UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Last Updated: October 15, 2018
Switching insurance companies is something that we all have to do at some point in our lives. Whenever your insurance policy is up for renewal, or whenever you feel like you might be paying too much for car insurance, it’s always a good idea to shop around and see what else is out there. You can do this the old fashioned way – by calling up all of the different insurance companies, visiting their offices, and seeing their rates in person.
We, however, don’t recommend this method. You could easily spend a whole day just to get a few quotes. Changing car insurance companies does not have to be that difficult. Thanks to the internet you can now literally get hundreds of quotes in just a few minutes. Time is money, and you should try not to waste either.
When To Switch Insurance Companies
You can switch insurance providers whenever you want. Obviously, the easiest, most hassle-free time to switch your provider is right before your current policy expires. You can, however, cancel with your auto insurance company whenever you would like. Just be sure you have another auto insurance policy lined-up before your coverage expires, otherwise, you will be in danger of lapsing.
To be safe, you should try and get a new insurance policy about a month before your current policy is about to expire. The reason for this is because insurance companies typically send out renewal or expiration notices around four weeks before your insurance policy will end. This notice will outline your rates and your policy’s details. You can use this information to shop around for a new car insurance policy by comparing the new rates and coverage to your old one.
Chances are you will be able to find the same coverage or an even more complete, full coverage package for a better price, or you can repackage your coverage altogether. If not, congratulations, you are already getting a great deal on your auto insurance!
How Do You Change Insurance Providers?
If you decide to take the plunge and switch to a new auto insurance provider, be assured that doing so is quite simple – it just requires a bit of common sense (and sometimes a little patience). The following five steps will set you up with a new insurance policy from a new provider with as few headaches as possible:
- Get A New Auto Policy
- Set A Start Date For Your New Policy
- Notify Your Old Insurance Company About The Switch
- Follow Their Instructions For Cancellation
- Start Your New Policy
Step #1 – Find A New Auto Policy
The first step is to find an insurance company and sign up for an insurance policy so that you are covered after you make the switch. If you are serious about changing providers, you should go ahead and start comparing quotes from multiple insurers. To do so, enter your zip code at the top of this page. After filling out our brief questionnaire, you will be connected with multiple insurance companies in your area and be presented with their rates. When you find one that you like, go ahead and apply for a policy from them.
Step #2 – Set A Start Date For Your New Policy
After filling out the sign-up form with your new insurance company, you should know almost instantly if your application was approved or denied. If you were rejected, please sign-up again at another insurance provider. Insurers have complex algorithms that decide who they will and will not insure. If you were denied coverage, realize that it’s nothing personal. It was a computer making the decision.
If you were approved, you’ll need to set a start date for your coverage to begin. As stated above, it’s best to start your policy the day after your current car insurance policy ends. Auto insurance policies typically end and begin at midnight, so there is little chance of experiencing a lapse in coverage if you do this.
In order to activate your coverage, you’ll also need to pay your first month of premiums. Some companies offer low down-payment or no down-payment options, but those are few and far between. You will most likely need to pay your premium for your first month of coverage in order to activate your policy.
Step #3 – Notify Your Old Insurance Company About The Switch
If you plan on cancelling your insurance coverage, you need to immediately notify your insurance company. If you do not wish to renew your insurance coverage, you also need to notify your insurance company. By not letting them know of your intention to end coverage, they will not terminate your policy and will continue to bill you. This could lead to countless bills and phone-calls from the insurer demanding payment. It could also end up escalating to a collection agency and impacting your credit.
Notifying your insurer of your intention to switch companies is nothing to fear. It often involves just a brief phone call or a few clicks on their website. Nevertheless, it is vital to let them know otherwise you will end up in a loop of double-coverage and missed payments. Again – make sure to end the coverage the day before your new coverage is set to begin.
Step #4 – Follow Their Instructions For Cancellation
All insurers have different methods of cancellation. Some require you to send in a document. Others allow you to cancel on the phone or online. Whatever method your insurer requests, make sure you follow directions so you do not get billed again or experience a lapse in coverage. If you are cancelling before your policy ends but have already made your premium payments, be sure to request a refund for the days of coverage you already paid for.
If you leased or financed your vehicle, you might also have to notify the lien-holder or the bank of your intentions to switch providers. They will need to see proof that your new coverage amounts meet their requirements.
Depending on where you live, you might also have to notify your local DMV that you have new insurance coverage. Usually, this is an automatic process that the insurer will take care of. To be on the safe side, however, you should ask your new insurer (and perhaps your old insurer) what the process is for updating your insurance with the registry.
Step #5 – Start Your New Policy
After setting your start date and paying your premiums (as outlined in step #2), you should be good-to-go. Be sure to print your new insurance policy cards and place them in your glove compartment so that you always have proof of insurance wherever the road may take you.
The final step is to simply sit back and enjoy your new insurance coverage. Be sure to always stay up-to-date with your payments and your policy in order to avoid any gaps in coverage.
Finding A New Car Insurance Company
Don’t forget to always be on the lookout for new deals. As you can see described above, switching auto insurance companies is easy – it just requires a little legwork, and the desire to save money.
To start your search for new coverage from a new insurer, enter your zip code above to start comparing policies from the best auto insurance companies in America.
Additional Resources Regarding Switching Providers