You can change your car insurance provider at any time. Here are 4 easy steps to follow when changing auto policies.
It seems like every few minutes on TV or radio, an advertisement comes on that urges consumers to consider switching car insurance. For many people, unless you’re involved in a vehicle accident or traffic violation, you probably don’t give your car insurance much thought. However, if you’ve been with one carrier for a long time, it could be worthwhile to shop around.
Switching car insurance might seem like the kind of thing that can cause a hassle, but the process is fairly straightforward. Here’s what you need to about how to switch car insurance in a few easy steps.
First Off: Should You Change Car Insurance?
Assess Your Current Auto Insurance Policy
Are you currently over-or under-insured? Think about the age of your vehicle and the type of driving you do. You should also look to see when your policy is set to renew, and if there are any penalties for early cancellation. If you are generally happy with your provider, it could be worth a call to see if there are any potential discounts available to you or adjustments that can be made to your coverage that can lower your premium.
Time It Right
In general, if you’re adding someone new to your policy, purchasing or leasing a new vehicle, moving to a different state, or your policy is about to renew, these can be ideal times to seek out competitive rates. However, you can shop auto insurance anytime.
Get Some Quotes
Go online or get on the phone with a couple of potential new auto insurers to see if they have a better offer for you. You will likely need to supply basic vehicle information, driver’s information, and they may ask questions about driving habits (such as your average mileage per week), so have that on hand. Be sure you’re making apples to apples comparisons, however. If a carrier comes in with a much lower premium than you’re currently paying, you want to be sure that it’s for the same amount of coverage. In addition, you can look into bundling your auto insurance with your home insurance to see if that can help lower your costs. If you’re considering an insurance company that is lesser-known, be sure to research it thoroughly online to ensure it has a good reputation.
4 Steps to Switching Car Insurance
Once you find a good fit for your auto insurance needs and select the best quote, it’s time to make the switch. Here’s how to change auto insurance:
1. Call Your New Provider to Set Up your Policy Before Canceling Your Old Policy
You don’t want to have any lapse in coverage. If you lease of finance your vehicle, the new insurer should notify the auto company about the switch for you. Be sure to ask if it’s not mentioned.
2. Get an Inspection (If Required)
Depending on your state, you may be required to have the vehicle photo-inspected within a certain time-frame before you can switch to a new carrier. If this is a requirement, the new insurer will help you select a site near you and set up an appointment. It only takes a few minutes and is of no cost to you.
3. Cancel Your Old Policy
Once your new policy is official, contact your old carrier to cancel, and get proof of the cancellation in writing. If you are owed any refund, ask about how and when that balance will be applied, and make sure they follow through with payment.
4. Print New Insurance Cards or Download Digital Copies to Your Smartphone
You’re required to have your insurance cards with you when you’re driving, just in case you’re pulled over or involved in an accident. Most auto insurance companies have apps these days if you want to keep a digital copy on your phone, or you can simply put the physical insurance card in your glove compartment.
If you’re stressed over how to switch car insurance, don’t be. The comparison shopping process takes a bit of time and research on your part, but once you’re ready to move on, switching car insurance is a simple process. Just follow the steps above, and you can be on your way to savings.