Many of our customers who have a long term car subscription do eventually buy a car. Here’s how you know if you can keep the same insurance policy.
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to assume that you have one car in your household, and you’re swapping out your subscription for your own set of wheels. (We can still help you if you have a more complex situation – just text us.)
What factors affect whether you can keep your long term car rental insurance when you buy a car?
The most important factors in determining whether you need a new insurance policy are 1) whether your insurance was bundled with your subscription or you brought your own insurance and 2) if you brought your own insurance, if you have a rental car policy or a regular car insurance policy.
Let us help you make it easy.
Insurance bundled with your car subscription
When the insurance is part of your car subscription, regardless of whether you paid extra for it or it was included in the price, it’s usually a commercial insurance policy. One telltale giveaway is if you weren’t provided with a declarations page with your name and the vehicle on it and a full policy packet full of legal language describing the coverage.
In this situation, you were covered by a commercial insurance policy, but you aren’t the policyholder, or policy owner. The subscription company is, and you’re just listed on the policy. Because the policy isn’t in your name, you won’t be able to keep it to cover your new car.
Unfortunately, having been insured on a commercial auto policy instead of a personal auto policy will cost you when you shop for your own insurance. Most insurance companies give steep discounts for having had continuous prior insurance for at least six months. You can save 10-30%. Unfortunately, the prior policy usually needs to be a personal auto policy in your name.
You’ll need to buy a new car insurance policy to drive your new car off the lot. If you don’t qualify for the prior insurance discount, you should ask your agent to shop around for you once you’ve been covered for six months. You’ll probably get a much better rate.
You brought your own rental car insurance or had a car subscription for a few days or weeks
If you planned to keep your car subscription for just a few days or a few weeks, you probably didn’t qualify for a regular car insurance policy. If you brought your own insurance, you likely bought rental car coverage from a third party. This isn’t the same kind of policy as regular car insurance, so you can’t transfer it to a car you own. It’s also super expensive if you need it for months or years vs a few days.
In this case, you’ll need to get a regular car insurance policy from an insurance agent or company.
You brought your own car insurance, and you have a six or twelve month policy
This is just a regular car insurance policy, which is great news! If you like the service you are getting, you can keep the policy.
You’ll need to call your agent to make a few changes:
- The subscription car needs to be removed from the policy, and your new car added.
- The subscription company needs to be removed from the loss payee section. Now that will be you, your lender, or, if you’re leasing a car, your lessor.
- The limits and deductibles may have been set to meet the subscription company requirements, so you’ll want to double check them
- You may not have had physical damage coverage (comprehensive and collision), which protects the car, on your policy if it was covered by the subscription company. You should definitely add it if you have a new car or a car loan, and you should consider it strongly in any case.
The price of your policy will likely change. It could go up or down, depending on how risky your insurance company thinks your car is, and how expensive it is to repair. If the price goes up by more than you were hoping, you should definitely ask your agent to get you a couple of quotes to compare.