Personal Finance Expert
Tyron Jones is a finance expert who has operated within the auto insurance business for more than 10 years. He has written many other finance related articles for a number of prominent publications.
Sometimes your auto insurance is no longer adequate for different reasons. When a policy holder needs to change their policies, they sometimes must switch providers. If you are in the market for a new insurance provider, then you should know how to swap out their old coverage for a new company. The information presented here will explain how to carry out this process.
1. Evaluate Policies before you Switch
Evaluate your current policy to determine if it’s still useful for your situation. If your current company doesn’t have the services you need, then start looking for another insurer. Begin your search by contacting other providers. Ask about their services and what they have to offer for your current situation. If they can provide the policy coverage that you need, then they might be a good fit. Ask them to give you a quote for their services and make sure you can afford what they have to offer.
When comparing policies think about what you are required to have. For example, if your present policy is designed for you and your spouse but you now have teen drivers; you are going to need to upgrade your coverage. If your present company cannot provide you with the necessary coverage for your children, then you will need to switch. Also, if your old company can provide you with beneficial coverage but the price puts a strain on your finances; you should also consider a new provider.
Remember, smaller companies probably cannot handle premium insurance services. You will probably need to seek out a company that is able to fulfill your needs. If you are already with a larger company, you shouldn’t have to overpay just to have coverage. In a situation like this you should find another advanced company provider to get the services you will need the most.
2. Don’t Allow your Old Coverage to Lapse
After you evaluate your current insurance needs and make a decision to switch your policy; you should know how to switch your policy over without a lapse in coverage. What you will have to do is set up your coverage at least 1 month in advance. If you decide to get new coverage, have it set up on the date that your current insurance is due. You should then let your current provider know that it will be your last month using their services.
You will in effect have to pay for 2 policies during the last month but that is okay. The key thing is that you will not allow your coverage to lapse. If you let your coverage lapse, your current provider might penalize you for it. Insurance companies generally do not like clients that have gaps in coverage. The bottom line is to make sure that you time the switch of your old coverage with your new service. This will help you to avoid any lapse.
3. Make Sure you Know about Early Cancellation Fees
Most people don’t think that their insurance policy is in fact a contract. They believe that they simply can purchase a policy and leave it when they feel like doing so. While this might be true it doesn’t mean that an insurance provider will not penalize policy holders that take this course of action. Make sure that you know if your insurance policy has early cancellation fees. They can legally charge you a cancellation fee for leaving their organization. Most smaller insurance companies will not make you pay a high fee.
They typically deal with high risk policy holders and expect people to be unreliable. Also, if you are with a company that offers monthly service and not a yearly contract, they too probably will not charge a fee. Still, you must figure out if you are going to be charged a cancellation fee. If you are charged with a cancellation fee, then you should pay it off to keep it from affecting your credit score.
4. Your Credit Score and Policy Information
Some policy holders have had coverage for years. When they started their policies many years ago, they might have a good policy from the past. However, they could have ruined their credit over time. Whether it is intentional or unintentional, this does happen. Policyholders with a bad credit score will usually receive higher premium rates. This happens because they are viewed as a higher risk.
Make sure you have our credit situation in order to get the best rates possible. In some situations, a new insurance provider will charge you extremely high rates due to a bad credit history. This is why you should probably think about cleaning up your credit before signing up with a new provider. People with good credit usually have lower rates. Companies know they can be trusted to stick with the policy. The risk with good credit clients is lower. This also allows new companies to make the switching process easier for everyone.
5. Your Driving Record and Switching Insurance
Your driving record will impact your ability to switch providers. If you have a bad driving record you will probably need special coverage. A lot of motorists need an SR-22 bond to drive. This is a high-risk form of insurance for drivers to reinstate or maintain their driving privileges. Many drivers who have multiple accidents, have been arrested on a DUI charge or has been caught driving without a license; these individuals are all candidates for SR-22 coverage.
Keep in mind that you will have to purchase a SR-22 bond after you get regular coverage. The SR-22 is added onto your policy. Most insurance companies do provide this type of protection. However, some insurance companies will not sell this safeguard to drivers in need. If you must have a SR-22 bond to drive it could make it difficult for you to switch insurance companies. Remember, most SR-22 bonds require policy holders to maintain their current coverage for at least 3 years. You could switch but it might be very expensive to take this action.
