Welcome to New Year Model Season, when brightly colored banners fill the auto showrooms and sleek new roadsters grace the covers of car magazines. But what if you can’t get in the spirit because you have questions about insuring the 2017 model that caught your eye? Check out these tips for insuring a new car and get some information to help you make an informed decision.
Ask an independent insurance agent for a scouting report
Talk to an independent agent before buying any car, whether new or used, to get an idea of the potential insurance costs. An agent can factor in make and model, safety record and other important considerations.
Also, don’t forget to ask about some of the discounts that could come your way with a new car:
- If the new car has safety features that the previous car did not, you might be eligible for an insurance discount. Examples include a factory-installed four-wheel anti-lock brake system (ABS).
- What if your new car is an addition, not a replacement? Your insurance company might offer a discount for insuring multiple cars on one policy.
- If the new car provides an upgrade from the old car in anti-theft features — a LoJack® tracking and recovery system, for example — you may possibly get an insurance discount.
The more you learn from your agent, the better. The information could help you avoid insurance sticker shock when it’s time to put the new car on your policy.
Ask about potential insurance costs
Will a new car automatically raise or lower the amount you pay for insurance? It’s difficult to predict, because every situation depends on a different set of circumstances.
When you speak with an agent, bear in mind that a wide range of factors can influence your auto premium rate. For example, safety equipment and anti-theft features that may be more common with recent models could make a new car less of a risk to insure. Whether the model in question is a popular target for car thieves may also affect how much you pay.
Another factor to consider is you. If you have maintained a clean driving record, you may be considered a statistically lower insurance risk now than you were before. Likewise, a poor driving record could have a negative effect.
Learn what every weekend car shopper should know
The weekend is a convenient time for many car shoppers, but it’s also a time when local insurance offices may be closed. Where does that leave a Saturday shopper who finds a dream car and can’t wait until Monday to drive it home?
Before you plan a weekend car-shopping excursion, check to see whether your current policy includes a grace period for new car purchases. This grace period may cover a new car for a certain number of days until you can contact your agent and add it to your policy officially.
If your policy doesn’t include a grace period, find out if your insurance company offers weekend customer service. That way, you might be able to call a toll-free number on a Saturday or Sunday and get help from a company representative. You may still want to call a local agent when the office reopens and make sure your policy has been updated.
Make insurance part of your car-shopping plan
As you shop for a new car this season, remember to think of insurance coverage as a vital feature. It may not provide extra horsepower or traction control, but it can still help you get the most out of your driving experience.