Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • You will need to find out how to get an insurance policy on a new car before taking possession of it
  • Not doing so can lead to serious consequences
  • In some cases, you may be ale to add your car to your policy online or through a simple phone call

Obtaining car insurance for your vehicle conveniently and at a price you can afford is easier than it ever has been in the past.

With so many car insurance carriers out there and the use of the internet, you can compare quotes with an online price comparison tool in a matter of minutes. Doing so allows you to best compare carriers, policies, and prices to determine what is right for you.

Try our free comparison tool today.

Car Insurance: A Legal Mandate


Nearly every state in America has legally mandated car insurance. While types and amounts of auto insurance may vary, there is some level of requirement almost anywhere you go.

These laws are in place to protect all drivers out on the roadways as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.

While some may think that auto insurance is too much of a hassle or an expense they cannot afford, you really can’t afford not to be insured. Consequences will vary by state, however, most include some or all of the following:

  • Jail time
  • Fines up to $1000 or over
  • Community service
  • Court appearances
  • Suspension of your driver’s license
  • Suspension of your car registration
  • Vehicle impoundment

You can avoid these consequences and even being sued in a civil court action simply by insuring each car you own with the minimum required amounts of coverage in your home state.

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Selecting an Auto Insurance Carrier

Price is a very important factor when selecting a car insurance carrier for many drivers, however, it is wise to consider other factors as well.

  • Check to make sure any insurance company you want to do business with is licensed in your state. While this doesn’t guarantee you won’t have problems in the future, it does mean that you will have your state’s insurance department in your corner if you need them.
  • Consider their financial history. Selecting an auto insurance carrier that is well-established and has a solid financial base will help ensure that you get your claims paid.
  • Think about whether you prefer having an agent or not. Some drivers prefer their personalized attention and service they get from a car insurance agent while others would much rather be able to call and talk to anyone or go online to access and make changes to their policy anytime they want. It all boils down to personal preference.
  • Think about the customer service they provide. Read reviews or talk to other drivers who use the same company. You want to feel like an individual and get your needs met when you deal with your auto insurance company.

How soon do I need to get insurance on a new car?

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Some drivers are surprised to learn this, however, you need to have insurance on a vehicle you have just purchased prior to driving it off the lot or otherwise taking possession of it.

There is no grace period given. This is because accidents can happen at any time, even after just getting a new car.

If you know you will be car shopping or plan to purchase a new vehicle, it is wise to do your research prior to going so that you can find out what you need to do to either obtain an insurance policy on it or add the new vehicle to your already existing policy.

Whether or not you can add a car to your insurance policy online depends on your car insurance carrier. Some companies allow you to do so and some do not.

It is best to either call your car insurance company before making your purchase or do your own research on the website to determine this answer.

Many companies have a strong online presence and allow their customers to take many different actions at their convenience online such as adding a car, changing their policy, or adding another insurance product such as homeowners or renters insurance.

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What determines the price of my policy

Car insurance companies generally don’t reveal the exact formula they use to determine your premium but most utilize all or a combination of the following factors:

  • Driving history – If you have a history of tickets and accidents, you will likely pay more for your premium as past behavior is a strong predictor of future behavior.
  • Credit history – In most states, car insurance companies are legally allowed to check your credit history in order to provide you with a premium quote. Poor credit usually means higher premiums.
  • Claims history – If you have a strong history of making frequent claims, the car insurance company will likely see you as a greater risk and charge you more for your policy.
  • Where you live – Certain areas of the country experience higher rates of car theft and vandalism as well as natural disasters which can drive premiums up.

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How can I save money on auto insurance when buying a new car?


Buying a new car not only potentially adds an additional payment each month but it also adds another insurance premium to pay. Use these tips to help decrease the price of your new care premium:

Ask for a multi-vehicle discount

If you are adding an additional vehicle to your policy, most auto insurance carriers will apply a multi-vehicle discount to help you save more money. However, you may need to actually inquire about the discount in order to be eligible.

Do your research before making your purchase

Some vehicles cost a fortune to insure and some cost very little.

These variations can be linked to the following:

  • price to replace the car
  • how old the car is
  • any safety features it has such as airbags
  • how it scored in safety testing
  • how likely it is to be vandalized or stolen in the area where you live
  • if it has an anti-theft device
  • other types of features the vehicle has

Making changes to your auto insurance policy should be an easy process no matter which insurance carrier you use.

While you may or may not be able to add a car to your auto insurance policy online, you can use an online price comparison tool to ensure that you are paying the lowest price possible. Compare today by entering your zip code in our free rate tool below.