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How to change your auto insurance policy

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Are you considering changing your car insurance company? Here is an overview of the process. (iStock)

Getting a new auto insurance policy can be a more complex process than you might think. It is not enough to find a cheaper quote and change insurer.

Before making any changes to your policy, you should carefully note your current coverage, compare quotes, and research the auto insurance companies that meet your needs.

Here are a few simple steps to walk you through the steps of changing your auto insurance policy. You can compare policies and explore your coverage options on Credible.

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1. Research your coverage needs

If you are considering changing auto insurers, your first step is to reassess your coverage needs to see if they have changed. This way, you can opt for a new policy that saves you the most money. For example, you might find that you are able to pay higher deductibles than before, in exchange for a lower rate. Or, you may be eligible for insurance discounts that did not apply to your situation previously.

You can also adjust your coverage on an older vehicle by removing your collision coverage and comprehensive coverage, keeping in mind that these coverage options would be less comprehensive if you did find yourself in an accident.

2. Change coverage at the right time

If any of the situations below sound like yours, it might be time to change your car insurance:

  • Highlights: Getting married, graduating, or moving across the country for a new job? A big change in your life could prompt you to change your policy.
  • Next renewal: If your policy renewal date is approaching, this might be a good time to change companies. On the other hand, leaving a policy too long before it is renewed could result in penalty charges.
  • New car / driver: If you add your teenager to your auto insurance policy or have purchased a new vehicle, your rates are likely to change. Some companies offer better student and multi-car discounts than others.

While you can compare coverage options at any time, don’t change auto insurance companies while you have an open claim. The claim could result in higher insurance rates and complicate the claims process, requiring you to stay in touch with your old and new insurance companies until the claim is resolved.

Visit Credible to explore your auto insurance options.

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3. Compare quotes

The only way to be sure that you are getting the best rates is to compare car insurance quotes from several insurance companies. You can compare auto insurance quotes by visiting the websites of a few auto insurance providers. All you need to do to get custom rates is enter a few details about yourself and your coverage needs, and you’ll get a free quote.

During this step, it is also a good idea to contact your current supplier to see if the company is willing to match the quote and offer you a better price.

4. Do your research

You should spend time researching auto insurance companies and the transition process before you take a step. Examine:

  • Client experience: Online reviews can give you insight into how a business treats its customers.
  • Savings possibilities: You can also view their discounts and rewards, comparing them to those of your current provider.
  • Terms: Find out about the cancellation policies of your current supplier. Although you can cancel your policy at any time, some providers may charge a fee if you change providers in the middle of your coverage period.

To make sure you aren’t paying too much for auto insurance, it’s free to check online through Credible’s partners.

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5. Switch from one operator to another

Changing car insurers should be an easy process. While you should ideally change auto insurance companies right before your policy expires, be careful not to let coverage expire. This could result in higher rates.

Simply stopping your payments won’t end your coverage, but it could hurt your credit. To cancel your old policy, you must tell your insurance agent that you want to end coverage. You can even ask for written confirmation, which can be useful if you need to dispute a credit entry or charges related to your policy.

You should also log into your account online to ensure that no future automatic payments are set up to be withdrawn.

Once you’ve contacted your old carrier to cancel your policy and activate your new coverage, you’re good to go. Simply exchange your ID cards.

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Changing car insurance company can pay off

Changing car insurance is a straightforward process that could result in significant savings over time.

Whatever stage of your life, take a few moments to reassess your coverage amount and policy type to see if it’s still right for you. If it’s the right time for a change, you could get a new policy with lower rates or more comprehensive coverage.

Comparing multiple insurance quotes can save you hundreds of dollars a year. And it’s easy to get a free quote within minutes on Credible.

Have a finance-related question, but don’t know who to ask? Email the Credible Money Expert at moneyexpert@credible.com and your question could be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.


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