5 Tips to Switching Auto Insurance
There are many reasons in life to change auto insurance plans. A change in your job, family, or driving history could signal it’s time to review your plan and possibly switch to a new one. Poor customer service can be enough for some people to decide to move on.
Auto insurance is designed to be flexible. You’re generally allowed to cancel or switch your policy at any time, although a cancellation fee might apply. Here are five tips to switching auto insurance plans the smart way:
1. Review your policy regularly.
Most auto policies are up for renewal every six to twelve months. It’s a good idea to review your plan at least several weeks before the end of your policy period. That gives you time to do a bit of homework and avoid any cancellation fees. Since insurers periodically raise rates, don’t forget to check in and make sure you’re still getting a reasonable deal.
2. Have a good reason for switching.
Cheaper isn’t always better. It can be tempting to go with the insurer that quotes you the lowest premium, but be sure you understand the coverage that plan will provide. If the lower premium is due to a higher deductible and you’re in an accident, that plan could still turn out to be more costly for you. Be sure you’re factoring in the overall cost and coverage before making any commitments.
3. Gather relevant information.
Before you contact other insurance companies for quotes, compile the necessary information so that you’re prepared to answer any questions. They will usually want to know:
- Driver information: You’ll need to provide the age, driver’s license number, and state of issue of everyone on the plan.
- Driving history: Be honest about whether you’ve ever received a ticket for a moving violation or had a suspended license.
- Vehicle information: They’ll want to know the make, model, year, vehicle identification number (VIN), and current mileage.
- Other details: You may also be asked about your driving habits, including where and when you usually drive and park your car.
4. Consider bundling policies.
You’ve likely heard of bundling home and auto policies. Bundling usually leads to less expensive rates than if you bought two different insurance policies separately. If you recently bought a home, get quotes from multiple insurers, including your current one, so that you get a deal on both home and auto.
There are many types of coverage that can be bundled with auto. Companies can generally bundle some combination of:
5. Match it with life changes.
Adding people to your coverage is one of the biggest reasons for revisiting your policy, whether you just got married or your teenager has a new driving permit. With more passengers, you’ll also need liability coverage to cover your legal responsibility to others in case of an accident. While you’re at it, ask about any marriage discounts or other incentives for adding coverage.
Here are some other life changes that warrant a new-or-improved plan:
Driving less: Maybe you switched jobs and went from a long commute to working at home. Look for an auto insurer that offers low-mileage car insurance or incentives for low-mileage drivers. But before you switch over, be sure you understand any other variables that might bring the cost up or down.
Less income: Some people simply stop paying for insurance to make ends meet, even though driving uninsured is against the law. Yet many insurance companies offer discounts to low-income drivers. If you’re no longer able to pay your premiums, low-cost car insurance from either your state government or a traditional insurance company might be the best option.
New car: Driving a new car? Find out whether there will be a difference in your existing premiums or coverage. Be sure to do a comparison shop, as well. The same goes if you’ve recently paid off your auto loan.
New address: A major relocation also warrants calling your insurer to see how the move will affect your rates. Even changing zip codes can drastically alter your rates. A different climate, new home, or new state laws could all be reasons to seek a more appropriate plan.
Raised insurance rates: If your rates went up after you filed a claim, it might be a good time to shop around for better rates.
Claim denial: An unexpected denial of a claim can cause you to question your choice of plan, especially if you have a decent driving record. This is another time to make some calls and find out how other policies handle accidents and pay for repairs or replacements.
If you’re thinking of switching auto insurance providers, Amigo Insurance can help you compare quotes and find the best deal for your needs.