Switching your car insurance in four steps
Last updated: January 1
If you're in the market for a new car insurance policy, you don't have to wait until your current policy expires. This guide can help you make the switch anytime.
Research and evaluate your coverage needs
Buying a new car, getting married, moving or adding a teenager to your policy can all affect your car coverage needs, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). That's why it recommends reviewing your insurance coverages once a year.
When shopping, the III recommends getting quotes from at least three companies.
Compare quotes with prospective insurers
Many car insurance companies make it easy to get a car insurance quote online in just a few minutes. Here are a few things to consider as you get quotes:
- Don't focus only on the price. Compare coverages, limits and deductibles side by side.
- Review each company's payment options to make sure they offer payment plans that work for you.
- Check for car insurance discounts that might apply to you.
You may want to verify the financial stability of potential insurers by researching them on websites like A.M. Best and other financial rating agencies. The III provides more detail on what to look for. The III also states it's a good idea to ask neighbors and friends about their experiences with certain companies.
Check on convenience
If you need help mitigating the risks of owning an older home, here are a few coverages that could be useful to have on your insurance policy.
Make the switch
Once you find a car insurance quote that best suits your needs, buy your new car insurance policy before terminating your old policy. Make sure your new car insurance policy starts before or on the same day that your old policy ends. Ask for confirmation that your policy has been canceled and won't be automatically renewed.
Your insurer will walk you through the entire cancellation process. If you're switching your policy to a new car insurance company mid-term, you may be entitled to a partial premium refund, depending on your payment plan.
Print your ID cards and swap out your old ones
Make sure you swap your old insurance ID cards for new ones when your new policy starts. Keep one handy in each car's glove box. If your state allows digital proof of ID, you can often access digital ID cards via your insurance company's mobile app.
FAQs for switching car insurance
How often do I need to review my policy?
The III recommends reviewing your insurance every year to make sure your coverages are still providing the protection you need.
Is it bad to switch insurance companies?
It's important that your car insurance fits your needs and your budget. If you don't feel you're getting the best rate or the best service from your current insurer, you can switch anytime. Just be sure that your new policy begins on the same date (or before) your old policy ends to avoid a lapse in coverage.
Can you change car insurance mid-policy?
Yes. You can change car insurance anytime. But it's a good idea to check with your current insurer to see if they charge cancellation fees.
With this knowledge and a little patience, you' ll be prepared to change car insurance companies and find the rate that's best for you.