Can You Switch Car Insurance Companies At Any Time In Alberta
Yes, with most insurance companies you usually can. But, timing matters. Depending on where you are in your policy term, you could be charged a cancellation fee. This is also known as a short rate fee. To avoid paying a hefty penalty out of pocket, the best time to switch insurance providers is typically right before or at renewal. But, you might just find that you could save more by switching now, despite a cancellation fee.
Want to know more about switching to Sonnet? Try our cancellation calculator to see how much it could cost – and get a personalized quote in just 5 minutes!
Heads up! If you do switch insurance companies, always secure coverage for a new policy before cancelling your current policy.
Policies underwritten by Sonnet Insurance Company except for Sonnet Pet Insurance. Sonnet Insurance Company is registered with Autorité des marches financiers as a property and casualty insurer and damage insurance agency . Contact Sonnet in either capacity via chat, electronic note, or by logging into the customer portal at https://www.sonnet.ca/contact-us .
Always refer to your insurance policy for information about your coverage, including limits, deductibles, and exclusions. In case of discrepancy, the insurance contract prevails over general information available on this site. Any policy related changes made on this site will not be effective until you receive confirmation.
Your Driving Record May Affect Your Eligibility For Car Insurance
Your driving record might not be squeaky clean, but in most cases, that shouldn’t prevent you from changing auto insurers.
“Your ability to switch insurance companies most likely won’t be impeded by infractions you may have on your record,” Minnich says.
However, if you have a serious violation, such as a DUI, not all companies may be willing to offer you insurance.
Determine How Much Coverage You Need
The type of insurance you decide to carry depends on how much your state requires and how much coverage you want in the event of an accident. The state minimum is how much any driver must carry, while liability insurance offers protection for any damage you cause to others. Full coverage auto insurance pays for damages caused to both yourself and others by adding comprehensive and collision coverage.
The level of coverage you need depends on your car’s value, the coverages required by your leasing company or lender, the value of your assets and several other factors.
Average Car Insurance Costs by Coverage Type
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- 100/300/100 Liability Insurance with Comprehensive and Collision $1,466
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Faq: How To Switch Car Insurance
Can I switch my auto insurance at any time?
You can end your policy at any point before renewal, though some providers may charge you a cancellation fee for leaving mid-policy.
How do I switch car insurance?
The seven basic steps for how to switch car insurance policies include:
Is it bad to switch car insurance companies?
Its OK to switch auto insurance providers as long as you avoid lapses in coverage. Many financial experts recommend researching the best car insurance rates once or twice a year.
How do I transfer my car insurance from one company to another?
Youll want to choose the same types of coverage on your new policy that you carried on your old one. To avoid a gap in coverage, youll also want to notify your old provider that youve switched to a different company.
Take Out The New Policy Before Cancelling Your Old One
Next, decide when you want to make the switch. You can time it to take advantage of any discounts from your new company and to minimise any fees from your old one. Most people like to switch towards or at the end of their term. Its important to make sure you arent left without any insurance for too long.
If you want to switch car insurance mid-policy, check for cancellation fees and similar conditions in your old policy. Always read the Product Disclosure Statement , when reviewing policies. Make sure you have accepted and paid for your new car insurance policy and have the letter/email of confirmation from the insurer before you cancel your old policy. Accidents happen in a split second.
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Get Your New Policy First
If you are going to switch car insurance providers buy your new policy first. This is really important.
If your insurance current insurance ends before the new policy kicks in, the quote you had may no longer be valid. Why? Because without your old insurance you would be classed as an uninsured driver.
Insurance companies look at your history and prefer drivers with a continuous insurance record. By ditching your old policy too early, you have broken your insurance streak. You do not want to have a lapse in coverage.
This could mean that the quote you thought you had with your new insurer no longer applies, and any new quote could be significantly higher.
What Should You Do Before Switching Companies
Before you make the jump to a new company, you might need to complete a few tasks. Most of these tasks can save you money and ensure that you’re making the right decision by switching insurers.
Once you’ve decided on an insurer, it’s important to avoid having a lapse in coverage. Not having insurance could lead to financial and legal issues, especially if you’re involved in an accident while uninsured.
If you don’t have a smooth transition, your old company could report your terminated policy with the state, and you could be fined or have your license suspended. It’s best to time the switch just before your current policy expires.
