Hail to the chief! If you’re in the market for a new car, depending on what type of vehicle you’re looking for, President’s Day Weekend may be the time to find it. In addition to certain discounts from the automakers, dealerships also may be offering deals or incentives to buy. But whether you’re buying your first car or trading in for a “Presidential” upgrade, it’s important to keep in mind a few things about auto insurance when shopping for a new car.
First, if you’re serious about buying a new car (or a new-to-you used car!), before you even step onto a dealer’s lot, let your Trusted Choice ® independent insurance agent know you’ll be buying a car. First of all, if you have a specific make and model in mind they may be able to give you a quote on the price of insurance coverage, so that you can factor it into your budget and decision making process.
Second, you cannot drive the car off of the lot without insurance coverage, so making arrangements with your agent ahead of time can save you time and effort scrambling to secure coverage while at the dealership.
Here are a few more things to consider…
Do you already have insurance?
Yes- If you already have auto insurance on your existing car and are trading it in, some insurance companies will cover your new car for up to 30 days before changing to a new policy, but make sure you ask your agent if your current company will provide coverage on the new car until you’re ready to make separate arrangements. If your old car or trade-in doesn’t have collision coverage and you’re financing the new car, the lending company will very likely require that you add collision coverage. Ask your agent if your new car is eligible for any insurance discounts your previous car wasn’t- some insurance companies provide discounts for certain safety features and anti-theft devices.
No- If this is your first car you’ll definitely want to make arrangements with your agent ahead of time. If you already have homeowners or renters insurance, you may be eligible for discounts on premium by adding an auto policy with the same company.
As a smart shopper you may want to literally kick the tires on a few models and visit a few dealerships before making your decision. In fact, you’ll probably want to take a prospective car out for a test drive. But what happens if you get into an accident during your test drive?
There are a lot of variables at play when you test drive a car. First of all, even though the dealer may have insurance on the vehicles, do not assume that you are absolved of all of the risk of taking the car for a test drive. Understand what insurance coverage you have and what insurance coverage may be required by your state or the dealership before taking a test drive.
Make sure that dealer assures you that if you do have an accident and damage the car, their insurance company will not come after you for reimbursement. Most garage policies (which insure the cars for the dealership) allow the dealer to waive subrogation in advance (in other words coming after you for the reimbursement).
Shopping for and buying a new car can be fun, and you should feel comfortable asking your Trusted Choice agent questions about coverage and cost to help ease the buying process.