How long do you have to add a new vehicle purchase to your insurance policy?
One of the biggest myths I hear about is when someone buys a new vehicle and they are told by the salesman or a friend that they have 30 days to add that vehicle to their insurance. I hear this ALL the time and let me respond as loudly as you can hear this, THERE IS NO STATE LAW OR MANDATE! THIS STATEMENT IS 100% FALSE! Each carrier is different, and each situation is different. Many policies do give you a small window of 2-4 days to get insurance placed on a new purchase, some offer more time but each carrier and policy is different. I contacted five insurance agent friends of mine and asked them about the carrier they represent and how many days their company gives to add a vehicle. Unfortunately some of them didn’t even know and only one of the five gave me the correct number and one called back after he read the policy to change his answer. There are carriers who allow up to 30 days, but only a few and even with those, the policy must match certain conditions. So the moral of the story is that when you are buying anything that needs insurance don’t take a chance on it not being covered the way you want it to be covered.
We had a very nice lady a couple of years ago who swapped out her cute little sports car and upgraded it to the newest model. She heard those words from her sales person, “You have 30 days to add this to your insurance.” So on day 30 she called to add the car to her policy. Unfortunately, this was AFTER she had been in an accident earlier that day. She thought nothing was wrong because of what the car salesman told her, however the car had no coverage. Her policy mandated that she add the vehicle to her policy within seven days. She now had to personally cover the damage to the car she hit and the damage to her car. Fortunately no one was injured, otherwise this could have cost her family everything they had.
Other considerations come into play when you have a loan on the vehicle. The bank has loaned money on an asset and they want it insured the day you purchase it. If you wait to add it, the bank may add forced placed insurance to your loan for that initial 30 days and the cost could be much higher than actually adding it to the policy correctly in the beginning. Take this pro tip of the month and add it the day you buy or as soon as you can, don’t take the risk!