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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Insurance coverage is a necessity in today’s auto-dependent world. However, every insurance provider is different and offers different coverage limits at different prices, which can vary by a small or large amount. When you are considering switching your car insurance to a different provider, there are a few things to keep in mind.
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Call Your Current Provider First
Switching your insurance provider is traditionally the consumer’s right, meaning you can get quotes from other providers at any time.
However, depending on your reason for switching, it may be beneficial to contact your current provider first. If you are considering switching due to a premium increase, for instance, then finding out why it increased could be helpful for future quotes.
Depending on your provider and your policy terms, there may be a cancellation fee associated with ending your policy early or without proper notice.
Speaking with your current provider may allow you to explain your reason for switching policies, which could allow them to waive or reduce any cancellation fees.
Additionally, your current provider may be willing to offer a premium discount on your policy if you meet certain criteria, which will vary based on the provider, your policy terms, and your driving record, for starters.
Compare Quotes From Multiple Companies
Receiving quotes from different providers is the easiest way to compare the price offerings and the coverage options available to you. When receiving quotes, one of the important factors to consider is the additional coverage you can receive that is above the state required minimums.
Each quote should include any additional coverage you would want, in addition to any legally required minimums, for the best comparison shopping.
Learn More About Your New Provider
When you do make a decision to switch, make sure to investigate and learn more about your new provider before finalizing the switch. Every provider is different, including their customer service offerings and their available discounts or services.
In most states, the Department of Insurance collects customer complaints and monitors the amount of complaints received in relation to the dollar amount of premiums collected.
Contacting your state’s Department of Insurance is a good way to get an idea of what types of issues other people have experienced with your prospective provider. Just because a quote has the lowest rates does not mean the provider will be the best fit for you.
Make Sure to Cancel Your Old Policy
One important thing to remember is that your old policy generally will not cancel without your express permission— with few exceptions. When you decide to switch to a new provider, you need to contact your current provider and let them know you would like to cancel or end your existing coverage.
For example, if you do not let your old provider know that you are ending your coverage, they may continue to bill you for coverage. Additionally, your old provider could report you to a bill collector or credit bureau if you fail to make payments.
Avoid Gaps In Coverage
Another thing to remember when you switch to a new policy is that you will want to avoid any gaps in coverage. This means your old policy should not end before your new policy begins.
In some states, having a gap in insurance coverage can lead to fines or even a suspension of your vehicle’s registration. Your local DMV or your state’s Department of Insurance can provide additional details.
Switching your insurance coverage requires some effort up front, as well as some time to get quotes from different providers. When you’re looking for a new provider, make sure to do your research on any prospective providers. This can provide you a better idea of their customer service, their claims process, and their discounts and services.
Additionally, make sure to cancel your old policy when you decide to switch to avoid being charged for a service you are no longer using. Finally, ensure that your current policy does not end before your new policy starts providing coverage. Any gaps in your coverage could result in fines or a suspension of your vehicle’s registration.
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