Here’s How to Switch Your Car Insurance in Five Steps
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Car insurance coverage provides you with valuable financial protection against unexpected vehicle damage and medical expenses.
Though often fun and convenient, driving a car comes with risks like traffic accidents or events beyond your control, like severe weather and theft.
Frequently, repair expenses run several thousands of dollars, with the potential to put a significant dent in your finances unless reimbursed. Additionally, with injuries caused by accidents, associated medical expenses may put even more strain on your savings.
Auto insurance is a necessity for drivers who want safeguards against financial hardship in the event of an accident.
But what if you’re unhappy with your current policy and want to make a switch? It could be that your premiums are too high, or you had a bad experience making a claim. Or maybe you saw a promotion on TV with a different company that suits your needs better. Other situations like moving to a new state or buying a new car might also necessitate switching car insurance.
No matter the reason, switching car insurance takes time and attention to detail. But it’s possible to switch your car insurance smoothly if you follow the proper steps. Let’s look at five steps to changing car insurance.
Switching car insurance step 1: Compare prices
Several competitors offer car insurance to the driving public, and it’s up to you to find the one that best meets your needs. Specific types of coverage vary from provider to provider, as well as yearly premiums.
Researching various car insurance providers and finding a lower rate can net you significant savings over the long haul. Online research is a valuable tool to receive multiple quotes that you can compare, along with corresponding coverage options. An excellent insurance premium isn’t much good if the coverage is subpar.
A good ballpark number for different car insurance quotes is around four, which gives you a clear picture of the market and how much you can save. Another tool is investigating average rates for comparable customers in your locale, so you’re better informed.
A key aspect of staying safe on the road is driving a vehicle in excellent condition. You need a car with good braking, handling, and safety features to avoid accidents and injuries. At Shift, certified mechanics perform 150-point inspections and offer free Carfax reports on every vehicle sold, so you know you’re buying a car in top condition.
Switching car insurance step 2: Research companies
Though finding a lower rate saves you money, it’s not worth much if you don’t receive excellent coverage and customer service. Once you’ve located rates that you find appealing, delving further into each company’s ratings and history helps you make the best choice.
Switching car insurance step 3: Talk to your current insurer
While it’s nice to secure a lower premium and good coverage with a new company, you must first contact your current insurance company for a smooth switch.
You can first ask your previous insurer to price match your new provider. If that doesn’t work, requesting to cancel and receive an end date in writing is a good practice.
Beyond that, finding out about any cancellation fees or refunds from your current provider saves you from unexpected expenses.
If you’ve paid in advance for an auto insurance policy, such as six months or a year, you could receive a partial refund if you cancel early. Conversely, you might be charged an early cancellation fee by some companies.
Talking to your current insurer also guards you against coverage gaps. Having a firm end date in place for your old policy, along with a start date for your new car insurance company, keeps you continuously protected.
With so many expenses related to buying and owning a vehicle, it’s nice to save money wherever you can. One area to lower your costs is financing, where a good loan keeps your monthly payments down, so you have extra cash for essentials. Shift works with a network of trusted lenders who compete for your business, so you get the best rate on financing.
2016 Chevrolet Equinox LT (from $15,300)
Switching car insurance step 4: Notify your lender
If you’re currently making payments on an auto loan or lease, it’s essential to notify your lender or leasing company when switching car insurance. That’s because most financial institutions hold monetary interest in the vehicle they’re financing or leasing and want them covered by insurance.
In the event your current lender believes you’ve dropped insurance, they may repossess your vehicle. So it’s essential to include this step before switching car insurance.
Once you’ve decided on a new carrier, ask them to mail proof of insurance not only to you but also to your lender or leasing company.
2013 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner (from $27,950)
Switching car insurance step 5: Purchase your new policy
After researching the best rates and coverage, it’s time to purchase your new car insurance policy. You have the option of buying insurance using three different methods: online, from a captive agent, or an independent broker.
Buying online is the quickest and most convenient option, as you can perform your research ahead of time before deciding. With administrative tasks streamlined via computer clicks, you’ll have your new policy in no time. Also, online insurance companies typically offer the lowest rates.
If you’d like a more personal service and have questions before following through on buying a new policy, a captive agent can guide you through the process. A captive agent works for the insurance company and can help you better understand specific policy terms, as well as associated costs. And if you need to make a claim, you have a particular person you can call.
If you want even more personal attention, independent insurance brokers offer one-on-one service and in-depth advice on your new car insurance plan.
When you’re in the market for a safe vehicle like a Ford Focus or Toyota Corolla, you need to find one in excellent condition. For the utmost safety while driving, your vehicle needs to be functioning its best. Shift has a wide selection of quality used cars on its easy-to-use website located across the country. And you can buy any of Shift’s cars from the comfort of your own home, knowing you’re getting a great deal because they offer fair, no-haggle prices driven by powerful machine learning algorithms and tons of data.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta SE (from $19,850)
Switching car insurance in summary
Car insurance is a valuable financial safety net in case the unexpected occurs. Vehicle repairs and medical expenses can cost you thousands of dollars, but car insurance protects you from emptying your savings in the event of an accident.
If you decide on switching car insurance companies for any reason, following these specific steps will ensure you get the best rate, coverage, and an easy changeover between companies. Performing diligent research and keeping your current insurer well-informed of your switch will protect you from any coverage gap.
Once you’ve purchased your new policy, remember to obtain proof of insurance and have a copy mailed to your lender (if necessary).
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the author or Shift Technologies, Inc. Shift does not endorse or evaluate the accuracy of any claims made or data provided by third party sources referenced herein.
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All prices are based on vehicle availability and pricing as of
April 15, 2022
Pricing shown is not guaranteed and does not include taxes or other product fees.