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How long do you have to add a newly purchased vehicle to your insurance policy?

One of the biggest myths we 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. We hear this ALL the time and you’ve probably heard it too. 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 two to four days to get insurance placed on a new purchase, some offer more time but each carrier and policy is different. 

We contacted five other insurance agents and asked them about the carrier they represent and how many days their company gives to add a vehicle. Unfortunately, only one of the five was able to answer with the correct number. There are carriers who allow up to 30 days, but these are rare. Even with these carriers, your current 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. Luckily no one was injured in the accident, otherwise this could have cost her family everything they had (cars, house, savings, retirement, etc).

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. PRO TIP: add your new vehicle the day you buy it or as soon as you can, don’t take the risk!