Is my new car covered when I drive it off the lot?



In most states, car dealerships won’t allow you to drive off the lot before you show proof of car insurance for your new vehicle. No dealer wants to be blamed if you total your new car five miles down the road and wind up making payments on a car you no longer can drive.


When to get insurance on a new car:

If you already have car insurance for your current vehicle, then your existing policy may offer temporary coverage for your new car for a limited time. If you’re not certain if your policy extends coverage, give us a quick call to check before picking up your new vehicle. If your current car insurance policy does automatically extend coverage to a new car, you won’t be required to inform your auto insurance company before buying a car, but don't wait too long after your purchase to notify your insurer.
Policies that extend coverage to new cars typically give you anywhere from 7 to 30 days to inform your car insurance company that you purchased a new vehicle.  It's important that you know exactly how long you have and inform us about your new car within this grace period. Otherwise, you could unknowingly end up driving without insurance.

Insurance when buying a new car:
Some car insurance policies only cover a new vehicle if it’s replacing a vehicle on your policy and only extend the same coverage. For instance, if you only had liability insurance for your old car, your new car will only have liability coverage. If you find this to be the case, call and add the new car to your policy while at the dealership to have collision and comprehensive coverage in place before you drive off the lot. Other auto insurance companies’ policy terms automatically provide a new car with comprehensive and collision for only a few days, 2 to 4 is common, if all the vehicles on your policy have liability only coverage. That limited coverage window allows you to get home and call us. Other auto policies extend the physical damage coverage for a longer period of time if you have these coverages on at least one of the other cars on your policy.

Rules are all over the place with car insurance companies, and can also vary according to state laws. Whatever your extension period is, if you wait past the deadline to notify us you will lose coverage on the new vehicle.  This could get you in trouble with your state department of motor vehicles and your finance company, not to mention bring about major financial difficulties if you get in an accident.


Bottom line, give us a call to make sure your new car is covered appropriately.  


Lucas Zeiler

708.597.5900 x651




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