How Do I Transfer Auto Insurance to a New Car?

Insure your car before you drive it off the lot.

Insure your car before you drive it off the lot.

Getting a new car is exciting, but before you change all the preset radio stations and plan your first road trip, it is important to make sure that you have proper insurance coverage. When you buy a new car, the first thing you need to do is notify your insurance company so that they can make the appropriate changes to your policy. While your current insurance policy will cover your new car temporarily, it is important that you work with your insurance company to buy a policy that covers your new vehicle.

Auto Insurance Policies

Auto insurance is a mandatory protection that vehicle owners must buy in order to provide for the payment of any costs that might arise if the vehicle is involved in a car accident. When you have car insurance, instead of paying out of pocket for the cost of a car accident, your car insurance company pays part or all of the associated costs. In order to secure this benefit, you pay monthly or annual premiums to your car insurance company.

State Requirements

The costs covered by your auto insurance can include things like damage to the car itself, costs arising from injury caused to others and medical costs for treating injuries that you might sustain in a car accident. All states require car insurance, but the policy requirements vary by state. Most states require that your insurance covers injuries that you or someone else incurs while driving your car and covers damage to another person's property by your car.

Transferring Auto Insurance

Because the insurance policy you have is designated for a specific vehicle, it is important to get a new car insurance policy that covers your new vehicle. One thing to consider is contacting your insurance company when you start shopping for a new car. Once you have narrowed down your choice of models to a handful, your insurance company will be able to help determine what the insurance premiums would be for each model. Because insurance coverage costs vary widely by vehicle, knowing the cost of insurance ahead of time can help you make a final decision on your new car.

Your current car insurance policy temporarily covers your new car, but the coverage is transferred exactly as it exists. If you have liability-only coverage on your 10-year-old car, that is the coverage you will have on your new car until you contact the insurer and make the necessary changes. Once you've purchased your new vehicle, you will need to add your new car to your coverage. If you're getting rid of your old car or you traded it in at the dealership, you can remove that car from your policy. Your insurance agent can help you add your new vehicle to your policy. This process will ensure that your new car complies with state laws and that you are protected in case of an accident.

Items you will need

  • Insurance card
  • VIN number
 

About the Author

Bea is a personal finance and legal writer based in Texas.

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