Changing your auto insurance carrier may seem like a daunting task, but it does not have to be. You may not know how to change car insurance companies, or when the time is right, but that is not a reason to stick with the same insurer.
In fact, you could be missing out on better coverage options, price, customer service, and more. Here are some things to know before you decide to change car insurance companies and how to go about it.
When Is The Right Time?
Beyond the price of your policy, consider all of what you are paying for. Are you happy with the customer service and policy perks you already receive? Do you feel you are getting your money’s worth?
Once you have decided you want to change car insurance, the next step is gathering quotes from different companies. Quote shopping allows you to see what other companies are offering without making any commitments. If you work with an insurance broker, they should be able to do quote shopping for you.
Before Committing To A New Policy
Once you land the quote you want, you should carefully examine the policy before committing to it. A lower price may come with less coverage or fewer services, so do your research on a company before paying.
Canceling Car Insurance
To cancel your current policy, you’ll need to contact your insurance company. Explain to them why you are changing car insurance companies, and keep any quotes you received handy. When you’re on the phone, mention the quotes you got and see if they will try to match the quote price or go lower.
It’s important that you know the cancelation process your company uses, so that you do not still get billed for it. Some companies allow people to cancel a policy immediately, while others might need a notice prior to cancellation.
Penalties for Changing Car Insurance
If you decide you must change car insurance companies midway through your current policy, you might be hit with a cancelation fee. Not every company charges a cancellation fee, so ask your insurance company about their cancellation policy before making a decision.
Avoiding A Gap In Coverage
Before canceling a policy make sure your new policy will be in effect when your current one is officially over. In other words, if you cancel a policy on the 23rd but your new policy does not start until the 26th, you will be uninsured for that 3 day period. Any accidents you are involved in will not be covered by your old policy nor your new one.
Can You Change Car Insurance With An Open Claim
It may seem like an unlikely scenario, but it is possible to switch car insurance companies while you have an open claim. When you switch companies while you have an open claim, the company you were with when the claim occurred handles it. The new company you are switching to will not be involved with the claims process nor will your new policy cover it.
Can You Switch Car Insurance With An SR-22
An Sr-22 filing does not mean a driver must stay with the same insurance company. If you can find a better rate, an Sr-22 cannot prevent you from changing car insurance. All you need to do is avoid the above mentioned lapse in coverage and notify your new insurance company of the filing.