Whether you have recently acquired a new vehicle or your older car was replaced with a replacement vehicle, you might be wondering if your newly acquired automobile is automatically covered by auto insurance. And the answer is, it depends.
Auto coverage depends on whether the newly acquired vehicle is an additional or replacement vehicle. Whether or not you have to notify your insurance company about the new vehicle depends on the type of coverage you are carrying.
Today, we invited our Los Angeles car accident attorney from the Compass Law Group, LLP to explain what happens to your auto insurance when you purchase a new vehicle or your older car is replaced with a new one after a car crash.
What happens to your auto insurance when you purchase a new vehicle?
The vast majority of auto insurance policies in California offer automatic coverage for a vehicle that replaces the existing vehicle registered on your policy. “Will the coverage change depending on what type of vehicle I purchase?” you may be wondering.
Typically, the coverage remains the same as for your previous vehicle when you replace it with a newly acquired one. Unless you know for a fact that your insurer does not require its policyholders to notify it about acquiring a new vehicle, do not ignore the importance of notifying your insurer about the new vehicle as soon as possible.
If you want to get additional coverage for your newly acquired vehicle in addition to coverage for your existing vehicle, most insurance companies in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California require policyholders to notify them within a specified time period after purchasing the vehicle.
Some insurers also provide automatic coverage for any vehicles acquired in addition to the vehicle registered on your policy, but as a rule of thumb, multiple conditions of your auto insurance policy will have to be met to make this happen.
Do I have to notify my insurer about the newly acquired car?
“In the vast majority of cases, you are required to notify your insurance company about the newly acquired vehicle within 30 days of making the purchase if you want your insurer to provide coverage for your new vehicle under the existing auto insurance policy,” says our experienced car accident attorney in Los Angeles.
However, 30 days is not the notification period that applies to all insurance companies, as some insurers require their policyholders to notify of newly acquired vehicles within 14 days or even less. Failure to notify your insurance company about the new vehicle within the specified time means that your new vehicle will be uninsured under the existing policy.
Our Los Angeles car accident attorney also says that if you have at least one vehicle covered for physical damages under the existing auto insurance policy, your new vehicle will automatically fall under the coverage provided for in the Personal Auto Policy (PAP) declaration.
If your policy does not provide coverage for physical damage, you must request such coverage from your insurance company within no more than four days after acquiring the new vehicle.
If you have questions about how your auto insurance coverage will be affected by purchasing a new car, speak to our lawyers at the Compass Law Group, LLP.