Car insurance demands us to keep aside a considerable amount of money toward it and is natural that the policyholder expects value for money. The minute that the insurance policy outlives its usefulness or feels inappropriate for your needs, it is advisable to switch car insurance companies to serve your interests as a car owner better!
Here’s everything you need to know about changing your car insurance company!
When to Switch?
The following circumstances warrant for a change in a car insurance company –
- Increase in premium: When the insurer increases the car insurance 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. Just like what Akash did when he switched his insurance company based on the fact that his existing company was charging the higher premium. He found a better company than his existing one, ready to offer maximum coverage at a low premium.
- Issues in customer servicing: A good work ethic and customer service are non-negotiable; any insurance company which does not offer you that does not deserve your patience nor your consideration. Switch over to an insurance company that knows how to keep its customers satisfied and happy.
- Change in employment or residence: If you plan on shifting to a place closer to the place of your employment, then you may get a better return on the insurance, as the daily usage of the car will be reduced rendering it safer for the insurance company to lower your premium rates. Also, in circumstances where your new place of residence is not rented but your own place, then the change in status will be a gain for you even in terms of your car insurance if you inform the insurer about it.
- Availability of cashless garages: In case your present insurance company does not offer you a list of efficient cashless garages to choose from, then it is always better to find a company that does. It is worth exploring as it will save considerable time during repairs and the whole process will be smoother as the settlement will be directly done by the insurer to the garage.
- Inadequate add-on covers: Car insurance companies offer add-on covers to amplify the coverage offered by a basic comprehensive car insurance 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?
- Compare policies: 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.
- Inform your current insurer: Inform the insurance company about the cancellation. Try and record all that is done, including communications that ensue between the insurer and yourself in writing. This is an excellent way to avoid any misunderstanding between the parties concerned and will ensure that a proper record of the happenings is maintained.
- Check expiry dates of the current policy: It is not advisable to cancel the policy if it is about to expire anyway, as the insured has complete discretion to change the policy type or the insurer even, at the time of renewal. It is best to just wait it out.
- Review the new car insurance company: 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. A free-look period is quantified as a 10-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.
- Avoid insurance lapses: As one can be charged for non-payment and it might be reflected on one’s credit history too. Also, it is in the insured’s best interests to check up on the refund policy of the insurer, before the policy lapses. If the policyholder has been prompt in the payment of premiums and has made the payment of premium for the current period, then the insurer is liable to make the refund payment to the insured. It is usually done on a pro data basis.
- Ensure cancellation of the old policy: 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.
- Refrain from raising claims on a new policy: As a rule of thumb, avoid raising claims on a new policy within 90 days from getting the policy as this could lead to the insurer bailing out on you.
- NCB Certificate: Do not forget to collect the certificate of the car insurance policy for it is important for transferring the No Claim Bonus (NCB) while purchasing a new insurance policy.
- Inform the insurer about any new modifications in the car before buying the new policy: Non-disclosure of vital information can result in the insurer alleging mala fide and vitiating the policy. Therefore, be transparent and give all the requisite information to the new insurer.
- Don’t forget to check the list of cashless garages and add-on covers: This is important when one has to go for repairs or servicing of the car. The add-on covers will provide a great degree of customisation 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.
No insurance company binds you to itself, and as a consumer, you’re free to choose any insurance provider as per your needs. Choose your options wisely and after careful consideration to suit your needs in the best possible manner. Also, make sure you’re informed about the cancellation policy of the insured in detail so that you can follow up diligently to prevent yourself from running into any legal hassles or misunderstandings at a later date!