Whether you’ve been a customer for ten years or ten months, sometimes it just makes sense to switch car insurance companies. Maybe you want a better price on coverage or your current customer experience is lacking. Either way, you should know that switching auto insurance providers isn’t nearly as complicated as it sounds.
But why do people switch car insurance companies? There are plenty of reasons to do so, including:
- Relocating to a new ZIP code, city or state
- Adding drivers or vehicles to the household
- Experiencing life changes that may impact premium costs
- Approaching the policy renewal date
- Seeing increases in premiums
- Reviewing options and pricing
It never hurts to shop around for a better rate—even if you’re completely happy with your insurance company, premium price, and the service you’ve received. Getting new auto insurance quotes doesn’t adversely impact your current rate and it definitely doesn’t lock you into a purchasing agreement.
Even with those benefits, it’s important to note that sometimes shopping for a new provider isn’t a good idea. For example, you may not be able to switch car insurance if you’ve just filed a claim. Any outstanding claims that haven’t been paid will also impact the new company’s ability to correctly rate the policy, which could lead to big increases in your new policy premiums at renewal. This is especially true if the new auto insurance company isn’t able to account for the increased risk they didn’t know about.
Let’s walk through the basic process of shopping for new car insurance, which you can do in just minutes with SelectQuote.
Review Your Current Auto Insurance Policy
The only way to really know what kind of coverage you want to buy is to understand what you currently have. Review your current car insurance plan to see what’s currently lacking in your coverage. Consider the following questions:
How much and what kind of coverage do I need?
Finding the right amount of car insurance coverage is about more than a dollar amount. Each state has specific requirements for minimum legal automobile coverage which will typically pay for any damage or injuries you cause in a car accident.
In addition to legal minimums, you may be required to purchase additional coverage for your vehicle that includes comprehensive and collision coverage. Gap insurance, which pays the difference between what you currently owe on the car and its appraised value after an accident, is often a requirement of auto leases.
Are there fees for canceling a policy early or will I get a refund?
Some insurance companies might enforce an early cancellation fee if you end your policy before the renewal date. But you could also save money by seeing a refund for the remainder of the policy. A fee or penalty on its own doesn’t mean switching isn’t worth it. If your monthly savings and refund beat the price of cancellation, it might make sense to do it now.
Many insurance fees don’t disclose their fees outright, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be on the hook for them. It’s possible your insurance company may decide to offer a full refund without a penalty.
Compare Options With Other Auto Insurance Providers
Once you know what kind of coverage you need, it’s time to compare rates and coverage from other highly-rated insurance providers. As you sit down to compare these different insurance companies, consider the following:
- Types of coverage offered: Does the carrier provide all the insurance you’re required to have?
- Premium rates: How much does the car insurance from each carrier cost per month?
- Customer service: Is the insurance carrier highly rated for customer satisfaction?
- Deductible: How much are you responsible for paying before the insurance covers the cost of repairs or replacement?
- Bundling options: Can you save money by bundling your home and auto coverage under one policy?
- Discounts: Different insurance companies provide various discounts for safe driving, auto-pay, annual billing, and more. Ask about any available discount options.
Get a Car Insurance Quote from a New Provider
The best way to compare information is to seek out multiple quotes from car insurance providers. This can take some time, especially since each insurance company requires a slate of information from you. This information includes:
- Vehicle make and model
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Driver’s License Number
- Social Security Number
Instead of soliciting quotes from multiple insurance companies on your own, using a third-party company to handle the legwork of shopping for coverage can simplify the process. SelectQuote has access to multiple carriers and our proprietary technology searches for appropriate coverage simultaneously. This means we can shop dozens of quotes for you in just minutes, saving you time and finding the right auto insurance policy for you in the process.
Cancel Your Old Policy
Depending on the insurance company you choose, there’s a good chance you’ll need to contact your current carrier and cancel your policy. Some insurance companies will handle this for you, but make sure you know whose responsibility it is before you pay for the new coverage. You can either call your former car insurance company or log into your account online to cancel. Document the person you speak to and get a confirmation number and/or an email for your records.
Print Your New Car Insurance ID Card
As soon as you’re able, print and replace your insurance card with the one from the new carrier. Keep a copy of this card with your registration information. You’ll need your insurance information to get license plates in many states, but it’s also necessary if you get into an accident.
To safeguard it from damage, consider laminating it or placing it in a protective sleeve. You may also want to take a photo of the insurance information and save it in your phone. Some insurance companies allow you to add your insurance information to mobile wallets, making it even more convenient to show your proof of insurance.
When it’s time to change car insurance companies, let SelectQuote help you make an informed decision.
Whether you need to switch car insurance companies because your rates are going up or because you want to see other available options, you’ve got a partner in SelectQuote. We can find the right coverage to meet your needs, from minimum legal protection to full coverage for your brand new vehicle.
With our proprietary tech, we’ll quickly search insurance carriers faster than you could do on your own. In a matter of minutes, we’ll provide a list of quotes from highly-rated insurance companies that you can trust. We shop, you save!