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Few things are as exciting as buying a new car. Though a bit less exciting, shopping around for car insurance is an essential, legally-required component of purchasing and operating a new vehicle. You’ve found the perfect vehicle, and now it’s time to make sure you find the perfect coverage to keep it protected. Do you need comprehensive and collision coverage? Should you look for a lower premium or something more inclusive? Read on to discover more about buying new car insurance, including how to find the best coverage, how much you can expect to pay and which coverages fit your needs.

How to get car insurance for a new car

Before you even think about driving a new vehicle off of the car sales lot, you must contact your insurer and set up a new car insurance policy. While the type and degree of insurance coverage you are legally mandated to carry vary by state, all vehicles operated on public roadways must be covered.

Start your quest for new car insurance by finding out your state’s minimum coverage requirements. Most states have minimum requirements that include bodily injury and property damage liability, while others also require personal injury protection or underinsured motorist coverages.

Once you determine what your state requires at a minimum, consider your current financial situation and how much you can afford for your monthly or annual insurance premium. As you review your finances, it’s also advisable to check your driving record and be aware of any traffic violations or incidents that could cause your insurance costs to be higher.

Next, contact car insurance carriers and begin shopping around for the best rates and coverage options. Ask about discounts, read and compare reviews, and consider your top priorities for your policy.

Average cost of car insurance for a new car

Car insurance premiums can vary depending on where you live, your driving history, the types of coverages you opt for, the type of new vehicle you purchase and a range of other factors. Review the table below for the average rates of new car insurance policies from a variety of providers

Insurance Provider Average Annual Premium for 2019 Toyota Camry
State Farm $1,764
Progressive $1,008
Allstate $3,816
Nationwide $1,548
Liberty Mutual $2,820

The average annual premium quote is based on a 32-year-old, single, male driver and does not take into account any special discounts you may be eligible for. It covers basic insurance requirements on a new 2019 Toyota Camry, the top-selling new vehicle in the United States.

Premiums range based on your demographics, geographic location and a host of other factors, so enter your specific details to find the auto insurance quote that best fits your profile.

Necessary and recommended coverage

As stated above, your legally-required insurance coverages vary depending on the state in which you reside. However, if you can afford it, it’s typically advisable to prioritize certain coverages where possible.

  • Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage is usually optional if you own your car but may be required if your new vehicle is being financed. This coverage pays for repairs needed due to damage incurred outside of collisions. For example, if your car is stolen, vandalized or damaged by bad weather, that’s where comprehensive coverage comes into play.
  • Collision: Collision insurance pays for repairs to your vehicle after it has been involved in a collision with another car or object. If your vehicle is paid in full, you may not be required to have this coverage. However, if your new vehicle is financed, your lender may require it.
  • Personal Injury: Personal injury coverages insure those injured in an accident. States typically require a minimum of $50,000 in personal injury liability per accident and $25,000 per person.
  • Property Damage: Property damage requirements generally cover from $5,000–$25,000 of property damage liability per accident.

Sometimes car insurance add-ons are appropriate and advisable. If you have recently purchased a new vehicle or you’d like to bridge the gap between your car’s actual value and the amount you still owe, you may want to look into the following coverages:

  • New Car Replacement Insurance: When you carry new car replacement insurance, you’ll be covered in case your new vehicle is totaled. The factors that determine whether your vehicle qualifies for this coverage varies depending on the insurance carrier. For example, Allstate will replace the new vehicle if it is two years old or fewer. On the other hand, Liberty Mutual pays cash for a new car if the damaged car is less than a year old and has fewer than 15,000 miles.
  • Gap Insurance: Gap insurance seeks to bridge the gap between the amount you owe on your new vehicle with the total amount of cash value it carries. This scenario is ideal for those who currently owe more than the vehicle’s worth.

How to transfer insurance to a new car

If you already have an auto insurance policy in place, it’s easy to transfer insurance coverage over to your new vehicle. Simply contact your insurance provider by telephone or log-in to your account online to make changes. Let your car insurance agent know you’d like to add a vehicle to your policy, sign off on the desired coverages, and you’re good to go.

Frequently asked questions

How long do you have to get insurance after buying a new car?

In most cases, you won’t even be able to drive your new car off the lot without providing proof of insurance. There is no grace period for operating a new vehicle without being insured. Contact your insurance provider before you consider purchasing a new vehicle.

Can you drive a new car without insurance?

No, you cannot legally operate a new vehicle without being covered by an auto insurance policy.

Is it more expensive to insure a new car?

Often times, because the new car has a higher actual cash value, the cost to insure it can be higher as well. However, if the new car is equipped with safety features and upgrades, it may help you qualify for lower premiums.

How can I save on new car insurance?

You can save on new car insurance by shopping around for the best cheap insurance options, considering which types of coverages are most necessary and qualifying for insurance discounts.