What are the Pros and Cons of Switching Car Insurance Companies?
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Choosing to switch auto insurance carriers is a common practice among consumers, and typically, the major reason that many policyholders decide to change companies is because they have found an insurer that is willing to offer a better deal for the desired coverage. However, motorists may want to be aware that although there can be positive factors such as saving money, there may also be some negative items that can come with switching insurers.
Motorists are often encouraged to periodically compare auto insurance quotes to help ensure that they are paying the most reasonable amount for policies, and in many cases, doing so can lead to finding a better deal with a different company. Although saving money is almost always a positive, consumers should be aware that making the change to a new insurer may come with a downside. One such negative would be the loss of any "loyalty" discounts that the previous insurer was offering.
Many carriers offer premium reductions when a policyholder renews a policy after the term is up; therefore, in order for a new customer to receive a loyalty discount they would need to be with the new carrier for a specific amount of time. On the other hand, if a consumer was able to find an insurer that could offer a cheaper auto insurance rate without the discount, then that could offset the loss of the savings with the previous company.
Consumers who may be considering switching car insurance companies may also want to keep in mind that they will be establishing a new business relationship, which could be good or bad. Motorists who are happy with their current carrier's customer service and overall business practice should note that they may be sacrificing that satisfaction after changing insurers. By the same token, if a driver is with a company that lacks satisfactory customer support then change may be a good thing. Although paying the most affordable premium is always a plus, it may not be worth saving a couple of dollars to be insured with a carrier that may be difficult to deal with in the event that a claim needs to be filed. Poor claims handling is one of the most common complaints made against insurers.
Fortunately, there are resources available to consumers that can assist in ensuring that a carrier's customer satisfaction level is up to par. State insurance regulators release consumer complaint data that can be viewed by motorists. This data typically includes the number of complaints that a company has received for a specific year, and a motorist may want to check with their state in order to avoid becoming insured with a provider that has a high amount of complaints filed against them.
Although it may be the goal of most motorists to obtain affordable auto insurance policies, it may be worth weighing the pros and cons of switching to a different company prior to opting for cheaper premiums. There are dozens of insurers available to drivers and choosing one can take some time in order to research a the various rates available and the customer satisfaction level of providers. However, doing so can lead to a motorist obtaining coverage at a price that is desirable from a carrier that is pleasant to interact with.