Trivia question #2- how many days do you have if you actually want the vehicle insured?
True story- our customer called us Dec. 17 to add a new vehicle he purchased. Problem is, he purchased it Nov. 18. For some reason, people assume they have up to 30 days to add a vehicle to their auto insurance policy. I have no clue where this misconception comes from, but I can tell you this:
This is pure science fiction. I’m talking Star Wars quality. Lightsabers and droids.
So I went right to the source- the actual policy form. In fact, I reviewed three of our companies auto policies and can tell you this- nowhere is 30 days mentioned.
A quick review of 3 basic insurance terms is necessary here. Please forgive me if you know these terms already, but it’s absolutely crucial to this discussion.
Liability coverage includes bodily injury to others as well as property damage to others- you hurt someone and/or damage their property.
Comprehensive covers animal hits, glass breakage, vandalism, fire, theft & falling objects to your insured vehicle.
Collision is anything else that can happen to your insured vehicle, like collision with another vehicle or object.
So, in my review of policies, here’s what the most restrictive one said (I’m taking the liberty of adapting the policy language to only use the above three terms- easier for you):
For liability coverage to apply to a newly acquired auto, you must ask us to insure it within 14 days after you become owner.
For comprehensive coverage to apply to a newly acquired auto, you must ask us to insure it:
FOUR days after you become owner, if you don’t have comprehensive coverage on at least one vehicle on the policy.
14 days after you become owner, if you have comprehensive coverage on at least one vehicle on the policy.
Collision coverage has the same rules as comprehensive.
Anyone see anything about 30 days? In my customer example, do you think there could have been a BIG problem if a claim occurred? What if he had gotten a sweet brand-new sports car? Or T-boned another driver?
Yes, I know that there are some exceptions to this rule, as well as infinitely more technical “stuff” we could discuss, but if you take away nothing else from this post, take away this:
If you get a new car, contact your insurance provider immediately. 30 days is a myth. Don’t wait, or you may be very sorry.
Thoughts? Stories to share?
Happy New Year to you and yours. Best of luck in 2012.