Life changes at a fast pace and it’s easy to forget to do things like let your car insurance company know about important changes.
However, it is never wise to hide key information from your insurer, as this can lead to problems with your coverage. It could also prevent you from saving money on your car insurance costs.
Here are some of the most important situations where you should contact your insurer.
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1. When you had an accident
Immediately notify your auto insurance company that you have been involved in an accident. Your agent will begin the process to determine if you can file a claim and help you determine if your auto insurance coverage is adequate to compensate for the losses.
Your insurance company can even help you gather evidence from the scene of the accident by providing information on what to collect and how to handle the immediate consequences.
You may not have to do this after minor accidents. However, if someone is injured, you don’t trust the other driver, or the repair costs will be high, don’t wait to contact your insurer.
2. When your driving habits change
Driving habits often change and such changes can affect your insurance coverage needs.
For example, once you retire, you stop going to work, which reduces the number of kilometers driven. Some insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who drive relatively few miles per year.
On the other hand, if you start driving much more than before, you should also inform your insurer.
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3. When you add a safety feature to your car
Certain features that help reduce the risk of an accident or theft can lower the cost of car insurance. These include collision warning and blind spot detection, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, adaptive headlights and adaptive cruise control.
Let your insurer know if you have these features or if you plan to add new technology or other accessories, such as a rear view camera or anti-theft device. The insurer may grant you a discount on your premiums.
4. When using the car for work
Using your car for business purposes and expecting your personal auto insurance policy to cover you is not a good idea. This is true whether you are driving your car to earn extra money as a gig worker or driving from client to client for your small business.
Before you do this, contact your auto insurance company and ask if you need to purchase separate commercial auto insurance to stay covered while driving the car for business. Make sure your insurer specifies exactly when you will and will not be covered.
Having the right insurance when driving your car for business purposes minimizes liability risks and helps cover your vehicle in the event of an accident.
5. When someone who isn’t covered by your insurance often drives the car
If you lend your car to a friend for a few hours, there is no need to alert your insurance company since most policies will cover these uses. However, anyone who regularly drives your car should be a named party on your insurance policy.
This can include anyone who uses the car on a regular basis, for example to and from work or activities. It also includes a teenage driver who has just started using your car.
In addition, all owners of the vehicle must be listed on your insurance policy. An owner who is not listed may not be covered in certain situations.
6. When you buy a new car
As a general rule, you will not be able to leave the car park without first showing proof that the car is insured. So before you go to the dealership, ask your insurance company if the new car will be covered immediately.
Some insurers offer a grace period of up to 30 days that will allow the new car to be covered under the old car’s policy. But this varies from insurer to insurer.
Without insurance coverage, an accident anywhere could put your new vehicle at risk and you may have to pay for any losses you incur out of pocket.
So take the financial stress out of your life by making sure the car is covered right away.
7. When you add expensive upgrades to the car
Making major upgrades to your car could drive up your car insurance rates. But regardless, you should let your insurer know about these upgrades to ensure you have the correct coverage.
These upgrades can include engine modifications, new high performance wheels, exhaust upgrades and stabilizer bars.
If you’re involved in a car accident, you want to be sure your insurer covers these high-end upgrades. So talk to your insurer and make sure they are clearly described in your policy.
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At the end of the line
Keeping your auto insurance provider up to date helps ensure that your vehicle coverage remains strong and that you save as much as possible on your premiums.
Remember, every dollar you save is another way to lessen the pain of high gas prices and other rising costs of vehicle ownership today.
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This article 7 Important Things You Should Always Tell Your Car Insurance Company originally appeared on FinanceBuzz.