5 tips on how to switch car insurance companies

Updated: 2/28/2020

Switching auto insurance companies can leave you with a lot of questions:

Is it bad to switch insurance companies?
Can I change car insurance before the renewal date?
How do I even do it?

It’s easier than you think to change insurance companies. And the amount you could save is often worth the small hassle.

The Root app makes switching insurance companies easy. Customers can request to cancel their previous policy right in the app. And since Root bases rates primarily on driving behavior, good drivers save up to 52%.

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Here’s how to switch car insurance in 5 easy steps:

  1. Decide when to switch
  2. Compare price, coverage, and reviews
  3. Beware of hidden fees and trick discounts
  4. Don’t let your coverage lapse
  5. Make sure to follow up


1. Decide when to switch

Can you change car insurance at any time? Yes. You’re not bound to a contract like a cell phone plan. So if you switch to Root now, you could spend your savings on something you really want. Root’s customers, on average, save $1,142 per year on their car insurance policies when compared to their previous rate with another provider.

Some of the most important times to compare car insurance options are after big life changes like moving, buying a new car, or getting married. And if your policy is up for renewal soon, you may be at risk of a price increase, so that’s a good time to check, too. Some companies penalize you for ending coverage before your renewal date (Root does not), so check before canceling your current coverage.

2. Compare price, coverage, and reviews

Price is important, but it’s not the only thing to look out for. Poor coverage and bad customer service could cost you more in the long run.

Comparing insurance pricing when choosing to switch 2020

Compare price — Some companies offer a lower price but for significantly less coverage. So if you’re in a major accident or your car gets damaged, you may ultimately pay more.

The #1 factor that goes into your Root auto insurance rate is how well you drive. The app makes it easy to get a car insurance quote and control how much you pay by adjusting coverage amounts.

Compare coverage amounts — Make sure you know which coverages you actually need. Start by looking at your current policy. Then compare each type of coverage to the new quotes.

Insurance coverage can get confusing, but don’t worry—Root breaks down insurance lingo and walks you through each step of customizing your policy. Compare car insurance options and benefits from Root with other companies. Look at them side by side, if it helps.

Compare reviews — Any company will have some negative reviews, but look closely to determine which are real and how it could affect you. Root Insurance has an average rating of 4.7. We pride ourselves on offering a great experience, excellent coverage, and even better savings.

3. Beware of hidden fees and trick discounts

Only pay for the coverage you need—don’t be tricked by inflated rates traditional insurers offer to make up for bad drivers’ claims. The Root app prices insurance rates fairly by filtering bad drivers out.

Some insurance companies even lure you in with absurd discounts and deals. At Root, we care about what matters—your good driving—so the discounts are already included in your rate.

4. Don’t let your coverage lapse

Start your new policy before you cancel the old one to avoid a lapse in coverage. A crossover of policies protects you from accidentally driving without insurance, which is illegal. You could also be penalized in the future if a gap in coverage is noted in your history. Even with an overlap of coverage, you’ll normally get a prorated refund when you show proof of the new policy.

Root will save you the hassle of canceling your old policy by requesting it for you. And your Root proof of insurance is available immediately in the app.

5. Make sure to follow up

Double check that your previous company actually cancels your old policy. Not all insurance companies are as modern as Root, so it can take them longer. Get your cancellation in writing (paper letter or email), just to be sure. While we can request the cancellation for you, we can’t force it. If you don’t receive notification within 10 business days, call your previous company to confirm.

If you have a loan or lease on your car, you’ll also want to notify your lien holder (leasing company) about the change in coverage. Root does this for you, too, when you add them to your policy through the app. And don’t forget to cancel any automatic payments through your bank to your previous company. Finally, make sure you get your prorated refund (if you’re expecting one).

Switching car insurance doesn’t have to be intimidating and complicated. Yes, it requires a little work. But the savings—up to 52% with Root—is worth it.

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4.7 out of 5 based on 26.7K ratings for the Root app in the App Store as of September 2019.

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