Insurance when Driving your New Car off the lot in California

dthatcher7

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I wanted to pass this along because it is a gotcha I recently ran into. In the state of California, your current insurance company must cover your new car for 10 days, to give you time to add it to the policy.
The gotcha with this is that the "coverage" afforded under this 10 day grace period is only whatever coverage you currently have. So if all you've got is a jalopy with liability only, and you drive off the lot in a new 2016 Civic, you are driving around with liability only.
Incidentally, if you are in the position of having no auto insurance at all, you will have no 10 day grace period, because there's no insurance to begin with.
Apparently a lot of California dealers are content to look at your current auto insurance ID cards without inquiring as to your coverage levels. So before you drive off the lot uninsured or under-insured, make sure you know what your existing auto insurance coverage is. Better yet, get on the horn with your insurance agent and add the car before you drive it at all!



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Pearl

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That's good advice. I'm not even sure how things work when getting a new car but I always ensure to speak with my insurance company while at the dealership before driving the new car off the lot because things can happen in an instant. I don't think a finance company would even allow me to drive off with their car without full coverage.
 

Gavnzdad

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I would never leave the lot with a new car without full coverage, I would cause a wreck just thinking about it. I think some dealers won't let you leave with a new car unless you have proof of full coverage, but I'm not sure. On a jalopy, yeah liability is cool. On a new car, only an severe idiot wouldn't have full coverage.
 
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nicoled985

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I would never leave the lot with a new car without full coverage, I would cause a wreck just thinking about it. I think some dealers won't let you leave with a new car unless you have proof of full coverage, but I'm not sure. On a jalopy, yeah liability is cool. On a new car, only an severe idiot wouldn't have full coverage.
If you don't mind me asking what are your limits on your insurance?
 

slowride

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If you lease (especially) Honda will require you to have specific minimum coverage before you get the keys, so this scenario should not occur.

Also, it is wise to contact your or potential insurers before you begin the purchasing process so you don't get surprised by a premium increase.
 
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dthatcher7

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If you lease (especially) Honda will require you to have specific minimum coverage before you get the keys, so this scenario should not occur.

Also, it is wise to contact your or potential insurers before you begin the purchasing process so you don't get surprised by a premium increase.
Yes... getting insurance quotes for all the cars I was considering played a big part in my decision. I was actually pretty interested in a fully loaded 2017 Elantra except the insurance was so much more than the Civic. At least in my case.
 

Gavnzdad

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If you don't mind me asking what are your limits on your insurance?
I have a progressive 50/100/50 policy. Mine is full coverage on both my Coupe and my wife's HR-V. My policy covers everything. I don't take chances with a new car. I also have GAP coverage on my Coupe.
 
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schen72

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Dealers in CA require proof of insurance before you can drive off the lot. This is required by law. If you finance/lease the car, you also need to have full coverage and I believe each lender has their own minimums, but it's probably around 50/100. If you buy the car outright, you only need to show proof of insurance and they don't care about your minimums. This is how it went for me.
 

schen72

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The amount of coverage necessary depends on the amount of assets you would be protecting. If you have little or nothing to your name, minimum coverage is good enough. Sally, some people have no coverage in this case. But if you own your home, have sizable savings, more coverage may be necessary. On top of the auto policy, done people opt for an "umbrella"policy which is usually an additional $1-5M of coverage.
 
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Gavnzdad

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Uhmmm...guys, a 50/100/50 policy is not a minimum policy. That's a good policy. The 25/50/25 is the lowest full coverage you can get I think.
 

aaronarf

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Uhmmm...guys, a 50/100/50 policy is not a minimum policy. That's a good policy. The 25/50/25 is the lowest full coverage you can get I think.
Each state has different minimums. Higher insurance policy isn't necessarily to protect your vehicle cost its to minimize any potential damages incurred by law suits if your at fault in an accident. Even if you are NOT at fault, and whomever hits you has state minimums your under-insured coverage will come in play as far as pay outs, property damage, passenger medical expenses etc.

Just something to look into - not trying to go completely off topic.
 

kqn

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I drove off the lot and Honda supplied me free insurance for one month from western general because I told them my insurance information is at home but I don't remember the details.
 

schen72

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Uhmmm...guys, a 50/100/50 policy is not a minimum policy. That's a good policy. The 25/50/25 is the lowest full coverage you can get I think.
I think CA's minimum is 15/30, which would barely cover just the value of a Civic.
 

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