Vehicle owners want affordable and dependable insurance, so it’s common to wonder how to change your car insurance policy for the best coverage and savings possible. When you buy auto insurance, you are essentially purchasing a promise from the insurance company to look after you in the event of a claim. However, you might think you’re paying too much for this promise or have a reason to doubt whether your insurance company will treat you fairly following a claim. In that case, you may choose to look for another insurance provider.
Thankfully, switching car insurance companies is easy. Here’s what you should know about how to change your car insurance policy in Canada.
How do I change my car insurance policy: Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to change insurance providers at any time?
There are many reasons why you might want to know how to change your car insurance policy. Several triggers may bring the idea of switching companies to the forefront. So first, let’s explore the most common reasons people want to switch insurers.
Changes in your lifestyle can affect your insurance, for example:
- Getting married or divorced
- Getting a new job that requires more driving, a shorter commute, or no commute at all
Life changes allow you to re-evaluate your auto insurance needs and shop around for the best solution.
A bad customer service experience with your insurance provider or not agreeing with a claim decision is a common trigger for shopping for a new insurer.
A Premium increase
Perhaps the most significant factor that causes vehicle owners to re-evaluate their insurance provider is a sudden increase in premiums. Any unexplained rise in insurance premiums might signify that you have outgrown your current insurance company.
However, it’s always best to call your current broker or insurer first if your policy increases significantly before checking prices from other insurers. Other insurance companies could omit crucial factors contributing to your premium, like tickets or accidents, making your quote lower than what you’ll pay. So, it’s always wise to talk with your current insurance representative about why your premium increased.
While you can change insurance companies anytime, there may be a cancellation fee if you change companies in the middle of the term. So it might be wiser to time the switch to your policy renewal date.
Learn more about unexpected costs in auto insurance cancellation fees in Ontario.
How to change your car insurance policy when you move
If you’re moving to a new home, there is a good chance that your new address will trigger a change in your car insurance premium. Insurers consider your home’s location because it changes the risk characteristics of your insurance. For example, some places have higher car theft rates than other areas.
In addition, driving in a big city might increase the likelihood of an accident more than if you’re in an area with less traffic. Moving is a great time to consider changing your car insurance because you are already modifying your existing policy. Some insurers also prefer certain parts of the country and may offer cheaper rates in one area over others.
How to change your car insurance policy with new drivers
If you’re adding a new driver to your policy, it might be a good idea to consider a switch. Some companies treat new drivers differently than others. For example, a company may have great rates for 20-something drivers but doesn’t offer the best deals for other age groups.
How to change your car insurance policy with a new vehicle
It might be a great time to shop around and compare car insurance quotes when buying a new car. Some insurance companies may not have great rates for older cars, while others want to attract them with lower rates. In addition, some companies may be uncomfortable with luxury or electric cars. In contrast, others discount their car insurance rates to attract this type of business.
How frequently should I look for new auto insurance?
As mentioned above, certain activities can act as the catalyst to shop for new insurance. Beyond this, it’s a good idea to get a couple of auto insurance quotes every few years to ensure your premium reflects current market rates.
It’s important to remember that an auto insurance company will often consider how long you have been with your prior carrier. As a result, they’ll usually give you a better rate the longer you are with your previous insurance provider. However, you won’t see these discounts if you switch insurers yearly, as insurers may see you as a less reliable customer.
How to change your car insurance for the most affordable coverage
It may sound counter-intuitive, but the cheapest car insurance premium might not offer you the best value. In Ontario and Alberta, all companies sell the same government-approved minimum coverage. As a result, they may need to make cuts elsewhere to reduce your premium below the rest of the market. These cuts are often made to service levels or claims payouts.
Further, having minimum coverage isn’t ideal if it can’t pay for all damages after an accident. For example, insurance experts recommend increasing your third-party liability coverage from $200,000 to $1 million. So you want to consider if your insurance could pay for high legal fees and damages if you were involved in an at-fault accident. You’ll also want to investigate whether you can save money on the optional coverages that each insurance company offers.
Suppose a company provides you with a much lower quote than the rest of the market. In that case, you may want to be wary. You may experience subpar customer service levels and have any future claims settled for a lower amount than you should receive.
Can I change my auto insurance while I have a claim pending?
Car insurance claims are made on a “claims occurred” basis, which means that whatever insurance coverage was in place on the date of the accident or claim is responsible for paying any claims settlement.
Because of the “claims occurred” rule, it doesn’t matter if you remain with the insurer you had on the date of your claims or move to another company. Therefore, you are free to explore other insurance providers during the claim process without affecting the settlement of the open claim.
How do I change my auto policy in Canada?
Changing your auto insurance policy in Canada is straightforward, provided you follow these simple steps.
How do I change my car insurance policy and find new coverage?
Finding a new insurance provider can involve doing your research online or contacting a licensed insurance broker. Many companies allow you to get an auto insurance quote online so that you can get a better understanding of the current premiums companies are charging. However, be aware that not all quotes are equal.
While aha insurance guarantees our quotes should you choose to purchase insurance from us, many companies will requote your policy once they have additional information. If you are happy with a quote, contact the insurer to discuss how to set up and issue your policy.
How to change your car insurance policy and cancel old coverage
Once you have new insurance coverage in place and your pink liability slips, you can safely contact your old insurance provider and ask them to cancel your policy. They will ask you to send them a written request that includes:
- Your policy number
- The date you’d like to cancel your policy
- Possibly your new insurance provider and policy number for their records
They will send you a written cancellation confirmation and any early cancellation fees they owe you.
If cancelling your insurance coverage mid-term, check out changing car insurance companies mid-policy for more information and tips.
How can I choose the best insurance company?
Choosing the best insurance company for your specific needs and sifting through compared quotes can be daunting, given all the choices available. To make the best decision, we suggest the following:
- Ask friends for recommendations.
- Check out Google and Facebook reviews.
- Visit the JD Powers customer satisfaction survey to see what other customers think of their insurers.
- Use an insurance broker representing many different companies that knows the best fit for your circumstances.
- Remember that it’s not all about price. You should consider reputation and service as well.
Do I have to notify my leasing company?
If you lease your car or have a bank loan, your finance company is likely listed on your car insurance policy. Your previous insurance documents should bring this information forward when you set up a new policy. Your new insurer will issue your policy documents and send a copy of the information to the finance company as proof you comply with your agreement.
Now that you know how to change your car insurance policy, you’re ready to explore your insurance options. You can always get a 3-minute quote to find out if you can save on better auto insurance with aha.