You need proof of car insurance before you can drive a newly-purchased used car off the lot, if you’re buying from a dealership. If you’re planning to add the used car to an existing insurance policy, your vehicle may be covered for as long as 30 days, depending on your insurer. And if you’re purchasing the car from a private seller, you may not be required to show proof of insurance at all.
The grace period for adding a new car to an insurance policy varies by insurer. Some companies, like Nationwide, provide a grace period of 10 days, while Progressive, Geico, and Farmers provide a grace period of 30 days. In most cases, your policy term will transfer to a new vehicle, so you won’t have to start over with a new six-month or one-year policy.
Before purchasing a used car, make sure you contact your insurance company so that you understand their grace period. If you miss a deadline, you could end up unintentionally driving without insurance, which could result in stiff penalties.
However, it’s important to recognize that not all state laws allow this grace period for used car purchases and car insurance. Some states, like New York, do not allow any grace period for car insurance. Additionally, insurance companies vary in how long they’ll cover a newly purchased vehicle that’s not on your policy. Some companies, like Nationwide, provide a grace period of 10 days, while Progressive, Geico and Farmers provide a grace period of 30 days for customers who already have an existing car insurance policy.
Checking your state laws and insurance company rules before purchasing a used car will help you better understand the regulations that apply to your particular case.
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