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How to Switch Car Insurance Seamlessly 

Author: Cheyenne Moeller

There are lots of reasons to switch your car insurance, and often doing so will result in lower rates. Whether it’s due to a new car, a move, marriage or divorce, a new driver in the family, a bad experience with an insurance company, or frustration over high rates, there are certain things you need to be aware of to make sure you’re always covered.  

Ensuring a seamless transition when switching car insurance is not only about finding better rates or improved coverage but also about avoiding any lapses in coverage. Maintaining continuous coverage is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, a lapse in coverage can lead to higher insurance premiums when you eventually secure a new policy. Insurance companies often view gaps in coverage as an increased risk, resulting in higher rates. Additionally, some states impose penalties for driving without insurance, which can lead to legal consequences and fines. More importantly, having uninterrupted coverage ensures you are financially protected in case of an unexpected event while driving. To make the process of switching smoother and to safeguard against potential issues, it’s advisable to plan your transition strategically, ideally around the renewal period, and to address any open claims or policy commitments with your current insurer before making the switch.

When Can You Change Insurance Companies?

The good news is that you can change insurance companies at any time. When thinking through the timing, there are a few things to consider. If you have an open claim with a company, it usually makes sense to handle that claim before switching companies. This helps you keep your rate as low as possible and simplifies things while you have an open claim.   

Additionally, you should check your policy for cancellation fees. Some companies have fees that will be applied, especially if you cancel your policy early in the term. You’ll want to be familiar with any applicable fees before changing so you know what expenses you’ll incur. 

Finally, if you pre-paid for a policy, canceling mid-term means you’ll be entitled to a refund, so you want to keep that in mind when changing companies and make sure that you get the refund you’re owed. 

While you can change at any time, the reality is that the easiest time to change companies is when you have no outstanding claims and when your policy is about to renew. If the shift isn’t urgent, about 30 days before your policy renews is an ideal time to shop around for policies and make plans for canceling your current one. 

What Do You Need to Do to Switch Insurance Companies? 

Once you’ve established your timeline for switching companies, you want to shop around for insurance. It is generally recommended to get quotes from at least three different companies. This will let you compare costs and coverage and decide which plan is best for you. 

To help streamline the process, there are some online quote comparisons that you can use to get started. While these are helpful, we also recommend talking with each insurance company and getting a confirmation of your quote and coverage before making a decision. 

Once you’ve selected a company, you want to set a start date for your coverage. This should be at least a day before your current insurance ends. Timing your shift might be the most important step in this process – you want to make sure there are no gaps in your coverage. After all, you’d rather have a day or two of overlap than even a couple of hours without coverage. 

After you’ve set a start date for your new insurance, you should contact your current insurance company and let them know when you’ll be canceling the policy. When doing so, make sure to discuss any needed refunds or cancellation fees. 

Finally, you’ll want to get your proof of insurance card and, if you have a car loan, provide your lender with information about your new insurance. This is an important step because your current insurance company will send your lender notice that the plan is being canceled. Insurance is a requirement for most loans, so you want to make sure they get your new insurance information and there’s no confusion about whether or not you have the required coverage. 

Contact Our Team With Questions or For Support 

Switching car insurance companies is a relatively easy process and one that can help you save money and get better coverage. If you encounter challenges or have concerns regarding your insurance coverage, particularly legal issues arising from a lapse, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experienced legal team at Saunders & Chabert. We specialize in navigating insurance-related legal matters and can provide the expert assistance needed to protect your interests and mitigate potential legal consequences. Give us a call or schedule a free consultation. We’re happy to help you address any insurance-related concerns or legal issues that may arise.

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