Owning a car is a necessity in many places throughout America, but it comes with several frustrating costs. On top of operating expenses, such as gas and maintenance, most states also require that you carry at least a minimum level of liability insurance coverage. While insurance is vital to protect both yourself and other drivers, there's nothing wrong with looking for ways to minimize the cost of this critical service.
You can reduce your coverage amounts to save some money, but this may leave you with a few risky holes in the protection your plan offers you. An alternative is to shop around for better rates and try to switch insurers. However, this process might seem confusing if you haven't done much insurance shopping before, so this guide will help you understand your rights and the options available to you.
Can You Get Out of Your Current Plan?
One concern you may have is whether you can leave your current insurer. While no laws prevent you from switching providers, some penalties may be associated with ending your plan early. If you're considering switching providers, always begin by contacting your current insurer and speaking to their customer service department.
In almost all cases, you'll be able to leave your current policy and recover any premiums for future coverage. Note that recovering your premiums and avoiding penalties is often contingent on providing your insurer with ample notice, so you should always start with this step. Even if there are no penalties for ending your contract early, staying in touch with your current provider throughout the process will help ensure a smoother transition.
Should You Switch Providers?
Of course, just because you can do something doesn't necessarily mean that you should. When it comes to switching insurance providers, you'll want to take the time to perform some research before you leap. Although everyone's situation will be a little different, a good rule of thumb is to follow these three steps before deciding on a new insurer:
- Take the time to visit a few insurance provider websites and gather a list of quotes.
- Contact your current insurer, provide any lower quotes you may have found, and ask if they are able to offer you a better rate.
- Discuss options with your current provider to reduce your coverage levels in order to obtain a rate that's more in line with your budget.
If you take these steps and find that your premiums with your current provider are still too high, then that's likely a good sign that you should consider switching. Use the list you developed in the first step to contact providers with the best quotes. It's often a good idea to do this by phone since an agent may be able to provide you with an even better offer than the ones you have received online.
While switching to a new insurer might seem like it requires many steps, it can be a great way to save some cash on your monthly vehicle expenses. Shopping around every few years can also help to ensure that you're currently receiving the best rate possible for your vehicle.
Keep these tips in mind when looking for auto insurance companies, such as Your Local Insurance Services, or others near you.