How Long to Insure After Buying a New Car?

by Louise Balle, Demand Media

    When you buy a new car you have a number of tasks to complete to make your ride official. One task is to get sufficient auto insurance coverage for the vehicle. If you already have an insurer, all you usually need to do is make a quick call to his office to get new coverage. Otherwise you need to shop around. The deadline you have to get insurance on the car may vary depending on your state and the lender's requirements.

    Importance of Insurance

    When you purchase a new car you should already have insurance lined up for it. The lender may not allow you to drive away with the car until you can prove that you have an active auto insurance policy. The lender has to protect his own interests when selling a brand new car. In a worst case scenario, if you were to drive off the lot and total the car without having any insurance, the lender would have challenges trying to recover the value of his property from you. The insurance also protects you, because if you total the car, you'll still be on the hook to pay the value of the car to the lender.

    You May Have Temporary Coverage

    If you already have a car insurance policy, such as from the car you traded in, this may cover you temporarily until you get an actual quote from your insurer for the new vehicle. You commonly have up to a month to get the policy on the new car and inform your insurance company.

    State Requirements

    Most state laws require you to get insurance on your new car in order to register the car. So once your temporary registration expires -- usually in about a month -- you're going to need to get auto insurance to order license plates and keep driving the car legally. The Department of Motor Vehicles representative asks to see a valid insurance card before processing your registration and application for plates.

    Shop Around

    When you buy a new car, it doesn't hurt to shop around for a new insurance provider as well. Submit an online quote request for the types of cars you wish to buy before you even visit the dealership. This way you have an idea of the best quotes on auto insurance premiums ahead of time. You might even decide on a different type of car depending on the insurance quotes you receive. Body style, engine, and even brand can affect the cost of your car insurance.

    About the Author

    Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.