5 Reasons to Consider Switching Car Insurance

Are you satisfied with your car insurance?

Young man leaning on crashed car, low section
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Car insurance is expensive, and finding a policy that works for you can be very expensive, time-consuming, or both. The good news is that your car insurance policy is not permanent. If you are not happy with the car insurance company covering you now, you can always switch to a different insurance provider.

The harder news is that you can’t wait around trying to choose a new company to trust with your money. If you want to legally drive a car on the road in all but a very few states, you need a license, you need a car, and you need to have an insurance policy that covers that car (and you). This is as far as most people get before they start to feel overwhelmed and confused. There are so many different companies and policies to choose from! Who do you work with?

Here are the top five reasons that people change their policies and providers.

1. Cost

The cost of an insurance policy is not universal. You can get the exact same coverage at twenty different prices from twenty different companies. It is entirely possible that you can get the exact same coverage you have now for a fraction of the price from a different company. It is important to note that a lot of various factors go into figuring out what an insurance policy costs, and not all those factors center on you. The cost of running the business, the cost of offering other benefits, and other hidden expenses also figure into what you eventually pay for your policy.

This is why you need to consider more than your out-of-pocket costs before switching to a new provider. Of course, there are several factors that you are in control of, and any steps you can take to improve your driving record will go a long way towards saving you money.

2. Personal Choice

One of the reasons that many minimum coverage car insurance policies are cheap is because you are limited when it comes to maintenance and repairs. Much like an HMO, your car insurance provider can require that you only take your vehicle to one of its approved repair shops or dealerships. Progressive insurance is famous for this, as is Geico.

If it is important to you that you decide who "treats" your car, you might have to come to terms with paying a higher price.

3. Benefits

What "perks" does your insurance policy offer to you? Some of the best perks to look for are the lowering of your rates if you go twelve months without an accident and accident forgiveness. It is also good to go with a company that will pay for your rental car if you have to leave your car in a repair shop overnight (or for several days). Some companies will also lower your rates if you bundle your car insurance with other types of policies you might need. Allstate, for example, offers discounts to people who bundle their car and rental/homeowners’ insurance policies.

4. Circumstances Have Changed

When your circumstances change, you should start checking around for a new insurance policy. A new car often requires full coverage until the car is paid off. Some local insurance companies do not offer continued coverage when you move to a new city or state.

Another big difference is when you add a new driver to your policy. Depending on that driver's age (and, sadly, often gender), your rates might go up, and you might have to add different areas of coverage to your policy.

5. Customer Service/Company Issues

What kind of customer service do you get from the company? Are the representatives attentive? Do they treat you with respect? How do the claim adjusters and representatives of the company manage the people who work on your car? It is essential to know these things. If you (or your mechanic) is treated rudely or short-changed by the company, it is time to switch.

It is also worth it to take some time to look into the ethics of the company. While not a car insurance company, GoDaddy lost floods of customers after it came out that the CEO of the company was into killing large animals for sport (and they lose more every time they air a new commercial). Make sure the powers that be at your insurance company are not engaged in anything that you find abhorrent. You don’t want your money to pay for things that you ethically disagree with, do you? It is possible that your current policy meets all of your needs and requirements.

If it does not, though, use these criteria to help you choose someone else.