For most people, finding an insurer for their car is a hassle, and once you find one you’re happy with, you probably don’t feel like repeating the process any time soon. However, that’s a mistake because by shopping around, it’s quite possible you can find a better deal.
Taking a bit of time to look for a new insurer for your car can be a great way to save yourself a little cash, and if you’re interested in giving it a go, here’s all the information you need about how to switch your car insurance.
If you want a preview of some of the stuff we’re going to be talking out, you can also check out this video before reading on.
Why should you switch your car insurance?
Some people might assume that once you sign up with an insurer, you will be rewarded for your loyalty, and that by sticking with the same company, you will automatically receive preferential rates.
However, while this might seem intuitive, in reality, it’s not the case. In fact, if you stay with an insurer for a long time, they will feel confident you’re not going anywhere and will actually increase your premium each time your renewal is up.
Insurance companies are notorious for increasing premiums like this, and this is the logic behind why it happens. This means when it’s time to renew, you should shop around. A new insurer will probably offer you a more attractive deal to try to win your custom.
Furthermore, the premium you pay is based on certain factors like where you live, the car you drive and even if you are married or single.
This means by looking at other options, you might find a more suitable deal for your current situation.
And even if you don’t change, if you go to your current insurer with details of some of the offers you’ve received, they might try to improve your deal to keep you on their books.
When should you change?
The simple answer is that you should consider other insurance options each time your policy is up for renewal, which could be every six or 12 months, depending on where you live and your policy.
Also, if you move house, buy a house, get married or go through any other similar big life changes, you might consider looking at other insurers – even if your existing policy isn’t up for renewal – because these things can have a big effect on your premium.
The steps to Switch Car Insurance
Here are the most important steps to follow when you want to change your car insurance.
- Shop around
If you want to find a better deal, you should compare several different companies. The quickest way is to fill in quote forms on insurance websites. This normally takes around 10-15 minutes for each one, and this way you can try three, four, five or more different companies.
If you have time, you can also speak to insurance agents, either by phone or in person. This is more time consuming, but a human being will be able to give a more detailed quote that is better tailored to you. This means you might get an even better deal.
When shopping around for insurance, you should see checking out three companies as the minimum – but if you can do five, seven or even more, that’s even better.
- Consider your coverage
One way of lowering your premium is to consider the type of coverage you require. Do you need fully comprehensive cover, or could you opt for something less expensive?
While you don’t want to leave yourself short if you have an accident, paying for comprehensive cover on an old vehicle is often a waste of money – so if your vehicle is getting on, consider changing the type of cover you have.
Similarly, you can lower your premium by having a higher deductible.
- Ask about discounts
When you speak to a new company, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask about which discounts you might be eligible to receive.
Many discounts exist, including discounts for good drivers, discounts for bundling your home and car insurance together, discounts for good students and even discounts for going paperless when it comes to your statements.
- Do the sums
When you think you have found a good deal, make sure you do the calculations properly. You might find one policy is more expensive but works out as a better deal due to discounts, benefits etc.
Also, bear in mind that if you cancel your old policy, you might be liable to pay a fee, so make sure you factor this cost in too.
- Research the new company
Before making the switch, do some basic research into the new insurance company. Is it a reliable company with a good customer satisfaction rating?
- Make sure your policies overlap
When you change over, it is extremely important to make sure there is no lapse in your insurance cover. If you are left without cover for even just a day, this could be enough for you to receive a fine or be categorized as a high-risk driver in the future.
If you have an accident, it will be even worse since you will have been driving when uninsured.
In short, it’s much better to be covered by two insurance companies for a day or two than to go even one day with no cover at all.
- Cancel your old policy and keep your new papers handy
Make sure all the necessary paperwork and admin is done to cancel your old policy. You should let your old company know in writing and make sure that any automatic payments are cancelled correctly.
When this is done, all that’s left is to put your new insurance ID in your wallet or vehicle in case you get stopped by the police, and you’re good to go.
Don’t assume it’s best to be loyal to your insurer
As we’ve seen, it’s not always the best idea to remain loyal to one insurer since they will count on you staying and will gradually bump your premium up year by year.
Instead, by shopping around, you can often save yourself quite a lot of money – and that’s got to make it worth having a go.