Car insurance before buying a car: Is it necessary?
Buying a car can be fun and exciting for just about anyone. But if you haven’t thought about car insurance before buying a car, you might find yourself in trouble. Not only can you face fines and legal problems from state authorities, but you might not even be able to drive your car off the lot!
How Soon After Buying a Car Do You Need Insurance?
With all the different types of insurance products out there, it’s easy to get confused about what you need.
The truth is, you always need car insurance before buying a car.
Your new car has to have auto insurance coverage from the moment you drive it off the lot.
However, there is one possible, rare exception – and you should still ask your insurance company.
If you have an existing car insurance policy, it might automatically extend to cover your new car during a pre-defined grace period. This is usually 30 days, but it can be much shorter, too. While the grace period is going, you should contact your insurer and get the new car added to your insurance policy officially.
It’s crucial not to assume that your current car insurance has this protection unless you have discussed it with an insurance agent. There can be significant loopholes in the coverage: For example, you might be covered only if you are replacing your current car, not if you are buying a second car.
If you do not currently have a car or auto insurance, then the process is a little bit different.
How Do You Get Car Insurance Without a Car?
If you have no insurance and no car, getting started may take some more legwork.
It’s a wise idea to be aware of all the various types of insurance products that might apply to your new car, but you really only need one: A minimum insurance policy in your state. The minimum policy includes a certain amount of Bodily Injury Liability and Property Damage Liability as set by law.
Before you head on over to the dealership, take some time to compare car insurance online so you know who has the best car insurance in your state. Every insurance company has to offer the same minimum policy protection, so price is one of the biggest factors in deciding which one to go with!
You might need the following details to finalize your new car insurance:
- Your name and birth date (and those of anyone else who will be on the policy).
- Driver’s license numbers and Social Security numbers of all covered drivers.
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for the vehicle to be covered.
- Your address and the address where the vehicle will be stored, if different.
- The declarations page from the car insurance policy.
If you have already made an agreement to buy a specific car, then you can get the VIN number right from your dealer. It is a unique identifier that helps you, car insurers, future buyers, and even the police find out about a car’s history when necessary. All cars have one, so you don’t have to worry about missing out.
If you are looking for the best car insurance quotes online and don’t have a VIN number yet, don’t worry! You can use the make and model of the car to compare auto insurance easily. Once you have a quote, you can contact your insurer of choice before you take possession of the car. It really can be that simple!
Do You Need Comprehensive Insurance for a New Car?
Another thing that’s easy to overlook in the different types of insurance products is comprehensive insurance.
If you are taking out a loan to pay for your new car, then you will probably need to establish a comprehensive car insurance policy. This policy provides additional protection for a wide range of problems that aren’t covered by a standard policy: Fire, major weather events, vandalism, and even car theft are usually included.
Lenders require these policies so they are protected in case the car is completely destroyed (“totaled”).
It’s essential to search for the best car insurance quotes in advance, because comprehensive insurance can be pricey. On the other hand, it means you usually won’t be on the hook to make up the remaining value of the car to your lender if the vehicle is a total loss. That keeps you from getting involved in a real worst case scenario!
Luckily, among the many factors that affect your car insurance rates is the age of your car and the safety features it has. If your new car is safer than your old one, you can actually end up paying less for insurance in the long run.
Can You Get Car Insurance the Same Day You Buy a Car?
If you’re busy and you forgot to compare car insurance online, you can still get a good deal on car insurance!
Cheap Insurance lets you compare car insurance premiums online in a matter of minutes. You could even do it on your phone or laptop from right there in the car lot. After you’re done, simply get in touch with your new car insurance company to verify factors that affect your car insurance rates and start your policy.
Every car insurance company has different rules about the effective start date of their policies. Still, if you are in a hurry and get in touch before 12 noon, you will usually be able to launch your car insurance on the same day.
Do Car Dealerships Require Proof of Insurance?
Yes! To protect their interests, all legitimate car dealerships require proof of insurance.
They might ask you to let them make a copy of your auto insurance card, or they might simply add your car insurance policy number to their file. Whatever the case, it’s a guarantee that you won’t be able to finalize your purchase and drive your new car off the lot unless you have a car insurance policy.
Do I Need Insurance to Buy a Car from a Private Seller?
Private seller transactions are faster and simpler than buying a car from a dealer, but you need to be sure you do everything right. That can be tricky sometimes. Trouble can arise if you try to take possession of the vehicle’s title, which confers legal ownership, but the seller doesn’t hold title in the first place!
Assuming you decide to go forward with a private seller transaction, you will usually not be asked for proof of insurance. Very few states make a private seller responsible for ensuring that the buyer is insured. But bear in mind, it is still illegal to drive without insurance. If you get caught, you can face serious penalties.
Those include fines, loss of your driver’s license and registration, and even jail time.
After all the work it took to get your new car, don’t put it at risk by forgetting car insurance before buying a car. Cheap Insurance helps you get the best car insurance to meet your needs, even if you need to get started the same day. You can even compare insurance quotes right now!