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How to Switch Car Insurance?

Switching car insurance companies is not that difficult if you know what you are doing.  If you are considering switching auto insurance companies, you should obtain quotes for several different auto insurance companies and compare rates and other features such as coverage and claims satisfaction to ensure that the auto insurance company that you are considering switching to gives you the best value for your money.

Why Switch Auto Insurance Companies

You may be considering a switch in auto insurance companies for several different reasons.

  • You are looking for an additional type of coverage that your current auto insurance company does not offer. 
  • After a new car purchase, you may want to insure it with a different company.
  • Your current provider may have increased your rates and you may be able to get a cheaper rate on auto insurance from a different carrier.

Steps to Switching Auto Insurance Companies

  1. Take a look at your existing policy and figure out what insurance coverage you want. Do you want to keep the same coverage and limits and simply switch to another company? Additionally, you want to consider what you want your deductible to be. Here is an example overview of what a policy can cover:
    • Bodily Injury Liability *state required:
      • $100,000 per person/$300,000 per occurrence (CA State Minimum: $15,000 per person/$30,000 per occurrence)
    • Property Damage Liability *state required
      • $5,000 per occurrence (CA State Minimum: $5,000 per occurrence)
    • Uninsured Motorist & Underinsured Motorist
      • $15,000 per person/$30,000 per occurrence (No CA State Minimum)
    • Comprehensive Coverage
      • $500 deductible (the higher the deductible, the lower your insurance premium)
    • Collision Coverage
      • $500 deductible (the higher the deductible (your out of pocket cost), the lower your insurance premium)
  2. Research other factors such as claims satisfaction, availability of agents if desired, financial stability, and customer service.  Check out our auto insurance reviews to help you with comparison shopping.
  3. Get insurance quotes. Learn more about how to compare insurance quotes from different companies. You can choose to shop directly from the insurance provider, through agents in person, through an online marketplace or online insurance broker.

When You Have Decided On Your New Auto Insurance Company

Once you have selected your new auto insurance company you want to switch to, you need to make sure that you have all of the information available to get your new policy put in place.  In addition to the declaration page of your current auto insurance policy, you also need the year, make, model, and VIN number of all of the vehicles that you own. Furthermore, you need the name, birth date, Social Security number and driver’s license number of all of the drivers in your household. 

When your policy is ready for you to purchase, you need to cancel your old auto insurance. In some cases, your old auto insurance company may charge you a cancellation fee depending on the terms of your policy. The date of cancellation on your old auto insurance policy must match the effective date on your new auto insurance policy to avoid a lapse.

Important Switching Tips

Here are some very important tips to keep in mind when switching auto insurance companies.

  • Be sure you understand the difference in coverage between your old auto insurance and your new insurance before you switch.
  • When switching auto insurance, it is very important to avoid a coverage lapse.  Do not cancel your old auto insurance policy until your new one is in place. 
  • Make sure that your old auto insurance policy is cancelled after you switch.  This will keep you from being double billed for auto insurance or reported to credit reporting agencies for failure to pay your old bill on time.
  • If you paid for your old auto insurance upfront, make sure that the insurance company refunds you the money for the portion of the insurance that you did not use.
  • Inform your auto lender or dealer where you financed or leased your vehicle that you have switched auto insurance.

If you keep these tips in mind, switching auto insurance should go smoothly and hassle free.

Final Thoughts

Switching auto insurance can be easy if you know what you are doing.  Be sure to shop around for an auto insurance company that does not just give you the best rates, but also the coverage options, customer service, and claims experience you want and is also financially stable. Be sure to avoid any lapses in coverage when you cancel and purchase a new insurance policy.

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