Is my new car covered by insurance?

Yes, your new car is covered by insurance. If you have an existing insurance policy when you buy a new car, that insurance will extend automatically for a limited period of time. It will be your responsibility to update your policy to include your new car. If you don’t have an existing policy, then you will need to have insurance coverage before you buy a new car. Compare new car insurance quotes for free with our ZIP code search below.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 28, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • If you have existing insurance when you buy a new car, the insurance that you carry will extend automatically to the new car for a limited period of time
  • You will have four days of comprehensive and collision coverage if you don’t already carry full coverage
  • New cars will receive between 14 and 30 days of coverage. Vehicles will have the broadest level of protection that is found on the policy at the time the car is purchased
  • The coverage extension only applies to vehicles that are registered in one of the named insured’s names. The new car won’t be covered if it does not meet the private passenger vehicle definition
  • If you currently have a non-owner’s car insurance policy, the new car won’t be covered. Non-owner’s insurance only covers you when you’re driving vehicles that you don’t own or have regular access to

Buying a new car can be a chore. Not only do you have to compare vehicle models and showroom promotions, you also have to worry about getting the lowest interest rate and negotiating the best sales price.

At the end of all of this, the last thing that you want to do is buy an insurance policy. Luckily, in some cases, you won’t have to rush to get coverage.

Existing auto insurance policies have special provisions built into them that extend coverage to new cars.

These provisions are written into your contract to make the process of buying a new car easier on you. By giving you time to add your car, you can rest assured that you have protection after a hectic day.

If you need to find auto insurance for your new car, enter your zip code above and use our FREE tool!

Are all new cars covered under your existing insurance?


Before you assume that you have coverage when you’re driving off the lot it’s best that you verify how the newly acquired vehicle provision works. Not all new cars qualify for the coverage extension.

There are certain conditions that must be met before your standard coverage will officially cover a car that’s not listed. Here are the conditions:

  • At least one named insured must be the legal owner of the new vehicle
  • You must be a rated driver on the policy as well as a policyholder
  • The vehicle must be a private passenger car, truck, or van that weighs less than 10,000 pounds and is designed for personal use. Commercial autos won’t be covered as a newly acquired vehicle
  • The policy must be active

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How long is a new car covered under a standard policy

Every carrier has different terms and conditions written into their contract.

These terms must comply with the rules that are set by the state insurance commissioner and legislature. While every policy is different, the specific time period that cars purchased during the term are covered will be between 14 and 30 days.

How much coverage will the new car have after it’s purchased?

It’s important to verify how much coverage your current vehicles have before you visit the dealer. The limit of liability that’s afforded to newly acquired vehicles is the broadest level of protection that’s already provided under the policy.

If you have full coverage on one vehicle and liability insurance on another, the new car will receive full coverage for the entire automatic coverage period.

If all of the vehicles on the policy only have liability insurance, the new car won’t have full coverage for the entire period. It will, however, have full coverage for a short period of time.

How long does a new car have full coverage?

When you carry only liability coverage, you still have a need for full coverage on your new car.

This is especially true if you are financing or leasing the car. Since most car buyers choose to buy their cars on the weekends, companies provide four days of automatic comprehensive and collision coverage to the new car. This gives you time to make the call.

The automatic comprehensive and collision coverage will come with $500 deductibles. If you don’t call the agent by the end of the fourth day, your automatic coverage will drop down to just liability. After that, you have the remaining 14 or 30 days to call and add the car.

If you fail to do this, you can’t backdate the addition of the vehicle.

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Is there coverage under a non-owner’s policy?


You might think that you have insurance if you have a specialty non-owner’s policy, but these plans don’t work like standard insurance. Non-owner’s insurance is meant to cover you while you’re operating cars that you don’t own. Since you’re the new owner of a new car, the coverage doesn’t extend.

The Dangers of Procrastinating

You should never put off getting insurance. If you wait until after the automatic coverage period to add your car, you could be penalized by your lender or by the state. The last thing that you want to do is pay fees and fines for procrastinating too long.

If you don’t have insurance or the rates for the new car are too high, you should get quotes from other carriers. Use an online comparison tool and review the instant quotes. After you compare the rates, you can decide which car insurance carrier deserve your business.

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