Purchasing a new car can be both an exciting and stressful time; you are buying something that you really want, but are spending a large sum of money as well. Transferring your car insurance policy to the new vehicle is a critical part of the process. To make things easier when you sign the paperwork on your new purchase, it helps to start the insurance process before you even set foot in the dealership.
Assess Your Coverage Needs
When you are thinking about buying a new car, it is a good time to make sure that you have the insurance coverage that you need. If you have experienced life changes since you last reviewed your car insurance, your needs may have changed. Acquiring assets, such as purchasing a home, may mean that you need to increase your liability coverage. You may be more financially sound, and able to maintain a higher deductible on your collision or comprehensive coverage in order to save some money on your premium. You may also have added a driver to your household, such as a newly licensed teenager.
Shop and Compare
Premiums vary between insurers, often by a considerable amount, so a periodic comparison of policies between insurers can save you some money. When comparing policies, have your existing policy in front of you so you are comparing identical coverage. This can be part of the vehicle shopping process, as insurance rates on different vehicles you are considering may vary.
Call Your Agent
At the point when you purchase your car, call your insurance agent to arrange for coverage on your new vehicle. You will usually will need to supply the 17-digit vehicle identification number, or VIN. Not only does the VIN specifically identify the vehicle that is being insured, but it will tell the insurance company all of the options that your vehicle is equipped with. If you finance your vehicle, the lender will probably want the vehicle covered before you leave the dealership. This process is relatively quick, particularly when you have all of the required information in front of you. Check with your agent in advance to see exactly what he will need from you.
Your insurance company may fax or email you a copy of your proof of insurance. Put this paperwork in your vehicle so that you have it in case a police officer stops you or you are in an accident. See if your insurer offers other coverages that you may want at a lower price than what is offered by the dealership, such as gap insurance. This is coverage that will pay off the complete balance on the loan for the vehicle if you experience a total loss in an accident. Many dealerships sell these policies at the time of purchase, but your car insurance company may offer the plans for less money.
Craig Woodman began writing professionally in 2007. Woodman's articles have been published in "Professional Distributor" magazine and in various online publications. He has written extensively on automotive issues, business, personal finance and recreational vehicles. Woodman is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in finance through online education.