Switching to a lower-cost provider is one of the best ways to cut down on your car insurance premiums. There are often unexpected consequences to cancelling your auto policy.
Some insurers may charge a cancellation fee. Also, you should consider whether or not fees and deposits will be required by the new company. Each company has its own policies and terms. If you are considering switching to auto insurance, it is a good idea to review your policy and speak to an agent from your insurer.
This is a quick and simple guide to help you get started.
What happens to your premium
You can choose to either pay a monthly premium, as most people do, or to pay for the entire year ahead. This could save you money with some insurance companies. Your coverage will be based on an annual agreement. This deal is less expensive for the company, and they don’t like it. They also have to pay administrative costs. The penalties for cancelling a policy can vary depending on the reason you do so.
Despite the differences between each insurer, there are two major models that insurers use to cancel a policy. They use short-rating or pro-rating. Simply put:
- You will receive the full amount of any premium that you have not used in pro-rated cancellations
- Cancellations that are less than 24 hours in advance will be charged a cancellation fee of 50%.
Pro-rated cancellations save you money for obvious reasons. You’ll receive eight months of your premium back if you cancel a policy within four months using a pro-rated system. You’d receive only a portion of the amount in a short-rated system depending on which policy you have. You could be charged a flat fee or a percentage of the total refund. Some companies short-rate at a later stage in the policy. Other companies may short-rate at any time during the policy.
No new policies are free. There are fees and down payments.
You will also need to find out how much it costs for a new policy to be opened at the provider you are switching to. Some companies also charge down payments for starting a monthly payment plan. Allstate Canada, for example, requires a two-month down payment at the beginning of your annual term.
Do some math
After figuring out what kind of cancellation method your insurer uses and how much you’ll need to pay to set up your new policy, the next step is figuring out if it’s actually worth it to switch. Grab your calculators or just the app on your smartphone.
If cancelling your existing policy and switching to a different one ends up costing you more than it would to keep your current coverage, then it is more sensible to wait to renew your policy when it expires.
Is it worth changing auto insurance companies?
Let’s start with the basics. First, why would you consider switching car insurance companies. Switching to auto insurance might be a good idea for a few reasons.
- After comparing a few prices, you have found a better deal elsewhere.
- You’re moving to an area without car insurance.
- You no longer qualify for auto insurance discounts
- You are unhappy with the service.
- Your premium has risen due to an accident
- You would like to combine all of your insurance with one company
These are all valid reasons to switch car insurance. You don’t have to stay with your current insurer even if your policy isn’t due to expire in a year. As long as you know how to cancel car insurance, you’ll be fine. The process is not difficult, fortunately.
Five easy steps to change your car insurance
These five steps will help you switch to car insurance if you have found the right car insurance company.
1. Find out if there will be a cancellation fee
Most insurance companies allow you to cancel auto insurance without any issues — as long as you provide proper notice. Some car insurance companies might charge an early cancellation fee, or refuse to refund the unutilized portion of your pre-paid car insurance.
To find out if there is a cancellation fee, you may need to contact your insurance company. Esurance states that cancellation fees can be between $30 and $50. It’s better to know in advance whether you want to change or wait until your policy renews.
Look into insurance transfer or new-customer discounts offered by your new insurance company if there is a cancellation fee. This is usually 5% and can offset the cancellation fee from your current insurance company.
2. A new policy has been put in place
It can be costly to get in an accident while you are between policies. You should cancel your current car insurance before you do. Otherwise, your policy could be cancelled.
You will need to pay for the new policy. To allow you to cancel your current policy and make sure the transition is smooth, push the effective date back a few more days. Your new insurer should email you proof of insurance. It is necessary to cancel your car insurance.
3. 3.Print your auto insurance card
If your new car insurance company doesn’t mail insurance cards and documentation, you’ll need to print out a copy for your records. Keep one copy of each insurance card in your car’s glove box.
4. How to cancel your car insurance
After you have been insured by the new company, you will need to learn how to cancel your car insurance with your previous insurer. Certain states have laws that prohibit cancellations within the first 60 days or a month. This is to prevent drivers from temporarily purchasing a policy to satisfy registration or licensing requirements, and then canceling it. There are exceptions. Cancellation is possible if:
- You may be able to show proof that your car insurance policy was purchased with another insurer.
- The vehicle you have insured is no longer yours
To cancel your auto insurance, contact your insurer and explain that you have a new policy. It is likely that you will need to cancel your auto insurance policy in writing. You also need to provide proof of coverage from the new auto insurance company. Your effective cancellation date should be set to the day that your new policy starts to prevent a lapse when you switch auto insurance. It is important to get it in writing.
5. Refund of unpaid and prepaid premiums
Ask your insurer for a refund if you have paid six months or more in advance for your policy and cancelled before your coverage ends. The information you need to get a refund from your insurer will be provided by your insurer.
You can avoid unpleasant surprises like being reported to your state as uninsured or having a lapse of coverage. This could lead to financial ruin if you are in between policies and have an accident.
How do I cancel my car insurance?
How to cancel your car insurance will depend on the car insurance company. Most companies will require you to cancel your car insurance in writing. Here are some guidelines for what to include in your cancellation letter regarding auto insurance.
- Your name
- Your complete address
- Phone number
- Number of policies
- Date that the letter was written
- Please complete the following form to cancel your policy.
- The reason for cancellation could be “I purchased a new policy” (or “I sold the insured vehicle”)
- Include a statement indicating that you have attached a copy your new policy/bill of sale
- Your signature
- Signature date
- If the vehicle was sold, attach a copy your bill of sale or a page from your declarations for your new car insurance.
There are downsides to changing car insurance
Many people hesitate to learn how to modify their car insurance. They wonder if it is a bad idea to switch to different insurance companies. There is nothing wrong in switching to auto insurance. You just need to learn how to cancel your car insurance.
Can you switch insurance companies?
Here are some cons to switching your auto insurance.
- If you currently bundle all your insurance in one place, you may have to worry about two different bills and due dates after you switch.
- For a lower price, you can trade insurance perks such as future renewal discounts, earned accident forgiveness and reduced deductibles with your current company.
- You may be disappointed by the new company. Before you make a decision, read customer reviews.
Survey: How much can you save by switching to auto insurance companies?
Insurance.com conducted a survey of 2,700 policyholders and asked them how much they would save by switching companies. Nine percent of respondents said that a $50 switch would be enough to trigger one. Nearly 25% said that they would need to save $100 per year on their auto insurance in order to make the switch. 32% said they’d need to save at most $250, and 19% said they’d need to save at minimum $500.
Our research also showed that not enough money is required to switch insurance companies. Eight percent of the drivers surveyed stated that they would not switch. They either love their current company or have their insurance bundled.
After an accident, you can switch your car insurance
You may be considering Your auto insurance company will continue billing you for insurance if you do not cancel. To avoid any lapses in coverage, save yourself the hassle by learning how you can cancel your car insurance.