Am I Covered If I Buy a New Car on the Weekend?

African American woman holding toddler son and browsing new cars

It’s a Saturday afternoon and life is looking up. After weeks of searching for a new vehicle, you’ve finally settled on the right car.

You completed the test drive, negotiated a good price, agreed on a trade-in value and signed all the paperwork. Now, with keys in hand, it’s finally time to drive off the lot.

But as you give your Erie Insurance agent a call to add the new car to your car insurance policy, you realize their office is closed for the day. Now what? Can you drive your new ride home; or do you need to wait until Monday?

Is My New Car Insured if I Buy it on the Weekend?

If you’re a current customer, you’ll be happy to know that your new car will be automatically insured – even if you buy it on a Saturday or Sunday. Here’s how your coverage rollover works under a few different scenarios:

  • Replacing an old car. Your current auto policy doesn’t just vanish when you trade in your old vehicle. As long as your new vehicle is titled in your name, your coverage will carry over, for a period of time as described below, when you buy a new vehicle of the same type.
  • Buying an additional car. If you’re buying an additional vehicle, or just decided not to sell or trade your old car just yet, your newly purchased car will still be covered. In this case, it will be insured, for a period of time as described below, with the broadest coverage purchased on any vehicle on your policy for your household.

No matter which scenario you’re in, the car market is hot. If purchasing a new car isn’t on the table, here’s what to expect while buying a used car.

How Much Car Insurance Coverage Will I Have on My New Vehicle?

When we roll over your auto insurance to a new vehicle, we provide the broadest coverage purchased on any vehicle on your policy for your household.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you, your spouse and your teenage son are all on the same policy. Your spouse’s newer SUV is covered with high limits and multiple endorsements. However, you opted not to get all the bells and whistles on your teenage son’s old, high-mileage clunker. When you buy a new car, the broadest coverage – in this example, what’s on your spouse’s SUV – is what will temporarily apply to your new ride.

Are There Any Instances Where Coverage Rollover Does Not Apply?

As explained above, your auto insurance will almost always roll over to your new vehicle. However, there are a few exceptions you should know about.

  • Not all your cars are insured by us. If you own one or more private passenger vehicles that are not insured with us, then your car insurance from our agency will not automatically roll over. In this situation, you should always call us in advance to add the new car to your policy before driving home.
  • You buy a motorcycle or RV. Our car insurance coverage rollover only applies for vehicles of the same type. That means if you already have a car insured with us and you’re buying a new car, the coverage rollover applies. But if you’re buying a first-time motorcycle or RV, your auto coverage won’t roll over since you’re buying a different type of vehicle.

What if the Dealer Needs to Verify My Insurance Coverage?

When buying a new car, the dealer may require you to verify your insurance coverage before handing over the keys. It’s a good idea to bring your ID card with you, but if you forgot it, you can access your ID card directly from your online account, or your local agent will be happy to verify your coverage.

How Long Do You Have to Report Your New Car?

If you’re actively car shopping, it’s smart to talk to your agent ahead of time. If you’re looking at a specific make and model – say, a certain zippy hybrid or a four-wheel-drive pickup – your agent can help you estimate what you’ll pay in premium and suggest ways to save.

When you do buy a new car, remember to report any changes promptly to your local agent – preferably the next business day. But if you forget, don’t stress: You’ve got seven days. Your local agent can help you personalize your policy with coverage that might make sense for your new vehicle.

In general, here’s how things work with three common types of coverage:

  • Liability coverage: Let us know about your new vehicle before the end of your policy period. If you buy your new vehicle within 30 days of the end of your policy, just make sure you report it to us within 60 days after acquisition, purchase or lease.
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage: When these coverages roll over from your existing policy, the lowest deductible applies. If you didn’t have comprehensive and collision on your old car, the coverages will apply, subject to a $500 deductible. However, the coverages will end seven days after you acquire, purchase or lease the vehicle or when you report the vehicle to us, whichever comes first.

What Information Do I Need to Report a New Vehicle?

Have this information on hand to report your new car to your insurance agent:

  • Make, model and year
  • Expected annual mileage
  • General usage information (such as how far you drive – for work or pleasure)
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Titling and lienholder information

Will My Insurance Go Up When I Buy a New Car?

You could see some changes to your insurance premiums when you buy a new car. Remember: What you pay on your auto insurance bill depends largely on two factors: what you drive and how you drive.

Safer cars do a better job protecting the people inside them. Purchasing a vehicle with safety features like car alarms and anti-theft tracking devices can lower your premium, too.

Your local insurance agent can help explain the different factors that affect your rates and suggest ways to save. Want to learn more? Get an in-depth look at what determines the price of your auto insurance. 

What Insurance Do I Need When Buying a New Car?

It’s true: A new car depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot. That means if your car gets totaled, you could be in a tough spot if the value of your car is less than what you still owe on your car loan.

Good news: There’s a smart way to protect your investment. Talk to your local agent about adding the Auto Security coverage endorsement 1 to your auto policy for a few extra dollars per month.

Buying a used car? The endorsement also offers “better vehicle replacement” for older vehicles.

We’ve Got You Covered

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of taking home a new car. Whether you’re buying your first set of used wheels or moving up to your first brand new ride, we’re here to offer protection and service for your pride and joy. Contact us to get a car insurance quote today.

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of January 2024 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.