If you’ve been thinking bout changing insurance policies, several familiar warnings apply, and yes they may be clichés, but the thing about clichés is that they spring from places of truth. So yes, it never hurts to look. But look before you leap, and make sure you’re comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Oh, and one more- make sure you’re not jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
Why Are You Considering a Change?
These are all important points to remember, but especially if your resolve to change insurance companies comes about because you feel you’ve been wronged. For example, you may have been involved in an auto accident and the settlement your current insurer arrived at left you paying more out of your pocket than you expected. Or perhaps you were felled by sticker shock when you received your last notice that it was time to renew your policy.
Life Stage Changes?
With life comes change and many of these events will impact your insurance premiums, some for better, some for worse.
- You will find yourself paying considerably more as your children get their driver’s licenses and you add them to your policy.
- However, you may be paying less if you’re getting married. Insurance companies, as a rule, offer discounts to multi-car households. Also, if your soon-to-be-spouse is insured with another company, it may offer a better rate, Dare to compare!
- And when retirement rolls around, one of the joys it brings is lower insurance rates, since insurance companies like to hear you won’t be putting in that long traffic-filled commute five days a week.
These are but some of the reasons car owners change insurance providers but no matter why you decide a change is in order, when you do it can make a difference. Or to put it a different way there are.
Times You May Want to Postpone Dropping Your Current Insurance Carrier.
If You Have An Open Claim
You can cancel your insurance policy anytime you wish, not only when it is up for renewal. However, should you not do so when you have an open claim since information related to the claim may affect your new policy. So it’s best to put off changing companies until it is settled. Besides, even if you do choose to go ahead with the change, you won’t be able to make a clear cut since you’ll have to stay in touch with the claims adjuster who is handling your case.
If Your Insurance is Bundled
Many insurance companies will give a multi-policy discount to customers for whom they provide both car and homeowners insurance coverage, a practice known as bundling. If this is your case, you may want to find out if your new insurer offers a similar deal. If not, ask your current insurer how much you can expect your home insurance to increase should you drop auto insurance, do the math, and decide whether to stay or go.
If Your Current Term is Not Up Yet
If you have already renewed your policy and paid for coverage, the insurer will issue a pro-rated refund as long as you give them 30 days’ notice. So you will not be losing money on that front, but they may charge you a cancellation fee. Therefore, you may want to hold on until your coverage is up. However, be sure to have the new policy lined up seamlessly, since it is against the law unless you live in New Hampshire or Virginia to drive an uninsured vehicle. Should you be stopped for a ticket, you will be subject to fines and possibly have your license suspended.
The Value of Word of Mouth.
In addition to doing online research, you might want to resort to the old tried and true method of pre-internet times – ask those you know about their experience. Ask your friends about their experiences. Ask the opinion of your mechanic or a body shop owner, both of whom have probably dealt with the other end of insurance. And don’t forget to check with your local Better Business Bureau (BBB).
If after doing all your research, you decide the rewards are worth the risks of changing insurance companies, go right ahead, but since life goes on and brings with it yet more changes, make it a practice to meet with your insurance agent once a year to see if any new changes are in order.