If you are changing insurance providers with a bad driving history, it could cause you more problems in the long run. New companies look at bad drivers as high risk. This is especially true if you have been in a lot of accidents or have been pulled over for speeding or DUIs. If you constantly have been pulled over for driving without a license, a company might be leery about dealing with you as well. Remember, high risk drivers usually cost insurance companies more money. This is why insurers are not so quick to take on policy holders with a bad record.
Remember, if you have a bad driving record and/or in need of an SR-22 bond, make sure you are ready to switch providers. Sometimes you might not be able to leave the insurance provider that you are with. In some cases, a court ordered action might require that you stay with one insurance provider. They do this to ensure that a bad driver doesn’t lapse in coverage. Sometimes the courts will have the DMV to keep track of certain drivers who are extremely high-risk drivers.
You could lose your SR-22 bond if you move on from your company. This could also cause you to lose your licenses or have your driving privileges completely revoked. Make sure that it is beneficial for you to switch insurance providers if you have a bad driving record. Otherwise the consequences could permanently stop you from driving.
6. If you are a frequent traveler will this impact your ability to alter your insurance company?
If you drive a lot, it will increase your potential for accidents on the road. Once again, an insurance company wants low risk drivers. Motorists that frequently travels on the road tend to have more wear and tear on their car as well. These 2 factors cause insurance providers to raise their rates.
Motorists that drive a normal amount of time on the road will usually have better rates. Drivers that can keep their mileage at (or under) 13,500 miles per year will end up with better rates. The bottom line is that frequent road travelers will pay more money in insurance rates. Keep in mind that this will impact your insurance policy coverage.
7. Can you switch insurance companies if you have an open claim?
Yes, you can switch insurance companies while you have an open claim. Just keep in mind that your claim will settle under your old policy. Also, you can’t switch insurance companies in a middle of a claim and then try to use your new company to fulfill the claim. That is not allowed.
Keep in mind that some insurance companies might not want to take on a new policy holder if their old claim has not been settled. They might hesitate with providing coverage because a claim by extremely complicated, involve high profile parties or be involved in an unwanted motor-related incident. Just make sure that you are honest about open claims. This will avoid trouble or confusion with your new provider.
8. Get a Refund if your Policy Allows
If you paid for our policy in advance you should be entitled to a refund. This refund should be given back to you if your old provider allows. If not, you will probably have to forfeit your funds. Most companies are good about giving back refunds on cancelled policies. However, a few companies won’t take this action. They will keep your money as a penalty for cancelling your coverage. Make sure that you know what your company will do if you pay in advance.
9. Make sure to Get New Proof of Insurance Documents
Don’t switch over from your old policy without getting new insurance cards or a letter stating that you have different coverage. This is important for validating new coverage. Police want to see proof of coverage if you get pulled over and the DMV wants proof when you have to renew registration, license plates or your driver’s license.
10. If you Lease your Vehicle Let your Company know that you are Switching Providers
At least 1/3 of all vehicles are leased by motorists. If you are lessee, then you should inform your leasing company that you are switching providers. Remember that lessors named as a loss payee on your coverage. Therefore, it is important that you let them know about your insurance decision. If you fail to do this, you could end up losing your vehicle and not be able to lease from that organization again.
Ultimately, benefits of switching insurance providers is about saving money and getting the best personal coverage. Make sure you cancel out your old policy and that you don’t allow coverage to lapse. Get new I.D. cards and try to make sure that you made your final payment to your previous policy holder.
General Questions About Switching Car Insurance
This section answers general questions about switching car insurance.
What to do when switching car insurance?
Pick your new insurance company. Your new insurance provider should contact your old insurance company and file any needed forms with the state.
How to switch car insurance companies?
You can switch car insurance companies by signing up with a new company. Most companies will notify your old insurance as well as relevant authorities.
When to switch to liability only auto insurance?
You can switch to liability only insurance by contacting your insurance company online or by calling your agent and telling them you want to switch. Remember though that insurance for leased car requirements may be more than just liability.
How often can you switch car insurance?
