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Am I covered if I buy a new car at the weekend?

It’s a Saturday afternoon and life is looking up. After several weeks of searching for a new vehicle, you have finally decided on the right car.

You completed the test drive, negotiated a good price, agreed on a trade-in value and signed all the papers. Now, with the keys in hand, it’s finally time to drive off Santa.

But when you call your Erie Insurance agent to add the new car to your auto insurance, you realize their office is closed for the day. Now then? Can you drive your new trip home; or do you have to wait until monday?

Is my new car insured if I buy it at the weekend?

If you’re a current ERIE customer, you’ll be pleased to know that your new car will be automatically insured – even if you buy it on a Saturday or Sunday. Here’s how your coverage transition works under a few different scenarios:

  • Exchange of an old car. Your current car policy doesn’t just disappear when you trade in your old vehicle. As long as your new vehicle is in your name, your coverage will be valid for a period of time as described below when you purchase a new vehicle of the same type.
  • Buying an extra car. If you buy an additional vehicle, or just decide not to sell or trade in your old car yet, your newly purchased car will still be covered. In this case, it will be insured, for a period of time as described below, with the widest coverage purchased on any vehicle on your ERIE policy for your household.

No matter what scenario you find yourself in, the car market is hot. If buying a new car isn’t on the table, here’s what to expect when buying a used car.

How much car insurance will I have on my new vehicle?

When we roll over your car insurance to a new vehicle, we provide the widest coverage purchased on any vehicle on your ERIE policy for your household.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you, your spouse, and your teenage son all have the same ERIE policy. Your spouse’s newer SUV is covered with high limits and multiple endorsements. But you chose not to get all the bells and whistles on your teen’s old, long-distance drive. When you buy a new car, the broadest coverage—in this example, what’s on your spouse’s SUV—is the one that temporarily applies to your new ride.

Are there any cases where coverage transition does not apply?

As explained above, your car insurance will almost always roll over to your new vehicle. However, there are some exceptions that you should be aware of.

  • Not all of your cars are insured by ERIE. If you own one or more private cars that are not insured with ERIE, your car insurance from ERIE does not roll over automatically. In this situation, you should always call us in advance to add the new car to your insurance policy before driving home.
  • You buy a motorcycle or motorhome. ERIE’s car insurance cover only applies to vehicles of the same type. This means that if you already have a car insured with ERIE and you buy a new car, the insurance rollover applies. But if you’re buying a first-time motorcycle or motor home, your car cover won’t roll over because you’re buying a different type of vehicle. (Read more about insurance for various vehicles.)

What if the dealer needs to verify my insurance coverage?

When buying a new car, the dealer may require you to check your insurance cover before handing over the keys. You can access your ID card directly2 from your online account or ERIE mobile app, or your local ERIE agent can verify your coverage.

How long do you have to register your new car?

If you are actively shopping for a car, it is smart to talk to your agent in advance. If you are looking at a specific make and model – eg. a certain hybrid hybrid or an all-wheel-drive pickup truck—your agent can help you estimate what you’ll pay in premiums and suggest ways to save.

When buying a new car, remember to report any changes to your ERIE agent immediately – preferably the next business day. But if you forget, don’t stress: You have room to move. Your ERIE agent can help you customize your policy with coverage that may make sense for your new vehicle.

In general, this is how it works with three common types of coverage:

  • Liability coverage: Notify us of your new vehicle before the end of the insurance period. (Wondering what to expect when your policy renews? Check out our car insurance renewal guide infographic.) If you buy your new vehicle within 30 days of your policy ending, just make sure you report it to us within 60 days of acquisition , purchase or lease.
  • Comprehensive coverage and collision protection: When these policies roll over from your existing policy, the lowest deductible applies. If you didn’t have comprehensive and collision on your old car, the coverages will apply, subject to a $500 deductible. However, coverage ends seven days after you acquire, purchase or lease the vehicle or when you report the vehicle to us, whichever occurs first.

What information do I need to report a new vehicle?

Have this information handy to report your new car to your insurance agent:

  • Make, model and year
  • Expected annual mileage
  • General usage information (such as how far you drive – for work or pleasure)
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Information on ownership and lien

Will my insurance go up when I buy a new car?

You may see some changes in your insurance premiums when you buy a new car. Remember: What you pay on your car insurance largely depends on two factors: What you drive and how you drive.

Safer cars do a better job of protecting the people in them. Buying a vehicle with safety features like car alarms and theft tracking devices can also lower your premium.

Your local ERIE agent can help explain the various factors that affect your rates and suggest ways to save. Want to learn more? Get an in-depth look at what determines the price of your car insurance or read about these six ERIE car policy “Xtras” you may not know you have.

What insurance do I need when buying a new car?

It’s true: A new car sinks the moment you drive it off the lot. This means that if your car is totaled, you could find yourself in a difficult situation if the value of your car is less than what you still owe on your car loan.

Good news: There is a smart way to protect your investment. Talk to your local ERIE agent about adding the recommendation for Auto Security coverage1 to your ERIE auto policy for a few extra dollars per month.

Buy a used car? The support also offers “better vehicle replacement” for older vehicles.

We’ve got you covered

There is nothing quite like the feeling of taking home a new car. Whether you’re buying your first set of used wheels or stepping up to your first brand new ride, we’re here to provide protection and service for your pride and joy. Contact us today to get a quote on car insurance.

1The vehicle is considered new when it is less than two years old. The recommendation is sold per vehicle, not per policy, and contains the specific details of coverage, terms, conditions and exclusions. Coverage is not available in New York or North Carolina. Approved vehicles must have both comprehensive coverage and collision protection and the replacement value must be based on a comparable model. See individual policies for specific coverage details. New car exchange and better vehicle exchange do not apply to leased vehicles. Only the autolease/loan component applies to a leased vehicle. Coverage does not include items such as past due payments and carried over balances from previous leases/loans, etc. When payment is made during a new vehicle trade-in or better vehicle trade-in, auto lease/loan coverage will not apply. Coverage is not available in all states. Insurance products are subject to conditions and exclusions not described here. Ask your ERIE agent for details.

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home office: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York). The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to do business in all states. See the company’s licensing and business information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are effective as of July 2022 and are subject to change at any time.

Insurance products are subject to conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of coverage, terms, conditions and exclusions.

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states. ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York. ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York. ERIE long-term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York.

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based on applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer any questions you may have before you buy.

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