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February 18, 2019

5 essential tips for switching your car insurance company

Updated: 2/28/2020

Changing your car insurance company is not as complicated as you might think, and switching could amount to big savings that are worth a small hassle. 

Our Root Insurance app makes switching insurance companies simple. Customers can request to cancel their previous policy right in the app. And since Root bases rates primarily on driving behavior, good drivers could save hundreds annually.

Switch your car insurance in 5 easy steps:

  1. Decide when to switch

  2. Compare price, coverage, and reviews

  3. Be aware of hidden fees and misleading discounts

  4. Don’t let your coverage lapse

  5. Follow up

1. Decide when to switch

You can change your car insurance at any time. You’re not bound to a contract, as you are with most mobile phone plans. On average, Root customers save hundreds per year on their car insurance policies, when compared to their previous rates with other providers.

An important time to compare your car insurance options is after big life events like moving, buying a new car, or getting married. 

If your policy is up for renewal soon, that’s also a good time to check because you could be at risk of a price increase. 

Keep in mind that some companies penalize you for ending coverage before your renewal date—Root doesn’t—so check that before canceling your current coverage.

2. Compare price, coverage, and reviews

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

Compare price: Some companies offer a lower price—but for significantly less coverage. So if you’re in a major accident or your car is damaged, you could ultimately end up paying more.

At Root, the No. 1 factor that goes into your auto insurance rate is how well you drive

Our app makes it easy to get a car insurance quote, and you can control how much you’ll pay by adjusting your coverage types and amounts.

Compare coverage amounts: Make sure you know which coverages you actually need. Start by looking at your current policy, then compare how changing your coverage type affects your rate.

Choosing insurance coverages can be confusing, so we’ve broken down some common insurance jargon and walked through each step of customizing your policy. Try doing a side-by-side comparison of your car insurance options and benefits from Root with other companies.

Compare reviews: Any company will have some negative reviews, but look closely to determine which ones are real and how those issues could affect you. Root has an average rating of 4.7 [1]. We are committed to offering a great experience, excellent coverage and genuine savings.

3. Be aware of hidden fees and misleading discounts

Only pay for the coverage you need—traditional insurer rates are often inflated by the costs of covering bad drivers’ claims. The Root app prices rates fairly by filtering bad drivers out entirely.

Keep an eye out for discounts and deals that are too good to be true. At Root, we focus on 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. 

Crossing over your policies protects you from accidentally driving without insurance, which is illegal. If a gap in coverage is noted in your history, you could also be penalized in the future. Even with an overlap of coverage, you’ll normally get a prorated refund when you show proof of your new policy.

Root can even help cancel your old policy. And we make your Root proof of insurance available immediately in the app.

5. Follow up

Be sure to double-check that your previous company cancels your old policy. Get your cancellation in writing— by paper letter or email. 

While Root 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 your request went through.

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. We can notify them for you, when you add them to your policy through the app. 

Don’t forget to cancel any automatic bank payments to your previous company through your bank. And finally, check to make sure you got your prorated refund, if you’re expecting one.

This guide should help get you started on switching. Root is here every day to help make changing your car insurance company a lot less intimidating and complicated.

[1] 4.7 out of 5, based on 43.8K ratings for the Root app in the App Store as of September 2020

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