Have you been stuck with the same old company for ten, fifteen, twenty years?! When did you last get a free quote? Getting a quote is the hard part, switching is the easy part, and we’re here to help!
How to Switch Car Insurance
Shopping around for a new quote every few years is always a great idea. Rates change all the time, so a company that was competitive a year or two ago may not be any longer, while another company may have new, low rates! An independent agent (like us!) will do the heavy lifting here by helping you get a variety of quotes from several different companies so you can pick the best rate and the coverage that works for you!
Did you know some people carry the same coverage for years just because that’s what they’ve always carried? It’s always a great idea to get a free review and make sure you have the right coverage for your situation.
Now, let’s get down to business! Here are tips to make your switch flawless:
1. Gather the necessary information and documents.
You’ll need to have a few things ready when you decide it’s time for a quote. This includes:
- Personal information such as full names, driver’s license numbers, birth dates and Social Security numbers for everyone on the policy.
- Year, Make, Model and Vehicle Information Numbers (VINs) for all cars on the policy. Especially if they’re a new purchase! Sometimes, we can get a vin number to pop up, so if you don’t have it quite yet – don’t fear! We can still get you a quote.
- The declarations page from your current insurance policy. This has all the details of your current policy including your premiums, deductibles, coverage maximums, drivers and the date the policy is valid through.
We’ll grab all of your information from you via phone or email on a form. Now that we have everything you need, we will work on quotes and get back to you by the end of the day (or the next day!) and it’s time to compare policies. Which brings us to the next tip.
2. Make sure your new policy includes everything it’s supposed to.
Every state requires you to have a certain amount of coverage. In Ohio, state minimum is $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for each accident, and $25,000 for property damage. So, you absolutely, positively must buy these limits of coverage at the very least.
But getting the minimum isn’t really good enough. You’ll need:
- Liability coverage: Liability insurance covers damage you may cause to another person’s car or their medical bills if you’re in an accident and it’s your fault. Dave Ramsey recommends at least $500,000 worth of liability coverage. (This is 10x more than state minimum in Ohio!)
- Collision coverage: This covers any damage to your car when you get in a wreck, whether you hit another car or a telephone pole or a house. This will pay for damage whether or not it’s your fault, so if you’re in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you can use this coverage by paying your deductible and getting your car fixed!
- Comprehensive coverage: This covers damage to your car that is not the result of a collision. Comprehensive covers things like hail damage, if it catches on fire, a tree falls on it, your car is stolen or vandalized. Hitting a deer also falls into this category. Windshield coverage also falls into this category, but we can break out a separate deductible for you – this is called full glass coverage.
If you’re looking for “full coverage” insurance, you’ll need all three. We’ll also include coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists, just in case you’re in an accident and the other driver is uninsured.
Other add-ons that typically come with a full coverage policy: rental reimbursement, roadside assistance, gap insurance and towing insurance. But all of these add-ons bump up the price of your premiums.
Just make sure you compare your current policy with the new policy to make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for. We can help here with the details of your old policy, explain your coverage, and identify any differences between the old and new policies!
3. Make sure there’s no lapse in coverage.
Make sure your start your new policy with us before you cancel your old policy with your old company. We want to make sure everything goes through successfully, prices don’t change for some reason, and that your new policy is 100% set up before you cancel your old policy.
4. Don’t forget to cancel your old policy.
So, you found a new policy that’s going to save you money. Great! But just like you don’t want to have a gap in coverage because you canceled your old policy too soon, you want to make sure you actually cancel your old policy. The whole point of switching car insurance is to save money, not to pay extra! So, be sure to remember that we can’t cancel your old policy for you and you’ll need to call your current company.
5. Get a refund for any prepaid coverage.
Good news! If you paid for your old policy up front (or switch in the middle of the month), your old company should refund you the prorated premium for the insurance you didn’t use. Let’s say your premium for a six-month period was $600, and you paid for all of it in January. If you switch your car insurance on May 1, your old insurance company owes you a refund that could be $200. Make sure you get it!
6. Be sure and put your new ID card in your car(s).
This goes without saying, but when you get your proof of insurance from your new company, make sure you put it in your car. This is the final step. If you get pulled over and don’t have proof of insurance, you could be fined for driving without insurance—even if you’re covered. Now, you may get that fine reversed. But, to do that, you’ll spend a day in traffic court. Skip the trip to court and make sure you have the current ID card in your glove box. Most companies let you print it out at home anyway, so there’s no excuse! Also, we have a great app you can use to store a copy right on your phone, so check our page for more information!