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How to add a car to your insurance policy

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

Drivers in almost every state are required to have some form of car insurance before they can legally drive. If you purchase another vehicle, you’ll need to add the car to your insurance policy. Fortunately, adding a vehicle to an existing insurance policy is pretty simple. This article will help you learn how to add a car to your insurance policy, and determine whether or not adding a second vehicle will affect your rate. 

How to add another car to your insurance policy

Car insurance protects your vehicle and your liabilities as a driver. It prevents you from paying out-of-pocket if you cause an accident or damage someone else’s property. Every vehicle that you own must be covered under a car insurance policy that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements, regardless of how often it’s driven. 

If you need to insure a second car, you can add the vehicle to your existing insurance policy. There’s no need to open a second policy. In fact, most car insurance companies allow drivers to add up to four or five vehicles on one car insurance policy. Follow these steps to add a vehicle to your insurance policy:

Gather information about the vehicle

The first step is to gather information about the vehicle you want to add. The insurance company will ask for some specific information to determine the vehicle’s value, recommend an appropriate amount of coverage and calculate your rate. Here is the information you should have available:

  • Make, model and year
  • License plate number
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • State of registration
  • Mileage
  • Name and age of new insured drivers (if applicable)

If you don’t know the vehicle’s VIN, check the driver’s side of the dashboard. The VIN is usually etched into the corner of the windshield. You might need to look for the number from the outside of the vehicle, rather than inside. The VIN can also be found in the vehicle’s registration documents.

Contact your car insurance company

Once you’ve gathered the vehicle information, contact your car insurance company and let them know that you want to add another vehicle to your policy. Most of the national insurance providers allow customers to add a vehicle to their policy online. If your provider doesn’t offer an online option, call an agent and give them the necessary information. They can also let you know if adding a second vehicle will impact your premium. 

Choose your coverage

The last step is to choose the coverage you want for the second vehicle. Keep in mind that most insurance companies require every vehicle on the policy to have the same coverage. So for example, you couldn’t have one vehicle with minimum coverage insurance and a second vehicle with full coverage insurance. 

If your insurance company does allow varied coverage, you’ll need to decide what coverage you want for the second car. Consider the value of the vehicle, how often it’s driven and what it’s used for. You can also ask an insurance agent to help you figure out which coverages are beneficial.

For example, if you recently purchased a brand new car, you may want to consider full coverage insurance. But if your son or daughter recently got their license and purchased a 15-year-old car, minimum coverage insurance might make more sense financially.

Does adding another vehicle to my policy increase my rate?

Adding a second vehicle to your car insurance policy can increase your premium, but it depends. If you add a high-value vehicle, or a vehicle that lacks safety features, you could see a rate increase. Compare the cost to add a vehicle to an existing policy versus how much it costs to have two separate policies to see which provides a lower rate. 

On the other hand, if you add a low-value vehicle to your policy or a car that has advanced safety features, your premium total could actually be lower. Most insurance companies offer a discount for insuring multiple vehicles on the same policy. An insurance agent can help you determine if your rate will change, and if so, by how much. 

Here are a few other advantages and drawbacks to consider: 

Could lower your premiumCould increase your premium
Might qualify for a multi-vehicle discountCan’t add a vehicle not registered at your address
Process of adding a vehicle is simpleCan’t always customize coverage for a second vehicle
Easier to manage policies with a single provider

The takeaway

  • Drivers can have multiple vehicles on their car insurance policy.
  • Many insurance companies allow drivers to add a vehicle through their online account.
  • Adding a second vehicle to an insurance policy could increase or decrease the premium.

Adding another car to your insurance policy has both pros and cons. But typically, it’s cheaper to insure two cars on the same policy than to pay for two separate policies. If you want to add a second vehicle to your policy, contact your insurance company to see how it will affect your annual premium, and ask if you can qualify for a multi-vehicle discount.

Elizabeth Rivelli

Elizabeth is an insurance writer for coverage.com, where she covers insurance providers and reviews policies to help consumers find comprehensive and affordable coverage for every area of their life. She has more than three years of writing experience for top online insurance and finance publications.

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