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It also reduces the financial impact that you may face if you are in a car accident or if your vehicle is otherwise damaged in some other way.
Auto insurance is purchased with a specified term length, and you may be able to request a shorter or longer term length with some providers based on your preference when you purchase car insurance. A common term length varies between three and 12 months.
Enter your zip code into our free rate comparison tool above to see how much you could save on the car insurance coverage you need.
When Your Existing Coverage Expires
Many drivers are not aware of their auto insurance coverage expiration date. They may assume that their policy will renew automatically and that their insurance company will mail them new proof of insurance cards when needed, but this is not always the case.
Every insurance provider has a different policy regarding renewals, and you need to be aware of your provider’s policy regarding expirations and renewals to avoid a possible lapse in coverage.
Automatic Car Insurance Renewal
Many of the leading auto insurance companies have a six or 12-month term policy, and the coverage may renew automatically as needed at the end of the term.
Behind the scenes, the provider may review various factors to determine if your premium rate needs to be adjusted at the renewal, such as by analyzing your most recent driving history data.
In some cases, drivers may get a notice from their provider that their policy is being automatically renewed with a rate increase.
If you set up automated payments, this means that a higher premium amount than you are accustomed to may be drafted from your bank account.
A Potential Lapse in Coverage
If your coverage does not renew automatically, it may simply expire, and you may find yourself driving without insurance in place. Many car insurance companies attempt to notify you well before this happens and to encourage you to renew your coverage.
In the event that your policy expires before you can purchase a new auto insurance policy, you may face legal and financial penalties associated with not being properly insured.
For example, many states will fine drivers who allow their auto insurance coverage to lapse, and some states have much more stringent penalties.
Renew Your Car Insurance Online
In some cases, drivers may be asked to opt into the renewal of their policy manually, and this is most commonly completed online. You may be able to complete this process by logging into your existing auto insurance account and making the selection online.
Calling the customer service phone number and verbally requesting the renewal is another potential option available. You may need to prepare some or all of the policy at this time.
The Opportunity to Review and Update Your Coverage Type and Limits
Regardless of whether your car insurance policy renews automatically or requires your attention at renewal, this is a great time to update your coverage type and limits. Your need for auto coverage can change over time.
More than that, car insurance rates can fluctuate periodically, and shopping around to compare rates based on your current coverage needs can help you to find the best rates possible.
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Minimum Required Coverage
In most states, drivers are required to purchase liability auto insurance, and this coverage pays other parties for damages or expenses you cause behind the wheel.
Notably, this coverage will not pay for any of your medical bills, vehicle repairs, or other related expenses.
The liability insurance requirements vary by state, so review your state’s requirements carefully before updating your policy and shopping for new auto insurance rates.
If you have a car loan on your vehicle, your lender may require you to purchase additional coverage.
For example, a collision or comprehensive insurance policy will pay for repairs to your vehicle if the car is damaged in some way, and this protects the lender’s collateral for the loan.
Even if you are not required to purchase this additional coverage, it may be beneficial for you to buy it. After all, you may need insurance proceeds to pay for vehicle repairs, a replacement, and other related expenses if your car is damaged or stolen.
The Potential Benefit of Additional or Optional Coverage
Adding optional coverage to your policy can increase the premium, but it can also prevent you from having to pay for various expenses out of your own pocket.
For example, you may buy towing service for your policy to pay for any towing expenses that you incur because of a breakdown or an accident. You may also buy rental car coverage to pay for a rental vehicle while your car is in the shop being repaired.
When to Compare Auto Insurance Rates
After you spend a few hours shopping around for car insurance online and comparing rates today, you may think that you do not have to complete this process for years or even decades.
After all, if you found the best rate on car insurance today, you may believe that you should always have the best rate available.
The reality is that the many factors that affect car insurance rates can each change, and insurance companies can alter how they review these various factors.
With so many moving elements, the quote that you received today may not be the best quote a few months from now. It is wise to compare rate quotes for car insurance at least every six to 12 months.
Because this is the time when many policies will renew or expire, this time is an ideal reminder to start shopping around and comparing rates.
Choosing a Reputable Car Insurance Company
Before you can determine which auto insurance companies to contact to request a quote, you should review a few important factors.
There are dozens of smaller and larger insurance providers that you can contact, but the best companies to contact are those that are rated well in the areas of financial strength and customer service. You can easily research these factors online to make the best decision possible.
The Easy Way to Request Quotes
A smart idea is to request car insurance quotes from your top three or four choices, but you can request more quotes if you have the time and energy available to do so.
Requesting online quotes from your top providers that you have researched can save you time and effort as you shop around. Consider requesting quotes for similar coverage types, limits, and deductibles so that you can easily locate the most affordable option available.
Maximizing Auto Policy Discounts
When you reach out to various auto insurance providers to request affordable quotes, you may learn that you qualify for discounts that can help you save money.
In some cases, you may need to take extra steps to qualify for a discount, such as taking a driver’s safety course to qualify for some safe driver discounts. As you compare rates on various quotes, look for discounts in these areas:
- A bundled policies discount
- A multiple-vehicle or multiple-driver discount
- A safe driver discount
- A good student discount
- A retired person or senior discount
- A discount for low mileage
Know When Your Existing Coverage Expires or Renews
Renewing your car insurance policy online is a fast and easy step to take to continue on with your existing coverage, and it may not even be required if your policy renews automatically.
Regardless of the renewal process, however, the expiration of your current policy may signal that the time is ideal to compare rates.
Take time today to determine when your existing coverage expires or renews so that you can take steps to request new auto insurance quotes at the most opportune time.
Enter your zip code below to compare car insurance quotes and find the best company for your needs.