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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Auto insurance is a necessary expense for all vehicle owners. In order to operate a vehicle on public roads, the car must be registered and insured. Because it’s impossible to avoid the expense, drivers must search for the best deal on auto insurance to keep the prices affordable. Sometimes a person’s insurance company no longer offers the best price; in this situation, it might be smart to change to a different company that will provide a greater discount.
It may also be necessary or advisable to change insurance companies if you have a negative experience with one insurer. Bad customer service, claim denials, canceled policies and other situations can all be valid reasons to change from one insurer to another.
In some cases, people just want to change insurance companies to take advantage of a discount with a new insurer. Because car insurance is so competitive, many insurers will provide heavy discounts as an incentive to switch to a new company. Whatever the reason for changing insurers, it’s a good idea to do a little research and make sure that the company you’re moving to will be a good fit.
Finding a New Insurance Company
There are numerous ways to choose a new insurance company. Some people choose to move to another insurer after having a good experience with a claim; if someone with another company hits you and their insurance is prompt with dealing with the damage, you may be tempted to change to their company in the future. Many people also decide on an insurance company based on recommendations from friends and family. Word of mouth can be very valuable in any industry, but it’s especially vital to service industries like insurance.
One of the best ways to find a new insurance company is to comparison shop online. Because you are able to match your search criteria against numerous companies at once, you can weed out insurers that will not suit your needs. You can also instantly see what companies will be able to provide the most affordable rates.
Once you’ve chosen an insurance company, you will need to finish the process with a customer service representative. This gives you an ideal opportunity to get a feel for the insurance company and decide if you like the customer service or not. You’re not locked in to anything until you’ve purchased a policy, so feel free to try on a new insurer before deciding to keep the policy forever.
Special Considerations When Obtaining a New Policy
It’s important that you do not allow your insurance policy to lapse. This means that you should always maintain active insurance on the vehicle at all times. Failure to do so could result in the DMV being notified of your lack of insurance, and you would then need to fill out an SR-22 form and potentially lose your license for a short period until the new insurance comes into effect.
It’s much easier to purchase the new policy before canceling the old one. If you’ve already paid for your old policy, you should get a pro-rated reimbursement for the months you did not use. You can also set up your new policy to become effective on a specific future date, such as the last day of your current policy term. That will enable you to maintain constant auto insurance without paying double.
Also bear in mind that your new insurance company will contact your current insurer to ask about your driving record and history of any claims. Be aware that your driving history is public knowledge to any insurance company that you sign with, so if your rates have recently increased due to an accident, your new insurer is likely to charge you for that accident as well. Changing to a new insurance company will not prevent your rates from increasing due to poor driving.
Whatever your reason for changing insurance companies, it’s a good idea to do some research and make a wise decision. Most insurers reward loyalty by offering discounts to consumers who stay for a long time, so it’s always a good idea to choose an insurer that you’re satisfied with and maintain a relationship with that company. As long as you comparison shop for the best choice, research your potential insurer in advance and never allow your policy to lapse, buying a new insurance policy should be an easy process.