If you’ve been with the same car insurance company for years, renewing your auto insurance policy may seem like a no-brainer. However, you may be wondering how to switch car insurance providers if your rates have gone up to a price you don’t want to pay.
In this article, we’ll explain how to switch car insurance companies in a way that saves you money, avoids penalties, and matches the level of coverage you need. We’ll also recommend providers from our review of the country’s best auto insurance companies.
Why Should I Switch Car Insurance Providers?
Cost is usually the top reason customers ditch their old car insurance policies for new ones. This could stem from an increased insurance rate, a higher deductible, or simply a better deal found elsewhere. Customers also tend to jump ship when they have less-than-pleasant experiences with their current insurers while filing insurance claims.
Below are some other reasons motorists may want to know how to switch car insurance companies:
- You moved to a new city and saw your monthly insurance premium spike.
- You no longer qualify for a discount previously offered.
- Your premium went up after you bought a new car.
- A company is still charging you for an old accident.
- You added a new driver and your policy price increased.
No matter why you’re considering changing your policy, learning how to switch car insurance isn’t that difficult. Read on to learn how to do so quickly and with ease.
How To Switch Car Insurance (7 Steps)
If you want to cancel your current coverage before you’re forced to renew auto insurance, follow the following steps that could save you considerable time and money.
1. Review Your Current Policy
Taking a hard look at your current policy will give you a good sense of what you may want from a new insurer. Your declarations page breaks down who is covered on a policy, your plan’s length, and its insurance limits.
Liability coverage will be required on your policy, but you may want both comprehensive and collision coverage as well. Consider the offerings and prices for all the options you’ll want as you start finding out how to switch car insurance.
2. Consider How Much You’re Willing To Pay
The next step is estimating a figure that you’re willing to pay for coverage. Think about how much insurance coverage you want and start looking into average costs across the industry.
That goes for your deductible as well. Lower deductibles usually lead to higher average car insurance rates, though you’ll pay less out of pocket for repairs if you have a lower deductible.
3. Compare Other Providers’ Car Insurance Coverage
Once you’ve identified your coverage needs, get quotes from car insurance companies. Three to five estimates should give you a sense of how much you’ll end up paying.
Have the following details on hand when getting auto insurance quotes:
- Personal information: Be ready to give your name, date of birth, and address. Many companies will also ask for your Social Security number to check your credit score.
- Vehicle information: You’ll need to provide your vehicle’s make, model, and year. Specifics like your car’s VIN, mileage, and ownership history are also expected.
- Driver information: If you have multiple people on a policy, the insurer will want to know their names, ages, addresses, and driver’s license information.
- Driving records: This means divulging traffic violations, collisions, or license revocations for anyone listed on your previous policies.
For help finding the best car insurance company when you’re looking to switch, look at Better Business Bureau (BBB) customer ratings and check out reviews such as our Progressive vs. Allstate comparison.
Remember that your driving record, credit score, and vehicle age and model will have a sizable effect on your car insurance quotes.
4. Call Your Current Provider
If you find a better rate, see if your current insurance company will match it. Also check if you qualify for other car insurance discounts not currently applied to your account, such as a loyalty discount or options to save money when you bundle with a homeowners policy.
If the insurance company won’t budge, ask about the cancellation process to see if there are fees for leaving before your policy’s term ends. Most providers allow you to end a policy without too much hassle, so make sure to get a refund if you paid in advance.
5. Make The Change
If you’ve decided that a different insurer is your best route to cheap car insurance, buy your new policy before canceling your current coverage. That’ll help you avoid a lapse in coverage, which could lead to higher rates with new auto insurance companies.
Next, call your old provider to cancel your policy. Ask for confirmation in writing that your policy has been terminated, just in case you need proof of insurance records later on. Also, double-check that auto-payments are stopped to avoid surprise withdrawals.
