Switching Car Insurance Companies
Have you discovered a better deal? Are you unhappy with your present insurer? Maybe you've been thinking about changing insurance companies for a while. It's never been easier to find out if you are getting the right insurance at the right price. You can get quotes online with some companies 24 hours a day. Many other companies have toll free information lines where you can find out more. You can even talk to your states Department of Insurance for information on getting the right insurance.
So, why would you shop around if you were happy with your insurance company? Well, the fact of the matter is that exactly the same coverage can cost you widely different amounts, depending on your insurance company. How does this happen? Well, reasons vary, but a common one is that a particular insurance company may have experienced higher than expected claim rates for a particular coverage group. A coverage group is a group of clients who all share similar characteristics like age, number of accidents or type of vehicle. If this happens, better overall pricing and discounts could be available on the same policy at another insurer, who hasn't had the same spike in claims.
While it may seem intimidating, once you decide on a new insurer, switching companies is easy to do.
First, you'll have to cancel your existing policy. Usually, this will need to be done in writing. Be sure to specify the date when you want the insurance cancelled. You will have to have your new policy in force for this same date. In some states, your new insurance agent must notify your previous agent of the change. You may even have to send back the actual printed policy, depending on your insurance company. Regardless of any other details, your insurance company should send you a cancellation request form for you to sign and return. If you do not receive such a form, you should contact the company or your previous agent, to find out the status of your cancellation. Always be sure that your old policy has been properly cancelled; otherwise, your insurance company may terminate your coverage for lack of payment and this could adversely affect your credit rating.
Ideally, the best time to switch your coverage is just before your current policy comes up for renewal. In this way, you don't pay any penalty for cancelling. Most insurers will not refund the total amount of your premium if you cancel early. How can you be sure to switch at the right time? Most companies will send you a renewal notice approximately a month in advance of your renewal date. If you decide to switch, you simply have to set up the new policy to take effect on the renewal date and decline to renew with your current company.
If you happen to miss the renewal date, you could end up paying a cancellation fee. So be sure to pay attention to your dates!
However, if you have found a really good deal and want to switch right away, you can. While you may lose some premium that you have paid to date, if your savings make up for it, then make the move now! You can make a switch in as little as a day.