Don’t assume that just because you stopped paying premiums that your old company canceled your policy. If you have auto-renewal, your current insurer could report to the credit bureau that you’re not making payments.
Instead, contact your insurance agent and state that you’re terminating the policy. Ask that the agent send you verification in writing that the policy is canceled, so you have proof. If you have auto-payment, log into your account and cancel all upcoming withdrawals.
After you’ve officially canceled your old policy and switched over to the new one, print out your new insurance ID cards. Make sure you keep one in your vehicle or wallet since this provides proof of coverage. You can still use the ID card online via your smartphone, but having a hard copy can help if you’re in an area without cell service.
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Find The Best Rates For Your Driving History
Comparing quotes is especially important if you have a blemish on your driving record, as high-risk drivers pay more for insurance. Switching car insurance after an indiscretion falls off your record could be a good decision and lead to a significantly lower rate. Even if an incident appears on your driving record, it’s still worth it to shop around.
Car insurance quotes can vary greatly depending on the severity of your violation, as the table below demonstrates.
Average Annual Premium by Driving Record
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** The average driver is defined as a 40 year-old male w/ no violations. All policies in this table have 100/300/100 liability insurance and comprehensive/collision coverage with a $1K deductible.*
Ask About Cancellation Fees And Refunds
Find out upfront about any fees or possible refunds from your current insurer. Many companies allow you to cancel for free at any time, but some might charge a fee if you cancel mid-policy.
You may get a refund if you switch well before your policy runs out. For instance, if you paid for a six-month policy but decide to switch after four months, your insurer should reimburse you for the remaining two months worth of coverage .
If you are entitled to a refund, your insurer ideally will pay it with no fuss, but customers occasionally struggle to get back what theyre owed. Address this issue right away when you cancel your policy and follow up with your insurer in case of delays.
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How To Shop For New Insurance
There are lots of options out there, but shopping around really will help you save money. Even when it isnt clear which carriers would be best for your situation, stick with it you could save yourself hundreds of dollars per year.
The Cover app is all about making this process a whole lot easier. Just by answering a few simple questions on the app we can match you up with an insurer that suits your needs.
Well find you a competitive quote in a matter of minutes, compared to the hours you might have to spend doing your own research.
Talk To The Prospective New Agent
Talk to your new prospective agent. Let them know what you have been dealing with and what you are looking for in an insurance agent. Once you get a good feel for them, ask them how to go about transferring your current policy over to them. Keep in mind, this only works if you are switching to an agent who sells insurance for the same insurance carrier in the same state.
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When To Switch Auto Insurance Companies
Although you can change car insurance companies at any time, there are often situations that lend themselves well to looking for a new company. These circumstances may include:
While switching carriers can have its advantages, there are also times when changing insurance companies may not be a good idea. If you have just filed a claim, for example, you likely will not be able to change carriers. If the claim has not been settled and paid, your new car insurance company will not have the opportunity to correctly rate your policy. This could cause a large increase in your new policy at renewal, a retroactive charge to account for the increased risk that the new company did not know about or even a cancellation for misrepresentation if you did not tell your new carrier about the claim.
Check If You’ll Be Charged A Cancellation Penalty
Most insurance companies allow you to cancel auto insurance without any issues — as long as you provide proper notice. However, some car insurance companies may charge you an early cancellation fee or even refuse to provide you a refund for the unused portion of your prepaid car insurance.
You may want to call your insurance company or review your policy’s terms and conditions to find out if you’ll be charged a cancellation penalty. For example, Esurance says, “you may be charged a cancellation fee — or a flat-fee between $30-$50.” Knowing in advance will help you decide whether to switch right away — or wait to cancel until it’s time for your policy to renew.
If there is a cancellation penalty, look into new-customer or insurance transfer discounts from your new insurance company. It’s typically 5% and may offset your existing insurance company’s cancellation fee.
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Can You Switch Auto Insurance At Any Time
Yes, you can switch auto insurance carriers at any time. However, switching mid-policy may mean you will forfeit the premiums youve already paid to your current company. So you may want to switch at the end of your current car insurance terms, which may be at the end of the monthly billing cycle or at the conclusion of a six-month billing cycle.
If you owe money on your vehicle, youre required to have car insurance at all times, so youll need to make sure you have another policy in place at the time you switch insurance carriers.
