How to Switch Auto Insurance
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Switching to a new insurance provider can be rewarding for your insurance coverage and your budget. However, navigating that switch can sometimes be a bit tricky.
With so many insurers to choose from, state requirements to heed, and coverage to review, it’s no wonder some drivers may hesitate to make the switch. But that’s why breaking down this big change is so important—it can make the process simpler and swifter so you can reap the benefits of your switch from your old insurance company.
By taking this process step-by-step, you’ll find that signing up for a more affordable auto policy isn’t so scary after all. If you’re interested in learning more, read on for everything you need to know about how to switch auto insurance!
Step #1: Compare Plans
Finding the right insurance company is the first step toward making the switch. If you’re putting in this much effort, it’s important to conduct a thorough comparison to make sure you’re saving as much money with your car insurance rate as possible.
While most insurance companies offer car insurance policy estimates on their website, using Online Auto Insurance to compare quotes across the board will make this step easier. When comparing quotes, keep these three tips in mind:
Compare at least three companies (if not more)
Specify your location (plans vary state-by-state)
Consider your preferred payment plan—yearly vs monthly are the most common options,
The Bottom Line – Auto insurance is a serious commitment. Make sure to thoroughly research and compare each car insurance company before making your decision. Online Auto Insurance can help customers compare quotes from different insurers with less hassle.
Step #2: Decide What Coverage You Need
While all drivers are required to purchase a minimum liability policy, you may want to add additional coverage upon switching companies. The benefits of having better auto insurance will typically outweigh the extra cost, and switching to a more affordable insurer is the perfect reason to do so.
Reasons you may want to increase your auto coverage include:
Lower deductibles – Liability coverage often has high deductibles that can leave drivers paying out-of-pocket for a majority of the damages.
Decrease risk of lawsuits – If your insurance policy fails to cover the full cost of damages, you may be at risk of a lawsuit. This is particularly dangerous in cases where another driver was injured by an accident you caused.
Protection from injury – Your injuries can also cost a pretty penny if insurance doesn’t cover them. The right auto insurance policy can ensure you’re protected in the event an accident sticks you with costly medical bills.
Some of the most common types of coverage that drivers add to their auto insurance policy are:
Personal injury protection – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is auto insurance that covers you and your passengers after an accident. This policy will pay for medical bills, lost wages, or funeral costs, no matter who is at fault. A PIP policy will also cover you when you’re not in a vehicle; for example, PIP applies if you’re hit by another car when walking or cycling on the road.
Gap coverage – Gap coverage is recommended for those who paid for their vehicle with a loan. If damage or age has decreased the value of your car, an accident settlement may not provide the money you need. Gap coverage can help make up this difference and pay off your loan more easily.
Comprehensive coverage – In addition to an auto accident, comprehensive coverage can also pay for other damages to your vehicle. This may include vandalism, natural disasters, or theft.
Underinsured motorist insurance – If you’re hit by another driver who only has the minimum liability insurance, their policy may not cover the entire cost of the damages. Underinsured motorist coverage will help pay this difference and take on the repair costs for your vehicle.
The Bottom Line – Every insurance company is going to offer different types of coverage (for a different price). Consider whether or not you want to increase your coverage to avoid a costly accident and high deductibles.
Step #3: Cancel Your Old Plan
All things must come to an end—including the relationship with your insurance company. If you’re planning on switching insurers, you’ll need to pull the plug on your old policy. We have all you need to know when it comes to how to cancel car insurance.
Canceling your plan may seem intimidating, but the entire process can be done easily through the phone:
Call your current insurer and request a cancelation of your plan
Schedule an end date (this should line up with the start date of your new policy)
Ask if you’re entitled to any partial premium refunds (if you’re canceling mid-term)
Confirm that your plan is canceled and will not be renewed at the end of the term
Once you’ve set up a cancelation date for your old policy, you can begin solidifying coverage with your new insurance company.
The Bottom Line – Your insurer can walk you through the cancelation process over the phone. Make sure your cancelation date lines up with your new policy’s start date, and confirm that your old policy is not going to be automatically renewed. You can also set up temporary car insurance during the transition period.
Step #4: Sign Up For Your New Plan
Before your old policy is up, you’ll need to lock down a new one soon. Since driving uninsured is illegal, you don’t want any gaps between the end of your old term and the beginning of your new one.
Applying for a new car insurance plan is simple once you’ve selected a company. Most insurers allow you to sign up online. The process will require some basic information, including:
Car specs – The make and model of your vehicle are important to have on hand when signing up for auto insurance. Your insurer needs to calculate the exact value of your vehicle before they can provide you with an accurate quote and payment plan.
License – Your driver’s license is needed to verify identity and list you as a driver on the plan. If you share a vehicle with another member of your household, it’s important to list them as a driver on the policy as well.
Registration – You’ll need your vehicle’s registration documents in order to complete an insurance application. Insurance companies will only provide coverage to cars that are properly registered in the correct state. If you’re moving, it’s important to have your vehicle reregistered in your new location so you can obtain an accurate insurance policy.
Proof of insurance – If you’re switching car insurance companies mid-term, your new insurer may request a copy of your old insurance policy. This is to provide proof that your car is currently insured. Proof of your previous insurance will help insurers vet you as a responsible driver.
Once you’ve signed up for a policy online, you’ll wait for your documents in the mail or print them out yourself. Proof of insurance is needed before you can resume driving your vehicle, so make sure to time out this process accordingly.
The Bottom Line – Getting insured online is easy when you have the proper documents. Before logging onto your application, make sure to keep your license, registration, and proof of insurance on hand.
Step #5: Swap Out Your Documents
Before you hit the road, you’ll want to make sure you have the right documents in your car. Most insurance companies will provide an ID card that lists the necessary information on it, including:
The names of every driver on the policy
The vehicle’s information
The policy number
Effective and expiration dates for the policy
Your coverage details
Ensure that your new proof of insurance card has everything above listed on it, then place it in your glove box for safe-keeping.
The Bottom Line – Your new insurance company will either mail you a new ID card or have you print it off online. Remember to check your new proof of insurance for all the required information, then swap out your old documents for the new ones in the vehicle’s glove box.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make the Change
Switching to a new auto insurance provider doesn’t have to be stressful. Red tape and documents aside, the bottom line is, you’ve done this before. If you currently have auto insurance, then you’re probably familiar with the process of signing up. The only real work you’ll need to do is researching a better plan and canceling your old one.
Don’t be intimidated by your current insurance company. If you’ve found a new plan that works for your budget, then the decision is up to you. Your old insurer will be happy to walk you through the cancelation process, and you’ll soon be on your way to a better plan.
Online Auto Insurance Can Help
The biggest hurdle when it comes to switching auto insurance is comparing plans. That’s why Online Auto Insurance was created.
Using our policy search, customers can easily compare plans across a wide selection of insurance companies. Depending on your vehicle, driving history, and location, insurers will offer different payment options. We make the process of choosing one simpler, faster, and more accessible. Quit clicking back and forth between pages, and compare hundreds of quotes with Online Auto Insurance, today!
Nationwide. What Are the Different Types of Car Insurance?https://www.nationwide.com/lc/resources/auto-insurance/articles/types-of-car-insurance
Bank Rate. Switching Car Insurance in 9 Easy Steps. https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/car/switching-carriers/
Allstate. What Documents Should I Bring When I Meet with an Agent?https://www.allstate.com/tr/car-insurance/ask-agent-car-insurance-documents.aspx
Policy Genius. How to Obtain Proof of Insurance. https://www.policygenius.com/auto-insurance/proof-of-insurance/