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New car replacement insurance

With this coverage, you could be due a brand new car if yours gets stolen or totaled.

If you have comprehensive coverage, you could be entitled to a new replacement if your car is written off as a total loss or gets stolen within months of becoming yours. This protection is an added perk if you’re already planning to buy comprehensive coverage and new car replacement insurance is included.

Otherwise, compare quotes between new car replacement and gap coverage to make the right choice. New car replacement applies to cars that are one or two years old, while gap protection applies to any car worth less than what you owe on your car loan.

Am I eligible for new car replacement coverage?

Eligibility will vary slightly by insurer, but expect to meet basic requirements:

  • You must be the first registered owner of the car.
  • You may be eligible if the vehicle was a registered dealer demo.
  • If you purchased your vehicle with a car loan, your lender may need to give permission replacement.
  • Your car must meet your insurer’s age and mileage restrictions.
  • Your car must be damaged enough to need a replacement, rather than repairs.
  • If stolen, your car must be declared a total loss or nonrecovery within your insurer’s required timing — for example, within 14 days of the date it was stolen.

How does new car replacement insurance work?

New car replacement is a type of coverage that’s included with some comprehensive coverage policies. If yours doesn’t include it, it’s also available as a policy add-on.

Under most policies for new car replacement, if your brand-new vehicle is stolen or declared a total loss, it’s replaced with another new vehicle of the same make and model. Unlike standard comprehensive coverage that pays to repair or replace your vehicle, new car replacement also covers the cost of car depreciation.

Compare insurers that offer this perk on your policy or comprehensive coverage for free or an extra fee.

What happens after my car is replaced?

The process varies by insurer. In some cases, your insurance company transfers your policy to the new vehicle. With others, your coverage ends and you must obtain a new policy for your replacement car. Carefully read your policy’s terms and conditions to avoid any surprises down the road.

In most cases, your vehicle is replaced with one that’s as close to your current model as possible:

  • Same make, model and series. The replacement car will be like the current version of the car you insured.
  • Accessories and modifications included. If you loaded your new car with expensive optional extras, most insurers agree to provide you with a replacement vehicle that has the same modifications.

Limitations of new car replacement insurance

Here too, limitations vary by insurer. But you’ll likely need to meet further requirements that relate to your car, your policy and how it was damaged beyond repair:

  • As soon as your car passes your insurer’s mileage or age threshold, your insured value plummets, and the replacement car you receive won’t be worth as much as when you bought your new car.
  • Your insurer might say its unable to find a similar replacement car. In that case, find a replacement vehicle yourself — and your insurer must honor it.
  • You might not be covered for extended warranties you purchased for the original vehicle.
  • A basic deductible often applies, but some insurers waive it if your car is written off in an accident you aren’t at fault for.
  • Some insurers stipulate a maximum weight limit for the vehicle to be eligible for new car replacement.
  • Fires, floods, theft and larceny may not be covered.

Alternatives to new car replacement

If you’ve grown attached to your car and want to be sure you can drive it — or one like it — for as long as you can, you’ve got options when it comes to protecting it:

  • Agreed-value car insurance. Even if your car isn’t yet two years old, you might not be eligible for new car replacement if you aren’t the first registered owner. However, you can estimate how much a new replacement vehicle will cost and negotiate an agreed value to cover it with your insurer.
  • Better car replacement. Some providers offer better car replacement, which replaces your current vehicle with a newer model that has less mileage.
  • Gap insurance. After an accident or theft, your insurance policy might not cover the full value of your vehicle — a problem when you’re still paying off a loan and you’re left repaying on a vehicle you can’t drive. Gap insurance is designed to cover the gap between your payout and payments if your car is stolen or damaged beyond repair.

Compare new car replacement coverage

Name Product Gap insurance Homeowner discount Telematics Has an app? Available states
loan/lease coverage
All 50 states & DC
Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
Depends on provider
All 50 states
Get your most compatible insurance options via a "smart matching" method aimed at finding you value.
The AARP Auto Insurance Program from the Hartford
All 50 states
Enjoy low rates for mature drivers, plus perks like new car replacement and lifetime repair guarantees. Only for drivers over age 50.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Combining your liability protection policy with collision and comprehensive insurance can help improve your coverage, but may not fully cover the cost to replace your vehicle. New car replacement insurance pays to replace your vehicle after a total loss, including the cost of depreciation.

So instead of getting a vaguely similar vehicle, you’ll get the same make and model. Get quotes from multiple insurers to find a policy that can cover your new vehicle at the best price.

Picture: Shutterstock

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    StevenFebruary 27, 2019

    If you have New car replacement and your car is a total loss do they play it off and replace your car with a new car that is paid for or do you still owe for it

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      BellaFebruary 28, 2019Staff

      Hi Steven,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      If your brand new car is declared a total loss or stolen and you have “new car replacement” in your insurance coverage. Your insurance provider will replace it with another new vehicle of the same make and model.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

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