4 need-to-know answers when insuring a new vehicle

You’re ready for a new ride. You’ve researched gas mileage, reliability, performance, and safety. You even know what color you want. But did you consider the insurance costs and the steps you need to take to make sure that new vehicle is properly covered before you leave the lot?

Here are some questions you’ll want to answer before the car dealer hands over the keys.

1. What should I consider when researching which car to buy? 
Certain vehicles do cost more to insure. Factors that go into determining insurance costs include vehicle performance, cost of vehicle, cost to repair, and theft potential. For example, high-performance cars have higher rates because they tend to be driven more aggressively and are involved in a higher percentage of accidents. Contrary to popular belief, the color of your vehicle has no impact on your insurance premium.

Go to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website to research vehicles. They also have specific recommendations on the best used cars for teens.

2. How quickly after I purchase a vehicle should I call my insurance agent?
If you don’t have auto coverage at all, you should arrange for that before leaving the sales lot. If you already have a policy, you have a reasonable window of time to inform your insurance company.
Check your policy for “newly acquired auto” provisions and follow-up with your agent within 10 days — especially if you are adding an additional vehicle to your household or need different kinds of coverage.  

3. What information will I need to give to my agent?
Your agent will want to know the car’s year, make, model, VIN number, lienholder information (if there is a loan), the car’s primary driver, and how the car will be used (such as miles to work each day and an estimate of annual miles driven). After that, your agent can help you figure out what kind of coverage is needed.

4. What if I’m keeping the old vehicle as a back-up? Is there a discount?
If you’re keeping your older vehicle and it won’t be driven as much, tell your agent how the vehicle will be used so the rating on the policy can be adjusted. It's also important to note that when you own and insure two or more vehicles on the same policy, you could qualify for a multi-car discount.

Following these tips will help make the process of buying and insuring your new purchase run as smoothly as the vehicle does.

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