There’s no limit on how often you can switch insurance companies. You just need to make sure you’re continuously insured. This is what people do sometimes when car insurance is too expensive with their current company.
How to switch car insurance to another state?
Contact your insurance company and give them an updated address. They’ll transfer your coverage to a local office and adjust your coverage and rate to meet the new minimums in your state.
When can you switch car insurance?
There are no restrictions on when you can switch car insurance.
How does switching car insurance work?
It works just like switching anything else. You find new insurance and your new insurance will let your old insurance company know you’re covered with them now.
How many people switch auto insurance a year?
There’s no reliable data regarding how many switch their car insurance each year.
Do you need to notify auto insurance when switching?
Not in most cases. Usually your new car insurance company will notify your former company of the switch.
How long do I have to change my car insurance?
That depends on your state and your particular situation. You’ll need more information to get an answer to your question.
How often should you change car insurance?
There’s no set frequency for you to change your car insurance. You can switch if you find a better deal with another provider.
How to change insurance company’s when paying off a car?
You can change insurance companies when paying off a car just like you do any other time. Find a new insurance company and start a policy before your current one expires to maintain continuous coverage.
When should I switch auto insurance?
You should switch auto insurance companies when you find a company that offers you a better rate.
What if you want to change to a different car insurance?
If you want to change to different car insurance you can. Just be sure to switch before your current car insurance expires.
How to terminate my car insurance when I want to change?
In most cases your new insurance company will handle terminating your old policy for you.
Switching Car Insurance in Specific States
We’ll answer common questions about switching car insurance in different states in this section.
How to switch car insurance from state to state?
You can switch car insurance from state to state by contacting your insurance company and giving them the new information.
Bought new car how long to switch insurance in Illinois?
Illinois state law gives you 30 days to claim residency. Once you claim residence, you’ll need to switch your insurance. Related: How much is car insurance liability only?
Do I have to switch car insurance when I move out of state?
Not in all cases. You may have to change your rate and coverage, but most insurance companies operate in all 50 states.
Switching car insurance after moving to another state how long?
Each state has their own laws regarding how long you have to change your insurance when you move to a different state.
How to switch car insurance to NC?
You can switch car insurance in NC by finding a new insurance company and signing up. The new company will notify the state and your old company.
Who DMV in car insurance co change in NJ change?
You don’t need to see anyone in the DMV to change your car insurance in NJ. You can work directly with insurance companies to change your insurance.
Switching Car Insurance Under Specific Conditions
This section answers popular questions about switching car insurance under specific conditions
How long do I have to have my car to be able to switch to liability insurance?
There’s no set time you need to have your car before you can switch to liability insurance. However, if your financing your car, then the financing agreement will usually require comprehensive coverage until your car is paid off.
Do I have to change my car insurance when I move?
You can change your car insurance when you move by updating your address with your current insurance company. You don’t need a new company as long as yours works in the state. Using an auto insurance comparison tool will help you determine if you're getting the best rate at your new address.
How long do you have to change car insurance after moving?
Each state has their own laws regarding how much time you have before you need new car insurance when you move.
Does car insurance change when you move?
Yes, each state has their own insurance laws, so your car insurance coverage and rate will likely change when you move.
When you move to a different state how long to change your car insurance?
It depends on the state you’re moving too. Each state has their own laws regarding car insurance.
How do you change car ownership and insurance?
You’ll need to check with your specific state to see how you change car ownership. You can change insurance by adding a new person to your policy or by canceling your insurance and having the new owner get insurance.
Switching Car Insurance and Specific Companies
This section answers your questions about switching car insurance with different companies.
How to switch car insurance to State Farm?
You can switch insurance to State Farm by going to their website or contacting a local agent to get a new policy. Remember lower rate auto insurance is typically found by comparing multiple companies.
How to switch to a dollar a day car insurance?
You need to go to dollar a day car insurance’s website to switch your coverage to them. If you don't have a clean driving record you may want to ask if they offer car insurance for bad drivers or can refer you to someone else.
How do I switch my car insurance to another car USAA?
You can switch your USAA coverage to another car by calling USAA and giving them the car’s information, including the make, model, VIN, and mileage. There is also USAA classic car insurance if the car meets specific criteria.
