How to change car insurance carriers?

Written by Gary Bangstad and Andrew Freiburghouse on November 28, 2011 & Posted in Auto Insurance

Whether you are at the beginning, middle or end of your current car insurance policy, you may want to change providers. But it's important to handle the switch to a new insurance company the right way. Otherwise, you could accidently end up with a lapse in coverage.

When to switch?

Shop around for lower car insurance rates in the weeks leading up to the end of your current car insurance policy. That way, you can easily change over your coverage to a new carrier at the end of your policy period without fear of cancellation fees.

However, it's OK to check rates even if you've recently renewed your policy or are in the middle of a policy term. Normally, you can make a change in auto insurance providers at anytime during your policy period.

If you want to make the change less than 60 days after the inception of your current policy, you'll likely have to show proof of new auto insurance coverage to cancel out your old policy. Many states require this as a way to keep drivers from starting a policy for registration purposes and then canceling out the policy.

Making the switch

It's easy to change car insurance companies. Requesting the cancellation of your policy normally can be done with a call to your agent or even online. However, some insurance companies (and state laws) require your request to be in writing.

Look at your auto insurer's website for details on cancellation requirements. Find out if you'll be charged a cancellation fee, and if so, how much.

When contacting your auto insurance company to cancel, remember to ask about the return of any unused portion of your premium. Your refund usually will be prorated according to your cancellation date.

One important part of switching car insurance companies is to make sure the new car insurance policy is in place before canceling your current one. This may involve an overlap of policies of a day or two.

Do not cancel out your previous policy until you have proof the new policy is in force. Otherwise, you may end up with a lapse that leaves you unprotected for accidents. A short lapse of even one day may also cause your state to deem you "uninsured" and assess you penalties.

About the Author

Gary P. Bangstad, Ed. D. is a freelance writer in the area of business and insurance. Previously, he worked for Midwest Financial Planning LTD, selling insurance and investment products. He has also taught music at the university level.

Andrew Freiburghouse is a writer and businessman. As a partner at Los Angeles tax preparation firm Pronto Income Tax of California, Inc., Andrew has served thousands of clients both face to face and over the telephone. Currently, Andrew lives in Brooklyn, NY, and is in the process of starting up his own tax practice.

SHARE THIS STORY

Featured Auto Insurance Companies

Insurify™️ - Virginia Drivers Can Save Up to 50%

  • The easiest way to compare 20 real quotes from top brands
  • Prices starting from $29/mo
  • Trusted by more than 4 million drivers - 4.9 star reviews
  • As seen on Fox News, WSJ, Forbes, Fortune Magazine

Ask Our Expert

View All

Q. Will my policy pay off my car loan if my car is totaled?
A. An explanation of what happens if your car is totaled out when you still owe money on your car loan or lease. Read More

Q. Will car insurance cover my stolen personal items?
A. If someone steals personal items from your car, will car insurance cover those items? Read More

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Required parameter not set.
Request a Quote for:
Go

Recent Insurance Stories

View All
Simple ways to save on car insurance
If you can put in a little time to review your car insurance policy, it's possible to save hundreds, or more, on your annual auto insurance premium. Comparison shop. The No. 1 way to obtain cheap car insurance rates is to compare car insurance Read More...
  • How car insurance liability limits work
  • Road trips and car insurance
  • Uninsured motorist: What is it good for?
  • What covers car for storm damage?
  • Featured Auto Insurance Companies

    Progressive Insurance - #1 Rated Website

    • Take advantage of E-sign, Safe Driver, Pay-in-full, Multi-Car and other Discounts
    • Fast, easy and reliable claims service available 24 hours a day
    • Bundle your auto and home policies for additional savings