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Guide to Switch Car Insurance Policy Online

By Admin
13 May 2022, 1:26 PM

Most car insurance policies are valid for only a period of one year, which leaves you with the responsibility of renewal of the policy at the end of each successive year. Each car owner can exercise his or her discretion and choose an insurance provider and a policy that best caters to his or her needs.

You are free to switch your car insurance company and avail the benefits that the new insurer has to offer without foregoing the benefits that the current insurer has to offer.

Things to Consider Before Making the Move

The following aspects must be considered before making the switch in car insurance policies or companies –

Premiums – when the insurer increases the policy premium at the time of renewal, you may opt for another policy that offers better value for money – the exact same coverage for a lower premium cost.

Quality of service – is what will decide if the customer will be with the insurance company for the short term or will be there for the foreseeable future. A customer not satisfied with the quality of services will opt out very early and rightly so. For example, in case one’s present insurance company does not offer the policyholder a list of efficient cashless garages to choose from, then he or she will find a company that does. 

Customer service – a good work ethic and customer service are non-negotiable; any insurance company which does not offer you the same does not deserve your patience nor your consideration. Switch over to an insurance company that knows how to keep its customers satisfied and happy.

User interface of the official website – with most transactions and processes going digital, having a good website interface becomes indispensable. The interface must be simple, offer clarity, must be well-organized, the call-to-action features must be prominent and highly responsive.

Availability of additional coverages – Car insurance companies offer add-on covers to amplify the coverage offered by a basic comprehensive plan. In case you are unable to find the right add-on or protection for your car, then try looking for a different insurer who will offer you what you are in need of.

How to Switch From One Policy to Another?

Be clear about your requirements – analyze your requirements thoroughly to prevent the purchase of any unnecessary coverage. To get more clarity on your requirements, consider the daily usage of the car, age, and experience of the driver, driving habits, etc.

Research and compare this can be best done on neutral online websites that offer you a fair take on the different car insurance policies that are available. Tables, charts, and diagrams constructed on the information that is gleaned through different sources can be a good way to compare all the information at hand. 

Also, talk to other car insurance policyholders and get first-hand information about the kind of insurance company that they have opted in for. One may even check customer reviews and feedback online.

Look for the best coverages – always put in the same amount of diligence and homework that you put in while purchasing your first insurance policy. Carefully peruse the terms and conditions of the policy and in case any legalese or terms are difficult to comprehend, reach out to the insurer, a legal expert, a friend, or even google. 

Also, make maximum use of the free-look period to discern if the policy caters to all your requirements. A free-look period is quantified as a 15 day period (might vary from insurer to insurer), allowing the insured to contemplate on whether or not to keep the car insurance policy opted in by him or her. 

If the insured does not like the insurer, then he or she can cancel and receive a full refund of the amount paid.

Always check the reputation of the company, especially with their online services – check the online reputations of the insurance company by looking into the user testimonials, online reviews, and feedback, etc. The more positive reviews mean the better the online reputation of the insurer.

Check the Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR) – the CSR of an insurance company is defined as the ratio of the number of claims settled upon the number of claims received. This is an important factor to keep in mind while opting in for a policy from that company. The higher the CSR, the better an insurance company in successfully handling the claims. For example- Sujata wants to change her insurance company hence on her husband's recommendation she decided to check the CSR of his new company before switching. While checking the CSR, she was shocked to know that her new insurance company's claim settlement ratio was very low. Well, which means, in the future her claims might be rejected by the insurance company as their CSR record is quite poor. Hence, Sujata immediately revoked her decision and decided not to switch her car insurance policy in this company.   

Start the buying journey – before you embark on your buying journey, ensure that the old policy is cancelled and is not simply allowed to lapse for non-payment. Get a confirmation from the insurance company regarding the same to protect yourself from getting a tainted credit history and from being charged premiums unjustly even after you cease to benefit out of it.

Note: Do not forget to collect the certificate of the car insurance policy as it is important for transferring the No Claim Bonus (NCB) while purchasing a new insurance policy.

Select the right Insured Declared Value (IDV) – is the maximum amount that the insurance company will pay as a claim amount in case of damage, theft, or total loss of the insured’s vehicle. It is the current market value of the car, including the cost of the accessories, after subtracting depreciation. 

One must not lower the IDV during the time of renewal just to pay a lower premium as this might expose the car to greater risks and financial losses. Neither must one resort to a higher IDV value to command a higher price for the car, for the IDV is the maximum amount that the insurer will pay in case of financial loss. 

It is prudent to get it insured for the entire IDV. One must choose the most optimum premium reflecting the market price of the car and settle for a fair premium. The IDV is usually determined based on the make and model of the car, the city where it was registered, the age of the car, accessories to the car, the standard depreciation of the car’s value, etc.

Select the right add-ons – the add-on covers will provide a great degree of customization to your insurance policy and ensure that the car is protected in a better manner. These add-ons can be opted in at any time and missing out on them at the time of purchase of the policy is not a cause for worry. 

But ensure that you check the options available in terms of the add-ons to avail the benefits of the same from an early date itself with a nominal increase in the insurance premium.

Read the terms and conditions thoroughly - One of the most important aspects of switching to a new insurance company is to read the terms and conditions of the insurer and familiarise oneself with the new terms and conditions to help in the future with regard to your premium payments, claim settlement process, etc.

Make the payment online – consider making the payment of the policy online as it will ensure that the entire process is quick and secure. It is hassle-free and gives you the benefit of receiving the car insurance policy instantly on completion of the payment.

Why Should You Change the Policy?

The circumstances under which one must consider to change a car insurance policy as if he or she is seeking -

  • Better coverage
  • Better price
  • Better services and customer support
  • Additional services such as add-ons

Are There any Disadvantages of Changing the Policy Regularly?

Missing out on loyalty discounts – that a few car insurance companies offer to their customers for having availed their services for a long period of time.

Missing out on bundling discounts – which are offered for buying multiple products. It is offered when you buy different policies from the same insurance company. For instance, if you buy car insurance and health insurance from the same company then you may be offered a discount on one of these policies. 

This bundling discount will be lost when one opts out of his or her car insurance.

Conclusion

The insurer will not bind its policyholders to its policies explicitly; there is always a wide array of choices that the policyholder can pick his or her insurance policy from. Choose your options wisely and after careful consideration to suit your needs in the best possible manner.

Also, inform your insurance company about the cancellation of the policy and apply for a new policy quickly to prevent yourself from running into any legal hassles or misunderstandings at a later date.

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