While it may be easier to stick with the car insurance company you’ve been with for years, in some cases, switching car insurers could save you hundreds of dollars a year. Plus, you may find a car insurance company that has a better reputation for customer service and claims service, even if you don’t see significant savings. Many experts suggest shopping for a new car insurance company every two or three years. So how do you go about switching your car insurance? Here are four key steps to take:
- Research and shop car insurance companies
- Check your policy dates
- Call your car insurance company
- Switch out your I.D. cards
Changes in your life – such as a new car, traffic violations, car accidents or a significant change in your annual mileage – affect your coverage needs. If you’ve experienced one of these changes, or others like a move to a new state or you recently got married, it may be the perfect time to look for a new insurer. When researching car insurance companies, Clearsurance has rankings of what consumers say are the best car insurance companies and thousands of reviews from consumers so you can learn from the experiences of others.
While shopping around, you should check for any discounts you may be eligible for that could result in additional savings. Some of the most common car insurance discounts are good driver discounts, multi-vehicle discounts and bundling discounts – but there are lots of additional savings to search for, too.
If you find a new car insurance company, you need to double check for some important dates. You should know the exact date your previous policy is set to end, as well as the date your new coverage will start. If you have an overlap in policies, you’ll be paying for both at once and spending extra money that you could be saving. On the other hand, if there’s a gap between when your old policy ends and the new policy begins, you may be left susceptible to a financial loss. Plus, not only is a gap in coverage illegal, it also may make insurance companies see you as a “risk taker”, which could result in higher rates.
Keep in mind, though, that you don’t need to wait until the end of your policy to switch. You can switch your car insurance mid-policy, just watch out for cancellation costs and hidden fees.
If you’re planning to switch car insurance companies because your rates have become too expensive, explaining your concerns with your current company may lead them to offering you additional discounts in order to keep your business. However, even if you’re committed to switching, it’s important to call your current insurer to tell them. If not, your insurer may eventually cancel your policy for non-payment and could report you to the credit bureaus. This is also a good time to ask about any potential cancellation or early termination fees that may apply. Make sure to get written confirmation that your policy is cancelled.
Once you have your new policy, don’t forget to swap out your insurance cards. You should always keep a copy in your car’s glovebox, because if you are pulled over and cannot show proof of your insurance policy, you may be fined. In some states, you may be able to show your I.D. card on your phone instead if your car insurance company has mobile I.D. cards.
The content on this site is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an insurance company or an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the insurance company or any individual attorney.