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New Car Insurance Grace Period In California

New Car InsuranceGrace periods vary from state to state, but the average time allowed is typically between 24 hours and 30 days. Upon purchasing a new vehicle, you may have heard the term “grace period” being used, but what exactly is it?

What is a car insurance grace period?

While many people believe that an auto insurance grace period refers to a state law, this is not usually the case. Most state laws prefer that auto insurance is purchased before a person drives their vehicle in public. The grace period refers to the amount of time granted by your insurance company before you are required to add the new car to your policy. Some auto insurance in California allows you to drive an uninsured car for 14 days. This is in case you need time to decide whether to purchase the car or not.

Replacing or Adding a New Car

If you are replacing the car on your California auto insurance policy, it should cover the new car for a specific amount of time (usually for a week or two). Once you change your policy, your coverage and premium should remain the same.

Most of the time, you are covered for a shorter period if you are adding a new vehicle to an existing policy. It is a good idea to notify your insurance company as soon as possible, as your insurance premium will likely increase.

Be Aware of the Coverage Provided

It is important that you talk to your insurer about a grace period before purchasing a new car. Some California car insurance companies do not offer a grace period, while others do. Also, each insurance company offers different coverage for your new car during a grace period. There are two common types of coverage provided; liability-only and physical damage.

* Liability – When a new car is purchased, liability coverage is usually
automatically included.

* Physical Damage – There are some limitations to physical damage
coverage provided. If you already had this type of coverage on your
existing policy, your new car will be entirely covered. If you didn’t
already have physical damage coverage, your new car may only be
protected for a few days.

First Time Car Owner

If it’s the first time you purchase a vehicle there is no grace period. Why? This is because you most likely do not have auto insurance, so you cannot replace the car in an existing policy. Most state laws require that the vehicle is insured before you even drive the car. If the car is being leased to you, you will be required to purchase collision and comprehension insurance coverage as well. This is for the lender’s protection in case the car is damaged, as the car is not yet paid in full.

When a new car is purchased, it is best if you notify your insurance company right away. The majority of car insurance providers allow 7-14 days for you to make the notification. Failure to notify the insurer within the time frame can result in losing your old policy.

It’s easy to put off buying car insurance for your new car, but driving uninsured for even a day can prove to be dangerous. Make sure you contact your insurance company before making a car purchase. This way you’ll know what your grace period time is and what it will cover.