How to change car insurance in 5 easy steps

Significant life changes, such as getting married, buying a new car, or even moving to a new state, affect your auto insurance policy premium rates.

If your auto insurance needs have changed, you may want to start shopping around for a new policy to save money. In this article, we’ll cover how to switch auto insurance in five easy steps and help you identify when it’s best to switch.

For provider recommendations, we invite you to take a look at our reviews of the best auto insurance.

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How to change car insurance

Switching car insurance is not that different from switching other insurance policies. You need to shop around, evaluate the benefits of coverage, shop for the best policy, and cancel your old insurance. Remember to call your company and speak to an agent to find out if they have any cancellation fees.

From full coverage (liability, comprehensive, and collision) to medical payments and gap insurance, understanding the different types of auto insurance coverage is an essential first step. If you need a refresher on what type of coverage to prioritize, our guide to buying car insurance has everything you need to know.

When you’re ready to switch to a new policy, here’s what to do:

1. Get quotes from multiple vendors

The first step when changing auto insurance companies is to shop around. Get auto insurance quotes from at least three companies and compare coverage options, deductibles and premiums.

Drivers who need an affordable policy can get better rates with the companies featured in Money’s best cheap car insurance article. You can also consider providers that have auto insurance discounts that apply to you and the vehicle you drive. For example, Farmers Insurance offers discounts for essential workers and veterans, and Nationwide has discounts for cars with anti-theft devices.

Similarly, bad credit car owners can look into telematics insurance companies, which offer bad credit car insurance by prioritizing a safe driving record over creditworthiness.

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2. Evaluate reputation and ease of use

The next step is to find out more about the companies. Read customer reviews and ask friends and family about their experience with their current auto insurance provider. You want new insurance coverage that makes it easier to manage your policy, file claims, track repairs and get reimbursed.

If you want to go the extra mile, check the company’s financial rating with agencies like AM Best; this will give you a good idea of ​​the provider’s financial ability to pay future claims.

Bonus services include auto insurance applications, insurance discounts, multiple payment options, and 24-hour insurance claim assistance.

3. Avoid a coverage gap

Now that you have a list of companies and you’re ready to shop for your new plan, there’s one thing left to do before you switch insurers: protect yourself against a gap in coverage. Lack of ongoing coverage not only leaves you unprotected, it can also cause insurers to raise rates in the future, as some insurers consider you an uninsured driver at the time.

You can avoid this by making sure the activation date of your new policy coincides with the last active date of your current auto insurance. If you’re switching companies in the middle of the policy period, you can avoid the coverage gap by scheduling when you want coverage to start.

4. Request a new policy

Once you know which company and coverage is best for you, it’s time to shop for a new plan.

Gather the following information to apply for a new policy:

  • Identification cards and Social Security number
  • Driver’s license
  • bank account information
  • Vehicle information: registration, make, model, VIN number
  • Secondary Drivers Personal Information and Proof of Residency

5. Cancel your old policy

You may need to speak to an agent or submit a formal written request to cancel your old policy. We recommend that you call your current insurance company so an agent can guide you through the cancellation process. If you paid any premiums in advance, remember to ask about insurance reimbursements and cancellation fees or penalties.

Once the cancellation is finalized, you should receive a written confirmation from the insurance provider. As a final step, verify that any automatic payment or bill payment services are also canceled.

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When to switch car insurance

Consider switching auto insurance if you:

Moving to a new zip code, city, or state

Car insurance is regulated differently in each state, which means you’ll need to get a new policy once you arrive. Keep your old policy active until you arrive at the new location, as it is illegal to cross state lines without insurance.

Get marry

As a married couple, a new auto insurance policy means lower rates. Couples can capitalize on these savings even further through loyalty discounts, multi-car discounts, and renters and homeowners insurance packages.

Buy a new vehicle or add an additional car to the policy

An additional car on your policy will most likely increase your insurance rates. New vehicles, in particular, will increase premiums because they will be worth more than your old car.

See a significant change in your credit score

Your credit score can have a direct impact on your car insurance rates. If your credit score has increased significantly since you first purchased the policy, you could see a reduction in your premium with a new insurer.

See an increase in your auto insurance premium

Rates will not be increased by your current insurer during the term of the policy, but may occur during renewal. Although the typical culprit is major life changes, sometimes auto insurance rates go up due to factors beyond your control, such as an increase in reckless driving.

Add a teen driver to your policy

Insuring teen drivers is expensive because car insurance companies consider them high risk. Offers like “good student discounts” along with discounts for multiple vehicles, mileage, and packages can help offset the cost.

You want to increase or decrease coverage

There are situations where the current policy coverage no longer meets your insurance needs. For example, a lease buyout: Dealers generally require more coverage when leasing a car, but the same policy may be too much for a car loan.

They are close to renewing the policy

Auto insurance policy terms expire every six months or once a year. To make sure it’s still right for your lifestyle and budget, it’s a good idea to review the policy before you renew. Canceling close to renewal means you don’t have to deal with any penalties.

Frequent questions

How to change car insurance for a new car?

Insurance companies offer a grace period between 7 and 30 days, during which they will cover your new vehicle while you make arrangements to upgrade your current policy or purchase a new one entirely.

You can transfer your current coverage to the new vehicle or purchase an entirely new policy. Regardless of what you choose to do, the car dealer will allow you to remove the vehicle from the lot as long as you provide proof of insurance.

Can I change car insurance at any time?

Yes, you can switch auto insurance at any time, close to policy renewal or even mid-policy, and qualify for a refund of any premium payments made in advance. However, if you have an open claim, it would be best to wait until it is resolved, as the old provider will continue to handle the claim.

If your current provider charges cancellation fees or refuses to refund unused premiums, we recommend that you consider whether the savings of a new policy are worth the cost of canceling early.

How do I cancel my auto insurance?

To cancel your auto insurance coverage, contact your insurance agent. You may be able to do this over the phone, but some providers require a mailed or faxed cancellation document with your signature. We recommend that you confirm the cancellation in writing and verify that automatic payments are turned off.

How to change car insurance to another state

Switch to a new provider once you settle in your new state, as costs depend on state, location, and travel distance. On the other hand, if you’re happy with your current provider, call your agent to find out how to transfer the policy.

Remember to keep your current policy active until you get to your new home, as it is illegal to drive across state lines without insurance.

Summary of how to change auto insurance