partner, Bynum Insurance Agency, Inc, Clayton, GA
    All personal automobile policies offer some automatic coverage when purchasing a vehicle. This coverage varies from policy to policy and also varies from state to state. One thing that you should be aware of is the limitation on this coverage. All personal automobile policies specifically state that to have automatic coverage on newly acquired vehicles, all vehicles owned by you must be insured with the same company. Basically, if you have a policy with X company and another with Y company, this completely eliminates automatic coverage of a newly acquired vehicles. In this situation you would have to have an agent with the company desired to provide the coverage bind the coverage for you. It just wouldn't happen automatically.
    Answered on May 30, 2015
  6. 1492 POINTS
    Jeff Davis
    Insurance Advisor, Lordship Insurance Services, California
    Safest bet is right away. Although you have a window from the state as to when your coverage can begin there is no window if your car is involved in an accident. Whenever you plan to drive a car you should have it insured. This protects both you and the other motorists.
    Answered on July 21, 2015
  7. 161 POINTS
    Ty Peck
    Agency Producer, Farmers Insurance, Ferndale, WA
    Great question! I always recommend doing it right away, especially if you have a loan on the vehicle. Most companies will give you 30 days to add the new vehicle to your auto policy however. If there was a claim filed within those 30 days, it might be a longer process due to not having the vehicle listed on your policy, but it would be covered regardless. Hope this helps!
    Answered on December 7, 2015
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