The procedures of adding vehicles to auto insurance policies vary within each carrier. When adding vehicles, be prepared before contacting your carrier by having available information which will be needed such as; year, make and model, vehicle identification number (VIN), license plate number, odometer reading, estimated annual miles used per year, type of use (pleasure/commute/commercial) and coverage required.
Generally, insurers will have one of the following options of adding or even replacing/changing vehicles:
- By Phone - Some carriers will allow you to call in and request the change. Not all carriers allow this method but contact customer service to ask what procedure they require. If your carrier does allow the addition of your vehicle by phone, be prepared by having the above mentioned information.
- By Mail - Be cautious when using this method. Make sure to use this method only if instructed to do so by your carrier and verify that the address you're mailing the request to be correct and ask what information needs to be submitted. This method may delay your effective date of coverage and you may even run the risk of lost mail. It is suggested to try alternative methods of endorsements (change requests)
- Online - Some auto insurance company websites give insureds the option of making changes online. This most likely will require you to complete a questionnaire and input all vehicle information into the system. Be cautious about mistakes and incorrect data. It may be a good idea to contact the company afterwards to ensure accuracy and completion.
- Through your agent - If you purchased your policy through an agent, you may want to simply visit the agent to add your vehicle. Be sure to bring the vehicle registration with you and be prepared to answer their questions as mentioned above. If you purchased through a brokerage, you may want to ask if there are any additional broker's fees involved in the addition of your vehicle.
The most important thing is to make sure that you understand the coverage you are being issued and be sure to know when your coverage will become effective. Some changes will not be effective immediately so be aware and consider avoiding use of the vehicle until you receive confirmation of coverage.
Many policyholders assume that they have time to add their vehicle to their policy since coverage will extend to the newly acquired vehicle. This may be the case sometimes but not always; additionally, there are exceptions, conditions and exclusions to this guideline so never assume, contact your carrier to be 100 % sure and well informed.
Be sure to read our article for more information on making changes to an auto insurance policy for more details on the endorsement process and procedures.