How to Switch Auto Insurance Providers
What is the best way to change your auto insurance provider? There are quite a few articles explaining why you need to change–this time, let’s take a step-by-step look at how.
Step 1: Take a Look Around
Compare prices. That regular deduction is what you feel the most keenly every billing, so it’s significant. Think in terms of what you want to get for the price you want to pay, and figure out what saves you more in the long run.
Compare benefits and discounts. Depending on your auto insurance provider, you may have some riders (additional insurance perks) that were thrown in as part of the package. When looking at other insurance providers, check if they can also be included in the package or that paying for them won’t hike the price up. If your car insurance provider is not the same one as your life or house insurance provider, you may want to see if you get any discounts if you add this policy to the mix.
Compare customer service. What good will a cheaper premium do if you fight a complicated battle with your own insurance provider for every payout? Learn what current and previous customers say about them. It’s a big part of your sanity, so keep this one in mind.
Step 2: Call or Visit Your Current Auto Insurance Provider
Don’t tiptoe around your current auto insurance provider–that will only make things more complicated in the long run. Call them up or pay them a visit, and let them know you are thinking of canceling your policy and why. They may even offer discounts or match another insurance provider’s premium for you.
However, your main goal is to ask about the cancellation process in full detail: any cancellation fees, refunds on your premium, advance notices, documents, or written confirmation that will be exchanged. The nosier you are, the better. You don’t want to get stuck with unexpected payments along the way!
Step 3: Mind the Insurance Gap
If you have already chosen your new auto insurance policy, confirm when it will take effect before you even sign anything. If it takes a month or two to kick in, make sure your current policy is still in place even if there is some overlap. You do not want even a sliver of time without insurance–it could be costlier.
Step 4: [If Applicable] Inform Your Car Lease or Loan Provider
Sometimes, car lease or loan providers require auto insurance. If they are not properly informed that you are switching providers and not simply canceling your auto insurance altogether, it can turn into a complicated conversation. Speak first and let them know even before you cancel your current policy.
Step 5: Finalize Cancellation of Your Current Policy
Keep the working relationship with your current auto insurance provider! Make sure all the cancellation processes are completed–being lax here might lead to overlapping payments with the new provider if there is any delay. Don’t just have a payment lapse, close the account altogether. This way you protect your credit rating. You also protect yourself from any extra billing and legal action.
Step 6: Drive Extra Carefully During Risk Assessment
Depending on your new auto insurance provider’s policy, they may drop you within 30 to 60 days if you are perceived as too high-risk–or they might adjust your premiums. Either way, it’s a good practice to drive as carefully as you can during that period. Give them no reason to complain, and your transition will be as smooth as it can be.
How to Switch Auto Insurance Providers: Cautiously
You are stuck with any new insurance provider for at least a year, unless you’re okay with risking extra cancellation fees. Think it through, use all the proper channels, and you’ll see long-term benefits to this change.