Clients often ask auto insurance companies, “Can I change my car insurance before the renewal date?” Understandably, folks could make a request to their insurance agent for the cancellation process to coverage limits, lapses in coverage, accident forgiveness, etc.
Although company customer services allow you to change your policy before the renewal date, there are some fine lines you need to cross-check before making the switch. You may even be surprised to realize that your current carrier offers you the best coverage options.
Weigh your options properly, shop around, and ensure it is the right move to switch before changing insurance carriers.
Is it a good idea to switch auto insurance companies?
While switching car insurance companies can help you save money, there may be some beneficial reasons to stick with your current insurer. The cancellation fees may not be worth the trouble if you cancel before the end of your current policy. Consider the benefits the new plan will give you compared to the company you intend to switch to.
Also, if you were recently involved in an accident or convicted of violating a traffic regulation, then it is not wise to switch. You could lose money in the process. Although your insurance company will likely recalculate your premium rate at the renewal time, you will have to pay the old rate before the accident if you stayed. If you switch right after the accident, your rate will likely go up.
Moving forward, we’ll look at when the excellent time to switch auto insurance companies is. But keep in mind that it would be best if you took some time to consider the pros and cons of changing your car insurance before renewal.
When is a good time to change my car insurance company?
This is the next most important question in the process since there is no best time to change your car insurance. However, what matters most is the reason for the switch, which, if compelling, determines whether it is wise.
People switch auto insurance companies right after they’ve filed a claim, got married, changed zip code, bought a new car, or found better coverage options. Here are some reasons why you may want to switch to a different company or stick with the same insurance agent (you may also consider them as points to consider before switching):
Relocation/Changing Zip Code
When you change to a different zip code, you may use the opportunity to search for cheaper, better insurance coverage. If the rates, along with the products and services, are better, then it makes even more sense to switch.
Your current insurance company may process your policy cancellation without charges. In some other cases, your present auto insurance provider will charge you a cancellation fee if you cancel before the renewal date or expiration of your current policy. It is a flat fee with the average ranging from $30-$50. You need to consider these fees, especially if saving money is one of your reasons for switching.
Paying $40 in cancellation fees and saving only $35 doesn’t make sense, so be sure to check out the costs before signing the papers. In that case, you need to wait it out with your current provider while you go back and research which policies offer the best option to save money.
After filing a claim
Switching car insurance companies might be difficult to achieve if you’ve just filed a claim. If the claim has not been settled and paid, the new insurance agent may not be able to calculate your new policy rate correctly. To cover for the uncertainty, your new policy rate may be higher than the old one.
In this instance, again, it is not a good time to switch to a new company, so wait until the claim clears.
Accident forgiveness is another factor that might make you reconsider leaving your current insurer. How close are you to enjoying the benefit of accident forgiveness? Some companies have robust products and services, including a short time frame for accident forgiveness qualification that you could take advantage of.
Some companies offer accident forgiveness after 3 years of paying your premium. In some companies, you must maintain an average of 5.5-years worth of claim-free coverage before you can claim accident forgiveness. Other insurance agents might even ask that you stay for as long as 10 years before accident forgiveness is available to you.
Adding a driver/a new car
Different insurance companies offer different rates. When you get a new car or are about to add a new drive, say your teenager, you may seize the chance to sample other offers. It is even possible you get student discounts or a different rate elsewhere.
Major life events like marriage, moving, buying a home, and bearing children will have a significant impact on your insurance policy. In these cases, you should look out for the best offer on an affordable insurance premium. And if you do find a better offer, you can proceed to change your car insurance right away before the renewal date.
Before jumping on that perfect offer, inquire about the fees, limits, deductibles, terms, and conditions. There have been cases where people made hasty car insurance switch decisions and ended up with less coverage. If there are cancellation fees, make sure they’re spelled out clearly.
In other cases, the fees may be extremely high as with some life insurance plans. If you pay annually, will you be refunded unused premiums? Are there any coverage gaps? If you’ve checked all of these, and you’re sure the coast is clear, you may go ahead to make the switch.
Getting the best deal for your car insurance
Are you looking to change your auto insurance before the renewal date, and you’re unsure which option is best for you? Did you recently move into Arizona, and you’d like to switch to a new insurance agent? If you answered yes to any or both of these questions, we are happy to help you make the best decision.
At Gebhardt Insurance Group, we offer various car insurance coverage options, allowing you to choose what works best for you. Schedule an appointment today with any of our experienced insurance industry staff or call us today at 520-836-3244.