Buying a new car can be a very exciting but stressful time. It is also a situation that can create coverage gaps in your insurance and unexpected premium changes. Here are a few tips to make sure that you protect your family and others from potential issues.
Take advantage of any car shopping aid your insurance carrier or the internet has to offer
Some insurance carriers offer assistance when buying a new car, particularly for comparing prices of new vehicles. These car shopping services can be available on the carrier’s website and will show you comparison prices on other vehicles saving you time and money at the dealership.
If your insurance carrier does not offer this service, there are many sites online that can be useful tools when car shopping. Websites such as TrueCar.com and KBB.com will provide you with blue book values of the vehicles you are thinking of purchasing, as well as expert reviews and ratings. This can help when negotiating sticker prices at the dealership. It is important to come prepared with this information for a better car shopping experience. CARFAX is another resource that can provide you with vehicle history reports on used cars. Many dealerships can also provide you with a CARFAX report for free.
Call your insurance agency and review your coverage ahead of purchase
Many times, clients will buy cars without realizing that their newly financed 2017 Chevy Malibu will result in a higher insurance premium and require more coverages than their 2008 Honda Civic that was already paid off. By calling your insurance agency ahead of time, you can review all of the necessary coverages and deductible options appropriate for your new purchase, ensuring no surprises when the vehicle is added to your policy.
Many carriers offer new car replacement coverage, which will replace your vehicle with the same make and model one year newer. Full glass coverage may also be available, which will waive your comprehensive deductible if your windshield is chipped or cracked. It is also important to check if your financing or leasing company will provide loan / lease gap coverage. This coverage may be less expensive if added to your insurance policy and would cover the cost of the gap between what you owe on your loan and the vehicle’s value, in the event of a total loss.
Notify your insurance agency after purchase
Many dealerships will often advise their clients that they will notify their insurance companies of the vehicle change. It is not uncommon for dealerships to get busy or simply forget to notify the companies after the sale has been finalized. If this happens, it can result in a significant and dangerous coverage gap. While there may be temporary automatic coverage on your auto insurance policy for your new vehicle, it is important to notify your carrier yourself, rather than relying on the dealership associates to do so. Car dealerships can sell many cars in a single day while most people only buy a car once or twice every several years.
Update your insurance ID Card
The final pointer is to make sure you request an updated and accurate auto insurance ID Card to put in the glove compartment of your vehicle. Some states do accept online ID cards while others require physical copies. Make sure to check with your agent on what your state accepts and ensure you have the required proof by either downloading an app on your phone or having a physical copy printed or mailed out to you.
The car buying process can seem overwhelming and frustrating at times, but we are here to help in any way we can and ensure a seamless transition to your new vehicle purchase. If you have any questions or would like to know more, please contact us!