Finding car insurance for a new car can be a daunting task especially for a first-time driver. Because first-time drivers lack experience, insurers charge them much higher rates, regardless of age. In some cases, your first year of car insurance could cost you $5,000 or more.
You don't have to immediately switch your insurance to your new car. Because most insurers give you a grace period to update your policy to reflect your new vehicle, your dealer will usually only require proof of insurance before handing you the keys. If you know your vehicle identification number, you can start an auto insurance policy even if you don't have one.
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Shop For Car Insurance Before You Go to the Dealership
It's a good idea to look for auto insurance before you buy a car, or you might not be able to drive your new car off the lot.
Before you could even take the car home with you, you'll need proof of insurance. Here are some things you can do ahead of time to help:
- Have a make and model in mind. You've probably narrowed down the types of vehicles you're looking for while car shopping. For instance, you might want to test drive a brand new Toyota Camry or a used Honda Civic. An insurance agent can provide you with quotes for a few different models, allowing you to budget appropriately.
- Compare quotes from multiple car insurance companies. An independent insurance agent or an online car insurance comparison site is a quick and easy way to compare prices. Rates vary greatly between insurers, so you should get more than one or two quotes.
- Determine the types of coverage you'll require. Car liability insurance is required in almost all states. In addition, if you get a car loan or lease, your lender or leasing agent will almost certainly require collision and comprehensive insurance.
- Request a policy setup from your insurance agent. If you've already decided on a vehicle and have the vehicle identification number (VIN), this part is a breeze. You can prepare your policy before you arrive at the dealership.
- If you don't yet have the VIN, ask the agent if he or she can set up a policy using the information you do have, such as the drivers in your household and the address where you'll park the vehicle. Once you've decided on a vehicle, contact an agent and provide them with the VIN to complete the purchase of a car insurance policy.
Additional resources to finding the cheapest auto insurance
Cheap liability car insurance in Tulsa
Full coverage insurance in Tulsa
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Can I Buy Car Insurance at the Dealership?
You might be able to purchase car insurance at the dealership. For example, if you finance your car at the dealership and are required to have collision and comprehensive insurance, the financier may offer to obtain insurance on your behalf. While this may appear to be advantageous, it is not the best route to get the best car insurance rates.
The financier or car dealership may only be able to work with one or a few car insurance companies. You will be able to research and try comparing quotes from multiple insurers if you shop around ahead of time. Obtaining quotes in advance will save you time and money at the dealership.
Another thing to be cautious of at the dealership: A proposal for gap insurance.
Gap insurance can range between $400 and $900 when purchased from a dealership or lending company, and it is frequently rolled into your auto loan. When you purchase gap insurance through your insurance company, the cost is typically between 5% and 7% of your collision and comprehensive coverage premium, which works out to about $15 to $42 per year.
Another benefit of purchasing gap insurance through your insurance company is that you can discontinue coverage when the value of your vehicle is equal to or greater than the amount owed on your car loan. If you buy it from a dealer, you'll have to pay for gap insurance until you've paid off your loan.
What type of insurance do you require when you purchase a new car?
For your new car, you will almost certainly need to fulfil two insurance requirements. The first is your state's mandatory minimum insurance requirement, which almost every state has. The lender who is financing your new car may impose the second requirement.
Beyond the bare minimums for car insurance, you should think about whether you need additional coverages to protect your new car, especially if you're transferring your insurance from an older vehicle. Because a new car is an expensive investment, increasing your comprehensive and collision insurance limits, for example, will help protect your investment.
Click here to learn more about auto insurance for your new car
Understanding what full coverage insurance truly covers
How to locate the best Tulsa auto insurance companies
Tips on finding the best auto insurance quotes in Tulsa
Steps to Buying Car Insurance
How Much Coverage?
To find the best auto insurance, first determine how much coverage you require. State-by-state requirements differ, so check to see what coverage is required where you live. There is a list of each state's requirements as well as an explanation of the different types of insurance.
Review Your Insurance
To obtain the information you require, go over your current policy or contact your auto insurance company. Make a list of how much coverage you currently have and how much you are paying for it. Because you'll get quotes both ways, keep track of the yearly and monthly costs of your insurance.
Check Your Driving Record
You should be aware of how many tickets you have recently received. Check with your state's department of motor vehicles if you don't remember how long that speeding ticket has been on your record. Wait until a ticket or points you've accrued are about to vanish, improving your driving record, before getting quotes. A poor driving record is the single most important factor in determining the cost of insurance.
Solicit Competitive Quotes
It's now time to go shopping. Allow at least an hour for this project. Your current insurance policy, your driver's license number, and your vehicle registration should all be on hand. You can start by using online services. You can type in your information and start building a list of companies for comparative quotes if you go to an online site to get an insurance rate quote.
However, please remember that not all insurance companies are participating on these one-stop shopping websites. If a suggestion from friends and family or other research leads you to a company that you believe will be a winner, you can go directly to its website or call its toll-free number for a quote.
Gather Company Information
Take careful notes while researching companies so you can compare prices and coverage easily. Make a list of the following:
- Rates for various types of coverage on an annual and monthly basis. Make sure the coverage limits are the same so you can compare cost and coverage apples to apples.
- You can call the insurance company's 800 number for answers to questions you couldn't find online.
- The payment policy of the insurance company. When does the payment have to be made? What are the different payment options? What happens if you miss a payment deadline?
Work the Phones
Make some phone calls after you've gathered some information online. If you haven't been able to obtain an online quote from a company, contact them. If you have your driver's license and vehicle registration handy, conducting your research over the phone can actually be easier and faster than doing so online. If you get a quote over the phone, ask the representative to email you the quote so you can double-check the price.
Look for Discounts
When you're out shopping, make sure to look into all of your discount options. Insurance companies give them a discount on things like having a good driving record, having safety or security equipment in your car, and having certain occupations or professional affiliations.
Some insurance companies now offer lower rates if you sign up for "pay as you drive" plans. Some will provide significant discounts for young drivers in the family with high-grade point averages. Consider using the same insurance company for your home and auto policies, as this will usually result in a lower price.
Cancel Your Old Policy
Once you've found the auto insurance policy you want, cancel your current policy. If your state requires proof of insurance, keep it in your wallet or in your car's glove compartment.