There are several ways you can change your car insurance policy. The most obvious may be moving from one company to another, but you can also change features and options with your current policy. Other times, policies change in ways that aren’t obvious to the policyholder, since the agent, broker or insurance company does all the work behind the scenes. The motorist’s only awareness of change may be the arrival of a new pink insurance slip. Let’s look at what happens with the various changes to a car insurance policy.
Changing Car Insurance Providers
If you’ve taken advantage of Quote Finder’s car insurance calculator and found another insurance company with a substantially lower rate, you may want to switch your policy immediately to start enjoying the savings.
Changing at the end of your car insurance term is the least complicated. Arrange for coverage with the new company, noting the effective date of the new policy, then notify your existing company that you’ll not be renewing the current policy. Most insurers automatically renew unless they hear otherwise from the client. For your protection, make the request in writing requesting confirmation.
Making a change before the end of your current policy’s term works the same way. However, there are two financial transactions to keep in mind. If you’ve paid any premiums in advance, such as when you pay for the entire year at the start of the term, rather than monthly, your current company owes the amount of unused premiums to you.
However, you likely owe the company an administrative fee for early cancellation. This is most often a prorated amount based on how much of the original term remains. Cancelling early in the term carries higher fees than near the end. Make sure to check this before setting a date for switchover, since it may be in your interest to postpone a change until the end of the current policy.
Note that motorists in provinces with public insurance plans (British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec and Saskatchewan) don’t have options to change companies for the public portions of auto insurance.
Changing Details of Your Current Car Insurance Policy
Should your current policy’s terms and options not suit your needs, you can change these simply by contacting your insurer – through an agent or broker or directly with the company itself.
Common aspects to change include deductible amounts to raise or lower either coverage or the amount you pay in premiums. You may add or remove endorsements. For example, if you’re planning to travel and rent cars more frequently, you may add a non-owned vehicle endorsement that extends your coverage to a rented car.
Changing Vehicles Covered Under Your Car Insurance Policy
Insurance policies generally attach to one vehicle, identified by VIN number. When you trade in and buy a new car, you inform your insurer of the changes. From your point of view, it seems that you’re updating your policy, but in fact, the insurer changes the policy from the old vehicle to the new one. You’ll see only the new pink slip and any changes in premiums the new vehicle creates.
If you haven’t checked the market for lower auto insurance rates lately, head to the top of the page and try Quote Finder’s car insurance calculator. You could save hundreds over your current rate.