How do you change a recurring auto payment to State Farm insurance?
You can change a recurring payment to State Farm by logging into your account online or by calling an agent using the number on your insurance card.
How long do you have to change Geico insurance after buying a new car?
That depends on the rules in your state and your particular policy. You’ll need to contact Geico for more information.
How to change auto insurance State with Progressive?
You can change your state with Progressive by updating your address in the contact information section of your account. Related: What is the grace period for auto insurance?
What does USAA auto insurance renewal mean?
USAA auto insurance renewal means your current policy will be renewed for another six months.
How to change my auto pay for AAA insurance?
You can change your auto pay for AAA insurance by logging into your account online and going to the billing section.
How to change my auto insurance with Progressive when married?
You can change your Progressive insurance when you get married by logging in to your account online.
How to renew your Geico auto insurance?
Most Geico policies should renew automatically. You can also go to your online account or call an agent to set up a policy renewal.
Switching Car Insurance to Different Cars
We’ll answer questions about switching car insurance to different cars in this section.
How to switch car insurance to new car?
You can switch your insurance to a new car by contacting your insurance company and providing the new car’s make, model, VIN, and mileage.
How to switch insurance to another car?
Contacting your current insurance company and giving them information about the new car, such as the VIN, mileage, make, and model, will allow you to switch your insurance.
Maryland how to switch insurance when I buy a car?
You can switch insurance when you buy a car in Maryland by contacting your insurance company and providing them with the new car’s information. Consider getting pay as you go insurance if you don't think you'll be driving much.
Can you change car insurance companies when buying a new car?
Yes, you can change insurance companies to any company you want when buying a new car. Related: Getting car insurance when buying a used car.
Switching Car Insurance When Financing
This section covers common questions about switching car insurance when you finance your car.
Can you switch auto insurance companies when you still owe for 3 months?
That depends on the laws in your state. In most cases, yes. Your new insurance company will contact your old insurance company to let them know you’re switching. Check out buy now pay later car insurance options too.
Do you have to notify your lender for a car loan when you switch insurance?
As long as your car has the proper amount and type of insurance you probably don’t need to let them know you’re changing insurers. However, you should check your specific agreement to be sure.
How to switch car insurance while financing?
You can switch car insurance while financing the same way as if you owned the car in full. The new insurance company should tell your financer that they have you covered. Related: Why does my car insurance keep going up?
Will car insurance change when car is paid off?
Maybe, there are lots of different factors that go into setting insurance rates. You’ll need to tell the company specifically if you want a different type of coverage. In the meantime we can help you find the lowest full coverage auto insurance while you still owe on your vehicle.
Switching Car Insurance Costs and Prices
This section covers your questions about switching car insurance and prices.
Is there a change in car insurance price when 26?
There can be, however lots of factors go into setting car insurance rates, so you might have a different experience depending on your driving record, type of car, and so on. Learn more about how to shop for car insurance and save more money.
Why does car insurance go up when you change address?
It doesn’t always – where you live affects your insurance rate, so if you move to a higher-risk area, your insurance will go up.
Why did my car insurance go up after renewal?
You’ll need to contact your insurance company to find out why your rate went up, as there can be lots of different reasons this happened.
How to switch auto insurance prorated?
Most companies won’t let you do a prorated switch. Instead you’ll start a new six month or one year term policy.
Renewing Car Insurance
We’ll cover common questions about renewing car insurance in this section.
How long is a car insurance renewal process?
Most car insurance renewal processes happen automatically, so not long at all!
What is a renewal premium car insurance?
A renewal premium is the premium you’ll pay if you decide to renew your current policy.
How to not renew car insurance?
You can avoid renewing your car insurance by telling the company you want to terminate your insurance or by switching to a new company.
What is a renewal price on car insurance?
The renewal price on car insurance is the amount you pay to renew your policy for another term.
How to renew your car insurance?
Most car insurance will renew automatically. All you need to do is pay your new premium.
How to renew car insurance online?
You can renew your car insurance online by logging into your account with your insurance provider or by calling your local agent.
Why my car registration renewal needs insurance every time?
Your state requires proof of insurance in order to get your registration to demonstrate you’re driving while legally covered.
