I realized last weekend just how attached we get to our vehicles. I recently sold the first vehicle I ever bought all on my own. I was actually sad. That last day I spent with her I made sure she was squeaky clean, had gas and was ready to go for her new owner. We had a good day together and now remembering it I still feel sad a bit. But then I think, OK this is just a car and a normal car at that. I did not own some super custom vehicle or antique classic car it was just a normal everyday driver. I was attached because I used my vehicle everyday, several times a day and had many good and some bad trips in it. I was attached because I purchased it all on my own. I took care of that car and she took care of me.
We have so many memories in our vehicles because we constantly rely on them on a daily basis. I read an article about how Americans spend about 70 billion hours in the car over the course of their lifetime. Give or take certain scenarios you are probably driving your own vehicle to and from work or school, running errands or taking road trips etc for the majority of those hours. We also eat, drink, sleep, laugh, sing, cry, get dressed, touch up or put on makeup, change diapers, shop and more in our vehicles. No wonder we get attached!
Making a vehicle change to your policy is super common. You actually do not need to provide a ton of information, nor do we need the giant stack of paperwork the dealership makes you sign. What you will need to provide to your agent when you purchase a new vehicle is:
- Vehicle Identification Number (commonly referred to as the VIN)
- Year, make and model (to verify the vehicle that comes up from the VIN)
- Purchase date
- Odometer Reading
- Who is driving it and for what usage
- What type of coverage you want on it
Some of these questions might create additional questions but this is the basic information you will need to provide. Sometimes your carrier may require photos of the vehicle in order to add on physical damage i.e. comprehensive and collision coverage.
If you have financed your vehicle your agent will need to know who your finance company is and the address of where the policy needs to be sent. The name and address is not the name and address of the specific branch in your area. The address is typically a PO Box or the finance company’s insurance department. When you purchase the vehicle the finance company’s information sometimes is not known and it is OK to add the new vehicle to the policy without the finance company information. You will receive a letter from your finance company with the name and address that you will need to provide to your insurance company. Once you receive that letter you can contact your agent to make that change. Making a change to add a finance company to the policy will not change your premium.
Many times when you are purchasing a vehicle the sales representative will tell you that you could get specific discounts on your auto policy with additional features you add on to your vehicle. The only way to know for sure is to ask your agent! For example, the alarm service you pay for each month may no longer give you a discount. Because so many of the newer vehicles have this feature built into the vehicle insurance companies have stopped providing a discount for an alarm on your vehicle. If your insurance company hasn’t discontinued that discount it is probably less than 2% of a discount. You can get a quote with just the year, make and model of the vehicle you are looking at to give you a ballpark figure of what this change will do to your premium. The sure fire way to know what your new premium will be is to provide the VIN to your agent to get the quote on that exact vehicle.
If you are selling your vehicle or getting rid of it all you need to do is tell your agent why you are getting rid of the vehicle and the date it happened. If you sold the vehicle provide the date the vehicle was sold, and if you either traded it in, donated it, gifted it you will need the date that was done. If your vehicle was totaled you need to call to have it removed from your policy. The company will not automatically remove the totaled vehicle from your policy. You will still need to contact your agent to have a totaled vehicle removed. Sometimes you may need to provide other information if removing a vehicle will change other policy factors such as the driver assignment or usage to another vehicle, but that will depend on your policy and if you have any other drivers or vehicles.
Once your change is processed your carrier will send you a new copy of your policy and if needed a new ID Card for your recently added vehicle. Your insurance company will also adjust your premium and your next installment with the difference of your change.
If you are selling a vehicle you are attached to or buying a vehicle without knowing the additional cost it could be a little bit painful! Calling your agent to get a quote and to make the vehicle change should be much more painless! If you are thinking about buying or selling a vehicle and would like to know what your premium would be call your agent to have them quote it. The best way to know for sure is to get the quote directly from your agent!