How To Change Auto Insurance Companies

by Matt McWilliams

Changing Auto Insurance Companies May be Easier Than you Think!

There are many reasons why you may choose to change your auto insurance coverage to another company. Perhaps you've found another company that offers you the same amount of coverage for considerably less money. You might have changed jobs and are eligible for a group discount through another insurer, or maybe you're unhappy with the service that your present company provides. With the growth of the internet and quote comparison sites, investigating your options has never been easier!

Why Change to a New Auto Insurance Carrier?

You need to regularly review your auto insurance coverage to make sure that you are receiving the best insurance value for your money. You will discover that it pays to shop around. In some states, premiums for identical policies vary widely among different auto insurance companies. The reasons for this price variation can be very complicated, but they boil down to a company's claims experience with policyholders in a coverage group (e.g. people of similar age, number of accidents, type of vehicle). For example, if a large number of people in a coverage group files claims during a given year, their rates will likely rise. When this happens, better discounts and lower overall premiums may be available at other insurance companies. When you decide to switch your auto insurance to another company, you'll find that it's fairly easy to do so.

How to Cancel Your Old Auto Insurance Policy

Generally, all you need to do to cancel your auto insurance policy is to inform your insurance company in writing, specifying the date you want the policy canceled. In some states, the new agent must notify the previous agent of the policy change. Some auto insurance companies ask the policyholder send back the actual printed policy. The insurance company will send a cancellation request form that will need to be signed and returned. Examine the form carefully to make sure that all information regarding the policy is correct. If the form is not received within two weeks of sending the letter, call the agent or company immediately to check on the status of the cancellation. Don't just walk away from the old policy without formally canceling it. Each state requires that auto Insurance policies be cancelled with notice, thus the insurance company might assume one wished to continue the coverage, and it might eventually terminate the policy for failure to pay premiums and report the lack of coverage to the state Department of Motor Vehicles. This can hurt your credit rating and ability to get a new policy.

Be Sure to Get a New Auto Insurance Policy First!

Always have a new policy in place before canceling the old auto insurance coverage. Otherwise you might have a gap in protection for a day or more! Most states require all drivers to carry a minimum level of auto insurance and most insurance companies require policyholders to present proof of new coverage before they will cancel an active policy. The new company will be able to time the beginning of the new policy to coincide with the cancellation of the prior coverage.

When to Change Auto Insurance Policies

At Renewal

Renewal is a convenient time to change auto insurance policies, as you don't have to wait for a refund from your current carrier. A renewal notice will be sent to you approximately 30 days before a new policy begins, depending on the regulations in your state. Should you decide to switch companies, you'll need to have a new policy by the time the current policy renews. Though a company might say there is 10-30 days to get your payment in before a policy terminates, you do not have coverage until the carrier receives the payment. If you have an accident during this time period you most likely will have no coverage since the premium wasn't paid!

Anytime:

All Auto insurance policies contain a provision allowing you to cancel your policy with proper notice at any time. In a few states auto insurance companies "short rate" the policy that means one pays a penalty for canceling before the policy renews. Most insurance companies pro-rate their policies so there is no penalty. The advantage of switching before the renewal date can save you a lot of money. For example if you have a policy that runs from Jan 15th to Aug 15th and you have an accident or ticket that will be over 36 months on March 15th. By switching Auto insurance companies on March 16th, you get a discount for having a clean driving record. Your current carrier won�t apply this discount until the policy renews on August 15th! This can save you Hundreds of dollars immediately!

How Long Does It Take to Change Auto Insurance?

When you change auto insurance companies, the new agent or insurer can generally change carriers while you wait! Generally they'll just need a copy of your current declaration page, driver's license and down payment to get the policy issued.

So why not get started today and Get Free Auto Insurance Quotes from Top Companies

About the author:
BIO: Matt McWilliams is one of the co-founders of HometownQuotes.Com, an online insurance quotes web site. He is originally from Pinebluff, NC and attended Middle Tennessee State University. He is considered an expert in the field of online insurance shopping and finding new ways to help consumers save money on their insurance. For more information visit http://www.hometownquotes.com

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