I often get asked “if I buy a new car this weekend, will it automatically be covered under my insurance policy, or do I need to contact my insurance company before coverage can be provided?”
Although I cannot speak for all insurance companies, many companies will extend the broadest form of coverage that is on a customer’s current policy up to a certain period of days. In other words, the best coverage that a customer has on any one of their vehicles will extend to the newly acquired vehicle, pending the customer contacts the agent or company within that same period of time to add the vehicle.
The period of time that is given, depends on each company. For example Progressive and United Heritage will cover the new car up to 14 days from the day the vehicle was acquired, and Safeco will give the customer up to 30 days. Each customer needs to contact their agent or company to find out the amount of time they have, because if a customer forgets to contact their agent, or company within that period of time after acquiring the vehicle, coverage cannot be back dated to the date it was acquired, and will only be added effective the date the customer first contacted the company to add the car.
One mistake often made by agents is that they tell their customer that the newly acquired car will be covered for full coverage, when the customer only has liability on their current vehicles. Remember, the best coverage you have on your current auto policy is what will extend to the newly acquired vehicle. So, it’s important to understand that if you need comprehensive or collision coverage (often referred to as “full coverage”) you will need to contact your agent right away to add that coverage.
Remember, the information provided above is a generalization for most insurance companies. Please contact your agent or company to find out exact details about your coverage for newly acquired vehicles. You are also welcome to contact an insurance professional at First Choice Insurance at 208-238-2424 for additional questions or information.