When you buy a new car or move to another state, you may be unsure about the process of transferring your car insurance. While that sounds like it could be as complicated as learning how to drive, it’s actually easy enough for a road rookie to handle.
Follow 5 steps when transferring your car insurance
- Notify your insurance company.
- Get a quote.
- Maintain continuous coverage.
- Provide proof of insurance.
- Don’t cancel coverage too soon.
Here’s more detail on five steps you should follow when transferring your car insurance.
1. Notify your insurance company.
Whether you do it by phone, by email, online or in person, you’ll need to contact your car insurance company. Reach out to your agent as soon as possible to let him or her know you’re buying a new car or relocating and need to transfer your car insurance.
If you’re moving to a new state, your insurer can transfer your policy. Remember that insurance laws vary from state to state, so you’ll likely face different car insurance requirements in your new location. Therefore, you might wind up paying more or less for coverage that’s similar to what you already had.
2. Get a quote.
In the case of buying a car, your insurer can give you a sense of how much coverage will cost for the new ride, even if you haven’t nailed down exactly which car you’re going to purchase.
If you’ve settled on a car, the insurer will need the following information to provide an accurate auto insurance quote:
- VIN number
- Registration or title
- Odometer reading
- Year, make and model
3. Maintain continuous coverage.
Make sure you don’t have any gaps in coverage before relocating. Car insurance is mandatory in most states. So, don’t risk driving even one mile without coverage.
When you buy a new car, your existing car insurance policy covers that vehicle — but only temporarily. Your insurer will give you a grace period (perhaps 30 days) to transfer insurance from an old car to a new one. But it’s best to transfer the coverage before you drive off in your new car to avoid an incident that would not be covered by your old policy.
4. Provide proof of insurance.
No matter when you transfer the policy, if you buy your new car at a dealership, it will need proof of insurance (even if it’s coverage for your old car) before you get behind the wheel of the new vehicle.
5. Don’t cancel coverage too soon.
If you’re selling or trading in your old vehicle, don’t cancel your coverage until the car has been registered in the name of the new owner. You want to ensure the old car is protected while you still own it.
And, as previously mentioned, don’t cancel your coverage before you move to another state. Wait until after you’ve relocated to transfer coverage. You’ll typically need to provide proof of updated coverage in order to register your car in the new state.