A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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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, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Apr 29, 2022

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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.

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Important Facts to Know

  • Switching insurance providers is relatively easy no matter what type of insurance you have, but some are more of a challenge
  • Life and health insurance are the most difficult to switch while home and car coverages are the easiest
  • While it can be tempting to switch immediately, you should always make sure that it’s the right time for you to switch insurance companies to avoid a lapse in coverage or cancellation fees

There are many reasons you might want to switch to a new insurance company. From cheaper prices to bad customer service experiences, people switch their insurance every day. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to find insurance coverage elsewhere, with the exception of your health insurance. Car insurance companies, in particular, may reward you for signing up for a new policy with them by giving you a special discount.

However, there are times when it’s best to stay with your insurance a little longer if possible. It’s important to know if canceling an insurance policy will have negative consequences.

If you’re wondering, “Can I change my insurance coverage at any time?” the answer is yes. If you need to find new coverage, enter your ZIP code into our free tool to see what quotes might look like for you.

Can you switch insurance at any time?

You can cancel your insurance at any time if you feel like the service you’re getting isn’t what you signed up for. The process to cancel your policy and switch to a new one is usually straightforward, and most companies don’t charge a cancellation fee. If you paid for your entire policy (in either a six-month or one-year period), you should be refunded for whatever is leftover.

While it’s always a good idea to check insurance prices periodically, dropping your insurance for a new company immediately isn’t always the best choice. The best time to switch insurance companies is when you’ve had a major life change, such as:

  • Buying a new house
  • Adding a new car
  • A new licensee in the household
  • Getting married
  • Relocation

The common thread between these situations is that your driving or credit situation has drastically changed. Another reason you may want to change insurance companies is bad customer service, which is something no one should have to tolerate. Insurance companies base the price of your coverage on your driving profile, and even a small change can make a big difference.

How do insurance companies decide rates?

There are many factors that car insurance companies use to determine how much to charge you for your insurance. Every company uses its own formula, but here are some common factors most providers consider.

  • Driving record. If you have an accident, speeding ticket, DUI, or other driving incidents on your record, you’ll pay more for insurance than a person with a clean history.
  • Gender. Statistically, men are more likely to engage in risky behavior. Women usually pay less for insurance because they are less likely to be involved in an accident or incident.
  • Marital status. It’s a mystery as to why, but married people file fewer claims.
  • Car make, model, and year. Some cars are more likely to be involved in accidents than others, and some vehicles cost more to repair, making them more expensive to insure.
  • Location. Insurance companies may determine rates based on how many claims happen in your ZIP code.
  • Credit score. Insurance companies base your ability to pay your bills on your credit score, so lower scores mean higher prices.
  • Age. Older drivers tend to be safer, while younger drivers lack the experience to know what to do in dangerous situations.

Your insurance rates are also determined by the amount of coverage you need and how many cars are on the policy. Obviously, a single person with one car will pay less than a family policy with multiple cars and multiple drivers. Even a small change to your situation makes it worthwhile to check out quotes from other companies. You won’t know if you’re overpaying if you never look.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare car insurance company rates.

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Are there times when you shouldn’t change your insurance?

When can you change your insurance policy? Anytime you’d like, but there are a few circumstances when it might be better to wait it out.

If your insurance provider charges a cancellation fee, you might want to wait until it’s time for your policy to renew before you cancel. Most companies don’t charge one, but you can check with your agent if you’re not sure. You also might want to wait if you’ve been with your insurance company for six months or less. A lot of insurance companies offer a discount if you switch from a different company, but only if you were with your current insurance for more than six months.

You should definitely wait if you have an open claim with your current insurance company that you were at fault for. You can technically switch still, but having an open claim will drastically increase your rates. If you do decide to switch with an open claim, make sure to tell your new company about it. Being honest with them can save you money, and you might be denied coverage if you try to hide it.

How to Change My Insurance Plan

The process of changing your insurance is relatively easy and only takes a few steps.

The first step is to compare car insurance companies. After all, why would you switch companies if you didn’t have somewhere better to go? You can find information about pricing as well as coverage options. All it takes is some basic information from you.

When you look at other companies, keep your insurance needs in mind. Do you want to protect your car from as much damage as possible or do you want the cheapest minimum coverage you can find? Do you want to put multiple cars on a policy or just one? Companies charge different rates for similar products, which is why comparing quotes is crucial to finding the best policy for you.

The next step is to purchase a policy. Once you find the right quote for you, you can sign up for your new insurance by contacting an agent either online or by phone.

After you’ve signed up for a new policy, it’s time to cancel your current insurance. You might be tempted to cancel before you find new coverage, but even a tiny lapse in insurance can make your rates go up. You can avoid that lapse by canceling after setting up a new plan.

If you own your car outright, all you have to do is print out or download your proof of insurance cards. If you have a car loan, make sure to notify your lender that you have new coverage.

Can you change other insurance plans?

As you can see, it’s easy enough to change your car insurance. What about your other insurance policies?

You’re never stuck with any insurance company. There can be some significant disadvantages to switching to a new company, though, so it’s important to make sure it’s the right move for you before you do it.

Homeowners insurance is the most like car insurance in that there are relatively few drawbacks to switching. If you’re wondering, “Can I change my insurance plan mid-year?” the answer for homeowners is an easy yes. You might have a cancellation fee, but that’s about as far as negative consequences go.

Harder to switch is life insurance. There are fewer reasons to switch your life insurance plan because rates typically stay the same throughout the policy. However, if you decide to switch, you’ll be starting over. That means you’ll have to restart your waiting period. Hopefully, it won’t matter that you’re restarting the waiting period. However, if the worst happens and you die before the plan is set, your beneficiary won’t receive the full payout from your policy.

The trickiest insurance to switch is health insurance, simply because you usually need to sign up during open enrollment. If you need to cancel your current health insurance, you can sign up for short-term coverage, but rates are generally higher.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare car insurance company rates.

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Find the Best Insurance for Your Needs

There are some times when it is definitely best to keep your insurance coverage in place, but you should never feel like you’re stuck with a company. If your insurance policy isn’t meeting your needs, there are plenty of other companies that would happily give you the insurance you deserve.

If you’ve been wondering, “How do I change my insurance coverage?” now you know that the first step is to compare quotes with as many companies as possible. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool to get started.

  1. https://www.iii.org/article/what-determines-price-my-auto-insurance-policy