| Auto Insurance
a woman leans against her new car

Purchasing the vehicle you’ve been dreaming about? Moving across the country after a big promotion? Congratulations! But before you get behind the wheel of your new ride or start driving around your new hometown, you need to make sure you’ve got the right insurance coverage to be road-legal. Can you transfer car insurance from one car to another or from one state to another? Do you need a new car insurance policy? We’re talking all about transferring coverage, so keep reading for answers to these questions and more.

Is There a Grace Period for Getting Insurance on a New Car?

No driver wants to deal with the consequences of an auto insurance lapse, so how do you make sure there aren’t any gaps in coverage if you’re trading in your old car for a new ride? What if you’re buying a second vehicle to drive for fun on the weekends? In most states, you need a valid auto insurance policy to buy a car, and if you are currently covered, your insurer typically gives you a grace period (the length depends on the company) that gives you time to update the vehicle on your policy (if you’re trading in your old car for a new one) or add the new vehicle (if you’re purchasing without trade-in) to your policy. Generally speaking, whatever coverage you had in place previously is what will be active during the grace period with the new vehicle.

But whether the grace period lasts for one week or one month, you want to update your insurance policy as soon as possible to make sure you have the exact coverage you need for your new car. It’s also a good idea to call your agent before you buy a new vehicle to make sure you have a clear understanding of any rules or stipulations about their grace period.

Can You Transfer Car Insurance from One Car to Another?

As we mentioned above, in the short term, your active insurance policy should “transfer” to the new car to provide coverage during your grace period. But can you officially transfer your coverage over to a new car? Or do you have to get a new policy?

Typically, you should be able to transfer coverage to the new car in a relatively straightforward manner. You should be able to call your insurance agent and give them all the necessary details to update your policy with your new car information. If your insurer has an app or online account portal, you might be able to sign in and make the updates yourself.

However, it is worth noting that depending on the coverage you currently have and the car you just bought, you might need to ask about additional coverage. If you were previously driving an older vehicle, you might have liability-only insurance. But for a new vehicle, you might want to consider adding comprehensive and collision coverage. If you’re taking out a loan for your new car, there’s a good chance the lending institution or dealership will require you to have comprehensive and collision anyways.

Getting Car Insurance for the First Time:

First-time driver? Never had car insurance? Don’t worry, you can still buy a car, but you’re almost certainly going to need an insurance policy before you can make your purchase. Before you go to the dealership, learn how to shop for car insurance. Search for a company that can provide the coverage you want at a price you can pay, and then head down to the dealership. When you pick out the specific vehicle you want, you can contact the insurance company you’ve chosen and give them the VIN number and all other necessary details to get your coverage started. Whether you need new car insurance or used car insurance, if you choose a company like Direct Auto, you can probably get same-day coverage that allows you to drive your new ride off the lot that day. How exciting!

Can You Transfer Car Insurance Coverage to a New State?

When you make the decision to move, you’ve got a lot on your mind. In the midst of packing boxes, your car insurance coverage is probably the last thing on your mind, but it’s important you have the proper coverage when you get settled. Ahead of your move, it’s a good idea to call your insurer and have a conversation. First, you need to find out if they provide coverage to residents in your new home state. If their footprint doesn’t extend that far, you’ll need to look for a new insurer. If they do provide coverage in that area, you should talk to them about updating your coverage to meet the needs of your move.

Whether you’re able to stick with the same insurer or not, it’s important to learn about potential new insurance requirements. You might have to up your coverage limits or add new coverages (like Personal Injury Protection, which is required in 13 states). Insurance laws vary from state to state, so doing research and talking to a knowledgeable agent are your best bets. But no matter what, it’s important to make the necessary adjustments to your car insurance as soon as possible so you’re not breaking any laws. If you are able to stick with your current insurer, the process should be relatively straightforward as long as you communicate every step of the way.

Talk to an Agent Before You Need to Transfer Coverage

It’s always a good idea to talk to someone knowledgeable ahead of any transfers in coverage. If you’re looking for a new car, get an idea of how much you might have to pay for insurance ahead of time and the things you’ll need to do to update your policy. If you know you’ll be moving, go ahead and start talking to your agent about what that means for your insurance coverage.

No matter what your specific situation is, Direct Auto is happy to help. We have friendly agents available in more than 450 stores and over the phone. Give us a call or come in today, and we can help you update your coverage or get covered for the first time.

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