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There are lots of different reasons you might want to switch car insurance companies. If you’ve found a better rate at another company, switching can save you money and may even provide you with more suitable coverage. Or you may have had a bad customer service experience with your current insurer and want to move to a company that will treat you better.
Luckily, this isn’t the 1950s—you don’t need to wait for a traveling insurance agent to show up at your door. If you want to switch to a new company, it is relatively easy to do. Here’s what you need to know:
The biggest reason people leave one insurance company and switch to another is actually not because they’ve found a better price elsewhere (though studies have shown that just about everyone who switches providers ultimately saves money). Instead, it is because of unacceptable customer service.
Other reasons for switching might include buying a new vehicle or selling off an old one that needed a special type of coverage, a change in careers that allows you to get better rates if you switch to a certain policy or insurer. Or, of course, simply finding a less expensive policy from a different provider. Once you have made the decision to switch, it may be profitable for you to call your current company and let them know. In some instances, they may offer you a policy or a price that makes staying more lucrative than switching—though this is not always the case.
How to Cancel Your Current Policy
What you have to do to cancel your policy without causing problems will be different for every insurer, so be sure to ask your current insurer exactly how to do it correctly. It’s important to know that some companies charge a fee if a policy is canceled before the renewal period. Still, there are others that have no cancelation fees at all.
Whatever you do, do not just stopping paying your premiums for your old insurance policy and assume your insurance company will cancel your coverage automatically. Even if your policy was set to expire, they may decide to send your account to collections, which could affect your credit score and could ultimately make it more difficult and expensive to get insurance in the future.
Making the Switch
When your current policy is going to expire is often the best time to switch to a new company or policy. If you do this, you can probably avoid having a gap between old and new coverage, by planning ahead and purchasing your new policy while you are still covered by the old one, so that your new policy activates when the old one expires.
Get quotes from the companies you are considering and pick the one that has the price and policy that best fit your needs. It is important to make sure that you are looking at comparable policies, so that no matter which you choose, you get the coverage that you need.
During this research phase, you should also look into customer service reviews and how they handle claims. The company with the lowest prices might also be the company with the worst customer service ratings. Coverage is important, but so is how that company treats you when you make a claim. Paying a little bit more for an easier and friendlier claims process might be worth your money, especially if poor customer service is one of the reasons you are leaving your old insurer.
Beware of Gaps
You might experience a gap in between your old policy and your new one. It is important that you do not drive during this period because you will be uninsured. If you were to get in an accident during this gap, not only would you be responsible for all ensuing costs, you would also potentially be committing a crime.
Don’t Worry About Lost Loyalty Discounts
When you switch, you are not going to be able to hold on to any loyalty discounts that you have racked up over the years with your old insurer. However the fact is, very seldom do loyalty discounts save as much as simply finding a competitive price. You can start now by entering you zip code here.