6. Get Your New ID Card
Your new insurance provider should provide you with ID cards with information such as your policy number that can help you in the event of a wreck. These can easily be printed out or found on many providers’ apps. All states except for New Mexico allow for digital proof of insurance.
7. Contact Your Auto Lender, If Applicable
If your car is still under a financing agreement, you should also notify your lender that you’ve switched insurance companies. You will likely be required to maintain at least comprehensive and collision coverage since the lender is an active investor in your vehicle.
Send proof of your new policy to the leasing company when making the change.
What To Look For When Switching Companies
Navigating how to switch car insurance companies can be a pretty daunting task if you don’t know what factors to consider. Find out the level of coverage you need, and remember that going with lower prices can sometimes hurt drivers in the end.
It’s worth noting that an old insurer will keep paying out a claim that was filed before you changed companies, though your new car insurance company will not handle damage that occurred before you signed the new policy.
Research Average Car Insurance Prices
Taking a look at insurance rates in your area can help you learn how to switch car insurance in a cost-effective manner. According to 2018 data from the Insurance Information Institute (III), the national average car insurance premium was $1,056.55.
Talking with your insurance agent and asking for a lower premium can help you find below-average rates on your new car insurance policy.
Choose Your Level Of Coverage
Your insurance declarations page should show you what your current coverage offers, but here are other factors to consider when switching insurance companies:
- Matching coverage: If you want an exact replacement for your old insurance policy, check whether you’ll get a lower rate with a new provider when you add on the same types of auto insurance. That could include gap insurance and uninsured motorist coverage in addition to liability coverage.
- Downgrading coverage: Maybe your car is getting old and it’s not worth maintaining comprehensive and collision coverage anymore. That would be the time to consider dropping some add-ons.
- Is the insurance better? Going with cheaper insurance may be easier on your wallet, but ending up in a situation where you’re not totally protected may cost more than if you stayed with your old provider.
Match A Provider To Your Driving Habits
If your driving habits have changed over the years, it might be worth looking into a car insurance policy that better fits your lifestyle.
Maybe you moved to a new city with an excellent public transportation system. It could be worth checking out an insurance carrier that offers pay-per-mile policies instead of overpaying for coverage that treats you like a regular driver.
Ask yourself how much car insurance you need and plan out how to switch car insurance around that level.
When Should I Stick With My Car Insurance Provider?
Even though you may be able to save money by changing providers, there are some instances when keeping things the same is your best choice.
- Accident forgiveness: Not seeing your car insurance rates increase after an accident is a big reason to stay with an auto insurer. Accident forgiveness insurance is typically available when you hold a clean driving record for at least a few years.
- You’re eligible for a discount: It might be worth sticking around if you’re eligible for a loyalty or good driver discount that could help lower your bill.
- You have multiple policies with one provider: One common discount offered by insurance companies is rewarding customers for bundling policies such as auto and renters insurance. If you have a few policies with your insurer, canceling your auto policy alone could increase your monthly bill.
Our Recommendations For Car Insurance
If you’re wondering how to switch car insurance, research companies and carefully compare quotes. Two standout options are Geico and Progressive, and we’d recommend you consider both for affordable rates and excellent coverage.
Geico: Best Overall
Geico offers exceptional coverage for most drivers at relatively cheap car insurance rates, earning it 4.6 out of 5.0 stars in our review of the best car insurance providers. With the company’s A++ rating for financial strength from AM Best, drivers can be confident that their coverage is secure with Geico.
Geico holds an A+ rating from the BBB and offers discounts for military members, federal employees, and cars with extra safety features. Learn more by reading our complete Geico auto insurance review.
Progressive: Best For High-Risk Drivers
As the third-largest car insurance company in the country and with coverage available in all 50 states, Progressive is a solid choice if you have a less-than-perfect driving record.
Customers are eligible for small-accident forgiveness immediately and get large-accident forgiveness after five years of accident-free driving. See our Progressive car insurance review for more details on how to save with the provider.
FAQ: How To Switch Car Insurance
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.