Additionally, if youve just been in an accident or had a moving violation and are currently dealing with a claim, canceling your car insurance is a terrible idea. If you cancel or switch to a new company, you may be dealing with two different companies for the same claim. Things can get messy quickly, so its best to avoid switching or canceling until the claim has been settled.
Evaluate Cancellation Fees And Refunds
Insurance companies may charge you a cancellation fee if you end your policy early, but you may also be eligible for a refund of the remainder of your policy. Just because you may pay a penalty for cancelling doesn’t not mean you shouldn’t switch. If the monthly savings and refund are higher than the cost of a cancellation fee, it may make sense to switch car insurance companies right now, even if you are mid-policy.
Some companies may penalize you for terminating your coverage early. Those that do often charge either a percentage of the remaining premium or a flat fee. Be sure to investigate the cancellation fee before making a decision about when to switch car insurance. If you only have a month or two remaining on your current policy, it may make sense to wait until the end of your term before switching.
On the other hand, it may be possible to get a refund on the remainder of your policy. Not all companies offer refunds, but you should always ask, especially if you cancel mid-policy or already paid in advance. Many companies process refunds automatically but always keep an eye on your account to ensure the money arrives. If not, you may need to call the company or, if possible, use an online chat feature on their website. A few things to say or ask when calling include:
- What amount was left on the policy the day I canceled?
- What percentage should I expect to get back?
- How will the money be sent?
- How long will it take to arrive?
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How Do I Cancel My Current Insurance Policy
Once youve done your research and have found the coverage you want, the best way to complete the switch is to call your isure broker and ask for a cancellation. They will send you something called a Lost Policy Voucher or LPV. This is a form you sign which will cancel your policy. You can also sign the back of your current policy and return it. Be sure to verify that youve cancelled your old policy once your new policy takes effect dont just let it lapse on its own! If you dont specifically cancel your policy, it will get cancelled for non-payment which will negatively impact your insurance rates. Your new insurer is not responsible for cancelling your old policy.
Disadvantages Of Changing Car Insurance Provider:
Just like every coin has two sides, changing your current insurance company also has a few downsides. Here are the disadvantages of switching to a new car insurance company:
1. Loyalty Discounts
A few car insurance companies offer a loyalty discount that could reduce the cost of the policy. When you switch to a new insurance company, you may lose out on loyalty discounts.
2. Discount for buying multiple products
This is called bundling discount. It is offered when you buy different policies from the same insurance company. For example, consider you buy car insurance and health insurance from the same company then you may be offered a discount on one of these policies. You would lose the bundling discount for opting out of car insurance.
It is clear that the advantages of switching to a better insurer outweigh the disadvantages. Thus, go for the best available car insurance company to avail the best services as a car owner. Also, remember to be judicial while selecting add-ons as they would increase the cost of your car insurance policy.
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Why Not Change Auto Insurers
Weve talked about the numerous pros to swap auto insurance coverage. Youre probably going to save money, might find the service is much better and step into a more technology-savvy company that offers better ways to keep in touch online.
But for some, no amount of money is enough to switch insurers. Switching might not be for you if:
- You already have reasonable rates and love your current company.
- You love your current policys perks that you would lose if you leave your insurer, such items you had to earn over the years like a vanishing deductible or accident forgiveness.
- Youre pleased with the service provided and the other company isnt known for its customer service.
- You have bundled coverage and like the convenience of having everything with one company.
- You have an open claim. You will have to continue to work with your former insurer to complete the claim process, Gusner said.
However, any of these reasons shouldnt stop you from comparison shopping and seeing about better deals and what is out there, said Gusner.
There are certain circumstances when it may be better to hold off on making a switcheroo. For instance, if you have been with an insurer for a long time and that insurer doesnt check your not-so-great driving record at each renewal period due to your loyalty.
Will Changing Insurance Companies Affect My Rate
No, it will not. Gone are the days that people commit to their insurance company for 10+ years. As Ontarians become more financially savvy, insurance companies continue to expand their types of coverage. Insurers are developing more online platforms to inform the public about potential savings, they understand people are looking to make the switch more readily. If you understand the rules and regulations around making a switch before your auto insurance is up for renewal, your auto insurance rate will not become more expensive. If you are unsure, you can check with one of our isure brokers today.
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