Buying a new car is an exciting experience, but it’s crucial to consider your insurance needs before driving off the lot. Insurance should be an integral part of your car-buying process to avoid unexpected financial issues. Here are eight key insurance points to consider before purchasing a vehicle:
1. Review Your Current Coverage:
- Determine how long your current car insurance will cover your new car. Coverage may extend from 24 hours to 14 days, depending on your policy.
- If you’re replacing a vehicle on your policy, your existing coverage may apply to the new car. However, if you’re not replacing a car, you may not have any coverage.
2. Dealership’s Responsibility:
- Don’t assume that the dealership will handle insurance paperwork for you. Their primary responsibility is to sell you the car.
- If you’re financing or leasing a vehicle, the lienholder may require specific insurance coverage. Ensure you have the required coverage before leaving the dealership.
3. Understand Insurance Needs:
- Determine what coverage, limits, and deductibles you need for your new car. Your insurance agent can help you with this.
- Lienholders often mandate deductibles of $500 or less. Discuss your insurance requirements with your agent to ensure compliance.
4. Liability Coverage:
- Liability coverage is a fundamental insurance requirement in most states. It pays for damages or injuries you may be responsible for when driving your car.
5. Personal Injury Protection (PIP):
- In no-fault states, PIP is required as part of your basic car insurance policy. It covers your medical expenses regardless of fault in an accident.
6. Gap Insurance:
- Gap insurance is essential if you owe more than your car’s value. It covers the difference between the vehicle’s value at the time of total loss and your remaining loan balance.
7. Collision Insurance:
- Collision insurance protects your car if it’s damaged due to accidents with other vehicles or objects (e.g., shopping carts). It’s usually required by lienholders to safeguard their asset.
8. Comprehensive Insurance:
- Comprehensive coverage is crucial for protecting your car from weather-related damages, theft, fire, vandalism, and more.
- Even if you don’t live in an area prone to extreme weather, comprehensive coverage can provide peace of mind.
Before purchasing your new car, work closely with your insurance agent to identify the most suitable coverage options. Ensure you have the right coverage, deductibles, and limits to protect yourself, your car, and your finances effectively.