Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

Full Bio →

Written by

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2019

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about car insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything car insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by car insurance experts.

Important facts to know...

Auto insurance is a product that you must apply for. After you get insurance quotes, it’s up to you to decide which company you’re going to apply for coverage through.

Submitting your application means that you want to go a step further past getting estimates and you want the company to issue you a final quote.

Auto insurance quotes and final policy premiums don’t always match. If the carrier finds something that changes your risk class, it’s a good possibility that you’ll get paperwork showing you a higher policy premium.

When this happens, it doesn’t always make sense to switch carriers. Canceling your policy before it ever starts is an option.

Compare car insurance quotes today and get the best price for the coverage you need.

Why do auto insurance rates change after you submit an application?

When you’re getting auto insurance quotes, you have to give insurance agents very accurate information.

If you try to keep a ticket or an accident a secret in hopes that the company won’t find out, this can ultimately change your final rate after your application is fully underwritten.

Insurance underwriters are assigned applications. The underwriter’s role is to verify all the verifiable information on the policy. At the end of the binding period, if there are changes in risk, the policy will be issued at a higher final rate.

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

When does the coverage on your insurance application take effect?

You can’t ever select a date in the past when you’re applying for auto insurance. Backdating an application for an insurance policy isn’t only frowned upon and risky, it’s also considered fraud in most states.

If you need immediate coverage, you can select the current date on your application. During the binding period, you’ll have coverage but the rate can still change up until the underwriting phase ends.

If you don’t need coverage at this very moment, you can select a date in the future. This is a common decision when you are approaching your renewal and you want to switch when the old policy expires.

If this is your intention, the application should have an effective date that matches your policy term’s expiration date.

FREE Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can you make changes to the coverage before the policy starts?

If you’re looking over your application and you’re not happy with the limits that you choose, you can always ask to have these changed.

It’s possible to make changes to an application during the underwriting phase but the agent may have to contact the underwriting department directly to process the change.

Your rate will more than likely change if you

  • raise your limits
  • change a deductible
  • make another update

Some agent might claim that they can’t quote the difference in premium until the policy goes through policy issuance. There are systems that restrict this, but when you get quotes online you’ll be able to input the new information to see how your rates will change.

Are you authorized to cancel a policy?

Not just anyone can request that a policy is changed or canceled. If you’re a rated driver on the policy, you have permission to drive the cars.

Only the named insured on the declarations page will be able to make these types of requests because they are the ones who entered into the contract.

No insurance company can stop you from switching insurance companies. Since you’re allowed to buy insurance wherever you’d like, you’re also allowed to cancel your insurance whenever you’d like to.

Insurance companies must comply with the Consumer Bill of Rights. This bill says that consumers can cancel their contract at any time and for any reason.

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is it called when you cancel your insurance before it starts?

It’s hard to cancel coverage that you’ve never had. If you have buyer’s remorse, your rate changes before issuance, or you find an even better deal, you can cancel the application before the coverage ever takes effect by canceling the application.

If you do want to cancel your application, you should contact the agent you purchased your coverage through. When you buy your policy online or by phone, you will need to call the company’s customer service department and provide the policy number.

Will you get a refund of the money you’ve paid?

You have to make a payment to submit your application. It might be a month’s worth of the premium or it might be a larger installment. Whatever you’ve paid will be refunded and no fee will be charged.

It seems silly to think that you’d want to cancel a policy that you don’t yet have, but it happens. If you didn’t shop around before you applied, you could find a better deal days after you’ve applied.

Make sure you shop around for coverage online and compare rates so you get the best rate without spending all your time shopping around. Use our free comparison tool to get started.