How to Change Your Car Insurance Company
Switching car insurance doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it seems. With a few simple steps, you can get yourself a new policy. We recommend that you shop for new car insurance on an annual basis. This way you always know you have the least expensive policy with the best coverage.
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When you find the policy that is right for you, use the following steps to switch to your new insurance company.
Know What You Need
Start by figuring out what type of coverage you need. Are you satisfied with your current policy? If so, you can just have any insurance companies that you shop with copying your current policy. This way you can compare apples to apples.
If you aren’t satisfied with your current coverage or you just want to change what you have, do your research. You’ll want to consider all of the following types of coverage:
- Liability (both bodily injury and property damage)
- Personal injury protection
- Collision insurance
- Comprehensive insurance
- Uninsured motorist coverage
- Underinsured motorist coverage
Your next step is to shop around. You should get quotes from at least three insurance agents, but you can obtain more too.
When you compare the quotes offered by each insurance company, make sure that you compare ‘apples to apples.’ In other words, don’t just look at the premium price. You need to look at the coverage too.
For example, if one company offers you a premium of $500 and another offers a premium of $300, you may automatically jump for the $300 premium. It’s a natural reaction. But if that $300 premium gives you much less coverage, it may not be what you want. Make sure the coverage is adequate for any quotes that you receive.
Putting the quotes aside, make sure you know the dependability of the companies that give you quotes. You can check websites like the Better Business Bureau or A.M. Best. You can also friends and family about their experience with their insurance agents. Sometimes referrals from current customers give you the best input on the dependability of an insurance company.
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Know the Company’s Policies
Every insurance company operates differently. Ask pointed questions about:
- How to file a claim
- How to make payments
- What types of discounts they offer if you bundle your insurance
- How you contact customer service
If things like a mobile app or online payment capabilities are important to you, find out if the companies you shop with offer these options. While you may pay little higher premiums with companies that offer certain conveniences, if they are important to you, it could be worth it.
Buy the New Policy
Once you make a decision, it’s time to buy your policy. Don’t cancel your existing policy until you complete this step, though. Talk with your new insurance agent to find out how to purchase the policy. Know the timeline and don’t do anything with your current policy until you have a declaration page and paid receipt in hand.
If you cancel your old insurance, the insurance company will likely notify the Motor Vehicle Department. This is fine if you have insurance to replace it, if you don’t, there could be a problem, as most states require insurance by law.
Cancel Your Existing Policy
Your last step is to cancel your current insurance policy. Each insurance company has their own procedures. Talk with your agent about the steps you must take to effectively cancel your policy. Typically, if you cancel your policy before a new term begins, you won’t have any issues.
If you cancel a policy mid-term, though, you’ll want to read the fine print. Your insurance company may charge a cancellation fee. Before you choose your dates to cancel your current policy and start a new one, find out if this is the case. If there is a cancellation fee, you may want to wait until your term ends to cancel the policy.
Switching car insurance isn’t hard, but it does take some legwork. Allow yourself enough time to shop, purchase, and put the policy in place before you cancel your existing policy. Knowing ahead of time what your agents require will help make the switch easier.
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