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Ask the Car Insurance Expert

My car was totaled in a wreck. How long do I have to transfer my insurance to my new car?

Generally your current car insurance policy extends coverage to a new vehicle for a short period, but you shouldn't wait too long to tell the insurance company you've purchased a new car.

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Typically you have 14 to 30 days, depending on the insurer and state law. Some states set a minimum time period insurers must give their customers.

Don't let this task fall through the cracks. Otherwise, you could wind up driving uninsured.

You might also need to add coverage for the new vehicle. If you're carrying only liability insurance, that's the only coverage that will carry over. You should have both collision and comprehensive for a new car. Collision covers damage from car accidents, and comprehensive covers losses from other factors, such as natural disasters, vandalism, theft and collisions with animals. Although it makes sense to drop collision and comprehensive for cars that have lost most of their value, you should have both types of coverage for a new car.

For more, see Auto(matic) coverage for new cars.

Last updated: Oct. 1, 2012
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