What to do before your insurance policy expires (the renewal period)
Celebrate Renewal Periods C’mon! A Guide to your Insurance Renewal Period
You wake up in the morning with a slight feeling of dread. Is there something you forgot to do? Did you turn off your hair straightener? Did you remember to take the trash out? What is it?
Gasp! You suddenly remember! It’s your insurance policy, and it’s expiring soon. Great, one more thing to worry about.
But wait! Before you fall into deep existential dread, we’re here to talk you through why insurance renewal periods are actually a great thing — and how Marble can help you quickly understand whether to renew or switch providers.
What is an Insurance Renewal Period?
An insurance renewal period typically starts 45-60 days before your policy expires. It’s a loose term and generally refers to a timeframe that starts when insurance companies (in most states) have to legally notify customers that their policy is up for renewal (or in some cases, not being renewed! More on that later.).
Some signs that you are entering a policy renewal period are communications (letters, emails) from your current insurance provider, and possibly more solicitation from other insurance companies. If you use Marble, we’ll send you a gentle reminder about 45 days before your policy renews. At that point, we’ll also automatically start shopping for you, so you don’t even have to worry about it.
Starting the Renewal Period
Insurance renewal periods are nothing to be afraid of! In fact there’s a lot to gain! Importantly, it’s a very convenient time for policyholders to review or make changes to their existing policies.
So the first thing you should do during a renewal period is take a few minutes to review your renewal offer from your current provider. Ask yourself a few things:
- Does this protect the things I need to protect? Does it provide enough financial and liability protection?
- Will it protect me adequately for the next 6 months to a year? Do I have any big purchases planned or life changes coming that may require additional coverage?
- Alternatively, does this policy cover too much? Did you get rid of anything? Sell a car or move to a smaller apartment? That’s good to keep in mind as well!
- Does this match my budget? Is this monthly cost something that fits into my expenses?
- Are there any new discounts I can qualify for? Am I in an HOA? Have I been claim-free for the past year? Did I install any new protection devices like a deadbolt, alarm, or something similar? Have this info handy!
- In the case of home insurance, you may also want to have your mortgage info handy, if applicable. As your loan balance and terms change, there may be changes in the insurance coverage requirements.
We should also note here that insurance companies have also reviewed you before they send you a renewal offer. So don’t feel bad about scrutinizing the coverage and price they provide you, because they have certainly taken a hard look at you as a customer before offering you a new quote. In some cases, insurance companies may even decline to offer customers a new policy. This is called a non-renewal.
Making the Renewal Period Work for You
After you refresh yourself on your policy details, the best thing you can do during your renewal period is make them (the insurance companies) work for your business. You can do this by comparison shopping.
Now we, of all people, know this can be a frustrating chore, full of misleading prices, spam phone calls, and time consuming form-filling. And not to be too blunt, but that’s why we built Marble: to make it quick (and rewarding), for you to offload insurance shopping and instead, let the insurers compete for your business. In fact, when you sign-up, we’ll start shopping on your behalf, so you don’t have to.
But if you want to shop on your own, we’ve got you too! Our advice on the best way to make the insurance companies work for you during the renewal period is this:
- Aim to get 4-6 new quotes for whatever you’re looking to want to insure.
- Use an online shopping site or contact your agent and ask them to work comparison quotes.
- Make sure they reflect all of the scenarios that you identified in the previous step, and ask them to incorporate as many discounts as you are eligible for.
This process can put you in a position of more control. You may find a quote with pricing and/or coverage that works better for you. Alternatively, you may be able to use these competitive quotes to negotiate a better price with your current insurance company.
What to Do if You Decide to Switch Providers
Making the switch? Good for you! You’re worth it (a better insurance policy, that is)! So what do you need to do once you’ve decided not to stay with your current provider?
Fortunately, it’s not too complicated, and in most cases, your new insurance company or agent will do most of the work.
The first thing you’ll want to do is cancel your old insurance policy, which you can do by contacting your current carrier via phone or letter. Unfortunately, they don’t always make it easy. You know the Friends episode about canceling a gym membership? It can sometimes feel like that.
You can also ask for help from your new insurer or insurance agent. Here at Marble, for example, our little Marble-bots go to work once our members switch a policy, automatically generating the administrative paperwork that we (and our member) both then send to the carrier after the policyholder signs.
And don’t worry about getting a refund! In nearly every state, you will be owed (and paid) a refund for whatever period of time was left on your policy. That’s also great news if you end up missing the renewal period. Even if your policy just renewed or you’re mid-term, you can still shop around, switch providers, cancel your old insurance, and get a refund.
And one final note: if you have loans, you’ll want to notify any lienholders on the product you are insuring. So for example, if it’s a home insurance policy change, you’ll want to notify your mortgage provider that you have a new insurance policy. They may ask to confirm that the coverage is sufficient to cover your outstanding loan balance.
Make the Most of the Renewal Period with Marble
The renewal period isn’t exactly a party, but it doesn't have to be a chore! Refresh a few policy details, pull together some new prices, make those insurance companies work for your business, and then finish things off with a letter or a phone call. Marble can automate 90% of this for you (for free!), but even if you do it on your own, it can be a pretty quick way to ensure you have the best coverage for the best possible price.