How to switch car insurance companies
“Still don't know what I was waiting for, and my time was running wild,” sang David Bowie. But sometimes, like Ziggy Stardust told us, you just gotta face the strange and embrace the change — in this case, by switching to a new car insurance company!
If you have ever purchased any sort of insurance policy, then you know it can feel, to channel Bowie, like a real strange process. Assessments, risk factors…say what? For those of us who don’t have PhDs in Insurance Speak, the best first step is to compare quotes from several different insurance carriers, even if you already have insurance.
Auto insurance, of course, is no different. In fact, around 77% of drivers say they are either actively looking to switch auto insurance companies or have started comparing quotes after experiencing an adverse event with their current car insurance provider.
So if you’re ready for ch-ch-changes, we’ve got your step-by-step guide to when you might want to consider switching car insurance companies, and how to go about it.
Reasons to Switch Your Car Insurance
Turns out, there are a lot! And while you can change auto insurance policies whenever (wherever), there are some events that may actually require that you switch. These include:
- Getting a new car
- Moving to a different state
- A life-altering event, like marriage or divorce
- Adding a new driver to your plan
- A lifestyle change, like working from home or commuting farther to a new office
- A major change to your credit score
Whether you are looking to buy a new car, move to a new state, add a new driver, or just upgrade your current plan, no matter what got you thinking about switching car insurance in the first place, shopping around and comparing car insurance quotes is the best way to find the rates and coverage that work for you.
How to Switch Car Insurance
For a successful switch, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First off, if you’re interested in moving to a new auto insurance company, bear in mind that you don’t have to wait for the current policy to expire. Whether you purchased your insurance policy a week ago or a year ago, you can change your insurance company at any time.
That said, it might not be possible to change companies if you have an open claim. If an insurance claim is not paid or settled, a new company may not be able to properly evaluate your current policy, which means that you may not get the best rates.
Browse All Options
Before you make the big switch, make sure to take a look at all your options. Just because another company offers a cheaper rate, for example, it doesn’t mean the coverage is better than your current policy. So when you start getting car insurance quotes from different companies, we recommend that you look not only at the premiums, but also the discounts, benefits, and deductibles. Good, affordable coverage encompasses a lot more than just the rate. Understanding the package inside out will help you choose the right insurance policy for you, whether it’s a plan with lower premiums, improved coverage benefits, or (ideally!) both.
But listen, we get it: switching insurance providers can still feel daunting! Fortunately, Marble’s comparison tools can help you along the way. Our one-stop insurance comparison platform lets you compare, purchase, and manage insurance policies and providers, all from one single app.
Speak with an Agent
When you feel ready to purchase a policy, it’s helpful to speak with an agent from the new insurance company to review the plan you’re interested in and make sure it actually meets all your coverage needs. You may also want to contact your previous auto insurance agent to check if your current company is willing to match your new and improved rates or coverage. They may be able to offer you a better plan after all!
And if not, ask them how to go about canceling your current policy. (And get the expiration date of your auto insurance policy in writing, too.) Which leads us to…
Cancel Previous Policy
It may sound obvious, but you definitely want to triple check that you’ve canceled your previous policy once you’ve purchased a new one. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck paying two premiums, and no one wants that! So here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Your previous insurance company will continue to bill you for your old auto insurance policy if you don’t cancel it. Sounds straight-forward, but it’s important to remember!
- You’ll want to check if any cancellation fee applies. If yes, it’s best to pay up, and quickly. If you don’t, the late fees could mess with your credit score down the line.
- If you decide to just stop paying the insurance premiums for your old auto insurance instead of canceling it, the company may report you for mid-policy payment defaults. This, too, could negatively impact your credit. So ask your agent and follow the proper procedures outlined by the old auto insurance provider. This will ensure that you don’t take a hit to your credit.
On the bright side: sometimes canceling your insurance before its expiration date makes you eligible for a refund. (Sometimes being the key word, of course.) So confirm with your carrier, and if there are delays to your reimbursement, hop on the horn and call your old agent!
Maintain Continuous Coverage
But before you go canceling your policy willy-nilly: Make sure you have car insurance coverage at all times. It is of paramount importance that your new policy takes effect before or on the same day that your previous policy ends. The last thing you want is to leave yourself without coverage.
In fact, a lapse in coverage could lead to higher rates with your new insurance provider! So to be safe, request that your new company set up the start date of your new policy before or on the same day your old policy officially ends. If you do that, you may even be eligible for a continuous coverage discount from the new company.
Inform Your Lender
And one final step in the process: If you have a loan or lease on your car, you need to let your lender, finance partner, or leasing company know about the switch in car insurance plans. Your financing partner has a stake in the vehicle, so they’re particularly keen that your car be insured at all times, which helps them avoid any monetary loss.
To prevent any issues, list your lender on the new car insurance policy and make sure all interested parties have the details they need about your new auto insurance coverage. And ask your new car insurance company to share the updated proof of insurance with you and your lender/leasing company. In case you are involved in an accident or are stopped by traffic cops, you’ll need to show proof that you have insurance coverage, which often comes in the form of a physical or downloadable card.
And in that vein, don’t forget to swap your old insurance ID cards with the new ones, and keep them in both your wallet and vehicle. (We even have a guide to adding your proof of insurance to your Apple Wallet.) And pro tip: go ahead and destroy your old ID cards. That will help prevent any kind of misuse or identity theft!
Easily Switch Car Insurance Plans with Marble
Contrary to popular belief, switching your car insurance plan doesn’t have to be a total nightmare. It’s as easy as following a few simple steps — like getting multiple quotes and comparing policy details, speaking with an agent, canceling your old policy, and updating your proof of insurance.
And when it comes to comparing policies, remember to look not only at the premium, but also at the policy terms, company claim settlement rates, and coverage benefits, among others. And we here at Marble can help! With Marble’s insurance comparison tools, you can easily compare different policies from big names like GEICO, Allstate, State Farm, and more, all from one single digital app.
By comparing policies with Marble, you can feel confident that you’ve found the right car insurance for your needs. So sign up for Marble today to save money on your insurance and earn membership rewards, too.