In most states, vehicle owners are required to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. When you buy a new car, you typically need to show valid proof of insurance to the salesperson before they will hand over the keys. That means you must have a car insurance policy at the time of purchasing a new or used car.
Fortunately, getting car insurance before buying a car is pretty simple, even if you don’t already have auto insurance. In this guide, we’ll explain how to get car insurance before buying a car and what steps you need to take to get proof of insurance.
Do I need car insurance before buying a car?
Because auto insurance is a legal requirement in most states, you must have car insurance before purchasing a car. The only states that don’t require car insurance are New Hampshire and Virginia. In these two states, car insurance may not be required when purchasing a new car.
To drive your new car home from the dealership, you must show proof of car insurance to the salesperson. If you don’t have valid proof of car insurance, you probably won’t be allowed to drive the car off the lot. You would only be allowed to take the car home once you had purchased a car insurance policy for the vehicle.
How to get car insurance before buying a car
The process of purchasing car insurance before buying a car depends on whether you already have a policy.
If you have an existing policy, all you need to do is add your new vehicle. You’ll probably be required to provide the VIN, make, model, year, mileage, and trim level. If your car insurance company has a mobile app or online account access, you can probably do this while you’re waiting at the dealership.
You can also check to see if your insurance policy has a grace period. During this grace period, new cars are automatically covered for a short period, like 30 days, before they must be added to your policy. Not all car insurance policies have this feature, so you should call your car insurance company to find out.
If you don’t already have car insurance, you will need to open a new policy for the vehicle you’re buying. Because most major car insurance companies allow you to get quotes and purchase coverage online or through a mobile app, you can likely purchase a policy while you’re at the dealership. That way, you can leave with the car on the same day you buy it.