There comes a time when every driver finds themselves shopping for new car insurance. Maybe you’ve moved to a new state and need to switch your car insurance. Maybe you’re fed up with the rate hikes and want a cheaper car insurance company. Or perhaps you’re unhappy with the service from your current auto insurance company and you’re ready to make a switch.
Whatever the reason, we’re here to answer the question you need an answer for: How do I switch car insurance companies? To make switching car insurance easy for you, we’ve broken it down into five steps.
1. Review your coverage needs
When you bought your current car insurance policy, you may have had different coverage needs. Maybe your car is paid off now, and it isn’t worth as much, so maybe paying for collision and comprehensive insurance no longer make financial sense. Or perhaps you’ve recently added a teen driver to your policy. Or maybe you have more saved up in the bank now, and you’re comfortable paying a higher deductible.
Before switching your car insurance, it’s important to identify the car insurance coverage and limits that make the most sense for your needs. Not sure what coverages you should have? Check out our guide to buying car insurance for an explanation of car insurance coverages and limits.
2. Identify a list of companies
Once you’ve identified your car insurance coverage needs, it’s time to shop around for the best car insurance company.
When evaluating the various options, make sure to read consumer reviews and ratings to ensure the company has a good track record with its customers. A great place to start identifying top companies in your area is our rankings page of the best car insurance companies, which is based solely on customer feedback.
You’ll want to narrow the companies you’re considering down to a list of about 3 to 5 companies. Once you’ve done this, now it’s time to do a price comparison.
3. Compare car insurance quotes
Now that you’ve identified the companies with a strong reputation, you need to see what your rates would be with these companies. There’s a number of ways to get car insurance quotes: direct from the company, through an agent or an online comparison site.
We’ve outlined the pros and cons of these methods here.
Price is an important consideration when shopping for car insurance, but remember, it’s not the only consideration. You want to identify a company with a great reputation, and a fair price.
Plus, there’s some other ways you can lower your car insurance rate. Check out our guide on how to get cheap car insurance for more info.
4. Cancelling your old car insurance
Once you’ve settled on a new car insurance company and you’re ready to switch car insurance, you need to make sure you inform your current car insurance company. The key here is to avoid any potential lapse in coverage.
To do this, make sure your new car insurance policy starts on the same day or the day before your current policy ends. If you have a lapse in coverage, you’ll not only be uninsured, but you may incur a penalty on your rates.
One thing to be aware of is if you’re cancelling your car insurance policy before it’s set to expire, you may have to pay a cancellation fee, depending on the auto insurer.
Unsure how to cancel your current policy? We’ve got a step-by-step guide on how to cancel your car insurance.
5. Swap your ID cards
Once you’ve switched your car insurance, it’s also time to swap out your ID cards. You don’t want to be caught in a scenario where you need your insurance ID card and all you have in your car is your old one!
It’s a good idea to always keep a copy of your ID card in your glovebox. In the event you’re pulled over and you can’t show proof of your current insurance, you may be fined. Note: In certain states, you may be allowed to show your ID card on your mobile phone, so long as your car insurance company has mobile ID cards.
To Recap: How to switch car insurance in 5 steps
- Review your coverage needs
- Identify a list of companies
- Compare car insurance quotes
- Cancelling your old car insurance
- Swap your ID 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.