How soon is auto insurance renewal mailed?
Each company has a different policy for when they mail renewal notices.
When switching car insurance do you cancel old or just not renew?
Usually when you switch your new car insurance company will tell your old insurance company to cancel your policy.
How far in advance can you renew your car insurance?
There’s no set answer to this as each company has their own policies. Usually you can’t renew until your term is about to expire.
I bought car insurance today, how long until Renew title agency know I have car insurance?
It depends on the laws in your state and the processes involved. You’ll need to contact the relevant parties for more information.
When is my car insurance due for renewal?
Most car insurance policies last for six months, so check your policy six months after you first get it.
How do you check your car insurance renewal date?
You can check your renewal date by calling a local agent or going online to your account.
What to do when renewing car insurance?
Most insurance will renew automatically once you’ve paid your new premium.
How to haggle car insurance renewal?
You’ll need to contact your insurance company and make your case for why you think you should get a lower rate when you renew.
How to cancel admiral car insurance renewal online?
You can cancel renewals by going to your account or by calling your local agent.
How soon are auto insurance renewal notice sent out?
Renewal notices are usually sent out the month before your current policy expires.
What if I forgot to renew my auto insurance?
You should contact your insurance company and see what your options are. Some companies have a grace period for renewal.
When you renew your car insurance can you change the ownership status?
In most cases, yes. Talk to a local representative for more information about your case.
How often do car insurance policies renew?
Most insurance policies have a six-month term, so every six months is a safe bet.
What happens if I renew my car insurance and then sell my car?
You can cancel your insurance on the car or transfer your insurance to your new car if you renew your insurance and then sell your car.
When should I renew auto insurance?
You should renew your auto insurance before your current policy expires so you can stay continuously covered.
Do car insurance companies look at your record when they renew?
Yes, insurance companies will look at your current driving record and other information when you renew.
My car insurance just expired how long do I have to renew it?
It may already be too late to renew your policy. You should contact your insurance provider immediately.
Why is my car insurance renewal more expensive when I had no accidents?
There are lots of reasons your insurance rate can go up. You’ll need to contact your provider to get more information on your case.
Other Switching Car Insurance Questions
This section covers questions that don’t fit into our other categories. Check here if you can’t find your question elsewhere.
How many days we need to wait to report an auto claim after switching insurance companies?
You’ll need to contact your insurance company. Usually it’s best to report a claim immediately.
Should car insurance be prorated when switching cars?
That depends on several factors. Your insurance company will prorate you if your new car has a lower rate than your previous car.
How do I switch my business car insurance to standard insurance?
You’ll need to contact your insurance company and tell them what you’re trying to do. They’ll help you make the switch.
How much can I save on car insurance and homeowners insurance by switching?
That depends on lots of different factors. We recommend shopping around to get quotes from different companies so you can find the lowest rate.
What happens if I don't change my address on my car insurance?
Your insurance might be voided if you move and don’t tell the insurance company, as the price you pay assumes your old address.
What does rated change mean on car insurance?
A rated change is a new event on your driving record that warrants a change in your insurance rate.
How to change insurance on car registration?
That depends on your state. Contact your local department of driver services for more information.
Who can help change legislation against auto insurance companies?
There are insurance and consumer advocacy groups that can help you. Look for insurance consumer advocacy groups specifically.
When you change the name on your car title do you do that first or change the insurance first?
It depends on the laws in your state. Contact your DMV for more information about your situation.
What if I buy an auto insurance policy and change my mind the next day refund?
Some states allow refunds and others don’t. You’ll need to check the terms of your policy and state laws to determine your options.
How do you change auto insurance after a parent's death?
You can change auto insurance after a parent’s death by contacting the insurance company or having the estate contact the insurance company.
Does it matter when you change your car insurance?
Not much – but changing sooner for a better rate means you’ll start saving money faster.
How to report address change to auto insurance?
You can report an address change to your car insurance by calling the number on your insurance card or by going to your account online.
Why does my car registration renewal say government insurance?
You’ll need to check with your state’s DMV to get the answer to this question, as it depends on the state you live in.
What is an additional renewal fee for car insurance?
Additional renewal fee is an extra fee you pay for the convenience of renewing your current insurance policy.