Most consumers come to that point in time when they begin to weigh the pros and cons of switching from one car insurance company to another. Maybe you’ve stumbled across another company willing to offer you the exact same coverage and limits but at a premium that is considerably less than what you’re currently paying. You may have switched jobs recently and your new employer offers a group discount through another insurer, or it may be as simple as you’re just not satisfied with the level of service your current company is providing. With the growing use of the internet and all of the various quote comparison and insurance company review sites, researching all of the options available for Long Island drivers has never been simpler. You probably found yourself on USA Car Insure for that very reason.
Why Switch to a New Auto Insurance Carrier?
You probably don’t but you really should review your car insurance policy on a periodic basis to make sure you’re properly covered and getting the best possible bang for your buck. You might find it pays to shop your business around from company to company. In some states, premiums can vary greatly for the same coverage on the same vehicle. There are numerous factors that account for this pricing difference but is usually comes down to the individual insurance company’s claims experience with a particular policyholder demographic (age group, accident history, vehicle make and model, etc.). If an inordinate number of policyholders within one of these specific demographics file claims during a given year, premiums for that demographic will more than likely be raised for all in the group. If you find yourself in this position, it may well be worth your time to shop your policy to another insurance company. Don’t be intimidated, it’s a fairly easy process to do so.
Cancelling Your Old Car Insurance Policy
For the most part, the only thing you need to do to cancel your existing automobile insurance policy is to inform your current insurer in writing of the specific date that you need your coverage cancelled. In certain states, the law states that new agent/company must also notify the prior agent/company of the switch to the new policy. Some insurers go as far as to require that you return the original printed policy paperwork upon cancellation. The insurance company will usually send you an official cancellation request form to be signed and returned. If you are in receipt of such a form, make sure to examine it carefully to make sure all information is correct including the vehicle information and requested cancellation date. If you haven’t received your cancellation request form within a couple weeks of mailing or faxing your own letter, make sure to reach out to the old company to find out about the status of your cancellation. Don’t assume you can walk away from an old insurance policy without officially cancelling it. If for some strange reason the prior insurer never received your request, they may indeed continue coverage until that point they issue a policy cancellation for non-payment of premium. This cancellation may be reported to your local Department of Motor Vehicles and could have an adverse effect on your registration status, driver’s license and credit rating.
Make Sure Your New Auto Policy is in Force
Always make sure your new car insurance coverage is in force prior to cancelling the old policy. Failure to do so may lead to a lapse in insurance or a coverage gap leaving you vulnerable to an uninsured accident. Most states have minimum mandatory coverage limits and most insurance companies will require you to provide proof of your new coverage before cancelling your active policy. Your new insurer will make sure to have your new policy effective date coincide with the cancellation date of the old policy so there is no lapse in coverage.
When Should You Switch Auto Insurance Carriers
It makes the most sense to switch insurance carriers at renewal time. This way there is no waiting around for your pro rata cancellation refund from your old insurance company. In most states, regulations dictate that a renewal notice be sent to you approximately 30 days prior to the effective date of your new policy period. If you do decide to switch carriers, you of course will need to make sure that the new policy is in place by the time the old one expires. If you fail to pay your renewal premium and fail to secure new coverage, you’re leaving yourself open for a possible uninsured accident. While there is usually some sort of “grace” period to make to make your renewal payment, you don’t want to leave yourself open to the negative possibilities. Make sure your new policy is in effect and paid on time.
Every personal automobile policy does contain a cancellation clause allowing you to request policy cancellation at any time during the policy period with proper notice given to the insurance company. In some states, auto insurance carriers are permitted to “short rate” the policy meaning there is a penalty that one pays for mid-term policy cancellation. In this case, you do not receive a full refund of unearned premiums paid. More often than not though, auto insurance policies are written on a “pro rata” basis meaning there is no penalty and you will receive a refund of all unearned premiums paid prior to the cancellation date. In certain instances, it does pay to switch companies mid-term in order to save some money. An example of when this would come into play is when you have an older accident that is die to “fall off” your record as it may have occurred more than three years ago. Your existing company won’t adjust your premium downwards until your renewal whereas a new company may charge you a lesser rate immediately as they will already disregard that older accident when quoting you a premium. This can put money in your pocket immediately.
How Long Does it Take to Switch to a New Auto Insurance Company?
When switching auto carriers, your new agent or company can normally make all of the necessary changes on a single call or during an office visit. More often than not, all they will require is a copy of the declarations page of your current policy, your driver’s license info and of course a valid method of payment to get the new policy set up for you.
Why not get started today? Whether you’re a big city or smalltown resident, USA Car Insure has partnered with the top insurance carriers in your area. Get a FREE quote right now.