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Should I have car insurance lined up before I purchase a vehicle?

If you don’t already have auto insurance, you should shop for insurance before you purchase a vehicle. If you already have insurance, your current insurer can tell you how to add any new vehicle to your policy and how much it will cost.

All lenders require that you have insurance for damage to the vehicle. If you don’t have the required insurance, the lender may take out “force-placed” insurance to cover your vehicle. Force-placed insurance protects only the lender, not you, and will add to the cost of your loan. Force-placed insurance is usually a lot more expensive than what you can obtain by finding an insurance policy yourself. Force-placed insurance does not cover you if you injure someone or damage property with your vehicle.

Automobile insurance costs can vary widely so it can pay to shop around. It’s very important to know the cost of insurance in deciding whether you can afford a new vehicle. You should budget for insurance as you are deciding what level of monthly payments you can afford.