Friday, June 12, 2009

How To Change Auto Insurance Companies

There are many reasons why you may choose to change your auto insurance coverage to another company. Perhaps you’ve found another company that offers you the same amount of coverage for considerably less money. You might have changed jobs and are eligible for a group discount through another insurer, or maybe you’re unhappy with the service that your present company provides. With the growth of the internet and quote comparison sites, investigating your options has never been easier!

Why change to a new Auto insurance carrier?

You need to regularly review your auto insurance coverage to make sure that you are receiving the best insurance value for your money. You will discover that it pays to shop around. In some states, premiums for identical policies vary widely among different auto insurance companies. The reasons for this price variation can be very complicated, but they boil down to a company's claims experience with policyholders in a coverage group (e.g. people of similar age, number of accidents, type of vehicle). For example, if a large number of people in a coverage group files claims during a given year, their rates will likely rise. When this happens, better discounts and lower overall premiums may be available at other insurance companies. When you decide to switch your auto insurance to another company, you’ll find that it's fairly easy to do so.

How to cancel your old Auto Insurance policy

Generally, all you need to do to cancel your auto insurance policy is to inform your insurance company in writing, specifying the date you want the policy canceled. In some states, the new agent must notify the previous agent of the policy change. Some auto insurance companies ask the policyholder send back the actual printed policy. The insurance company will send a cancellation request form that will need to be signed and returned. Examine the form carefully to make sure that all information regarding the policy is correct. If the form is not received within two weeks of sending the letter, call the agent or company immediately to check on the status of the cancellation. Don't just walk away from the old policy without formally canceling it. Each state requires that auto Insurance policies be cancelled with notice, thus the insurance company might assume one wished to continue the coverage, and it might eventually terminate the policy for failure to pay premiums and report the lack of coverage to the state Department of Motor Vehicles. This can hurt your credit rating and ability to get a new policy.

Be sure to get a new Auto Insurance policy first

Always have a new policy in place before canceling the old auto insurance coverage. Otherwise you might have a gap in protection for a day or more! Most states require all drivers to carry a minimum level of auto insurance and most insurance companies require policyholders to present proof of new coverage before they will cancel an active policy. The new company will be able to time the beginning of the new policy to coincide with the cancellation of the prior coverage.

When to Change Auto Insurance policies

At Renewal

Renewal is a convenient time to change auto insurance policies, as you don’t have to wait for a refund from your current carrier. A renewal notice will be sent to you approximately 30 days before a new policy begins, depending on the regulations in your state. Should you decide to switch companies, you’ll need to have a new policy by the time the current policy renews. Though a company might say there is 10-30 days to get your payment in before a policy terminates, you do not have coverage until the carrier receives the payment. If you have an accident during this time period you most likely will have no coverage since the premium wasn’t paid!


All Auto insurance policies contain a provision allowing you to cancel your policy with proper notice at any time. In a few states auto insurance companies “short rate” the policy that means one pays a penalty for canceling before the policy renews. Most insurance companies pro-rate their policies so there is no penalty. The advantage of switching before the renewal date can save you a lot of money. For example if you have a policy that runs from Jan 15th to Aug 15th and you have an accident or ticket that will be over 36 months on March 15th. By switching Auto insurance companies on March 16th, you get a discount for having a clean driving record. Your current carrier won’t apply this discount until the policy renews on August 15th! This can save you Hundreds of dollars immediately!

How long does it take to change Auto insurance?

When you change auto insurance companies, the new agent or insurer can generally change carriers while you wait! Generally they’ll just need a copy of your current declaration page, driver’s license and down payment to get the policy issued.

So why not get started today and Get Free Auto Insurance Quotes from Top Companies

Matt McWilliams is one of the co-founders of HometownQuotes.Com, an online insurance quotes web site. He is originally from Pinebluff, NC and attended Middle Tennessee State University. He is considered an expert in the field of online insurance shopping and finding new ways to help consumers save money on their insurance. For more information visit

How to Buy Auto Insurance on the Internet

Are auto insurance agents a dying breed? Today, auto insurance is one of those service businesses that are becoming more and more dominated by online providers.

In fact, there's some question whether auto insurance agents are needed at all anymore. Do you really want to spend your Saturday morning visiting an auto insurance office being pitched on a single car insurance company's policy when you can buy auto insurance online any time - weekends, evenings, etc. Not only that, but buying auto insurance online enables you to compare the offerings of several companies side-by-side in terms of policies and premiums. What's more, you can buy the policy online (in most states), and even file claims online.

One might well point out, of course, that many people simply prefer meeting and talking face-to-face with an insurance agent, rather than simply pounding a computer keyboard. For one thing, they may feel more secure about transferring money (premium payments) in person than on the Internet. For another, they may prefer having a knowledgeable individual they can communicate with and ask questions of.

But the number of such people as a proportion of the adult population is clearly dwindling. According to market research firm ComScore, 67.5% of 2,000 U.S. consumers surveyed last year said they would consider purchasing their next auto insurance policy online. Auto insurance purchasing online has been growing at an amazing 55%+ rate over the past couple years.

Therefore, whether you're looking for a replacement policy or for your first policy, online auto insurance offers a number of benefits: cost-savings, convenience, speed, and better information about available policies from a range of insurance providers.

Nonetheless, before you sign up for a policy, whether in-person or online, make certain you're familiar with the basics of auto insurance.

Basics of Online Auto Insurance

If you drive a car in the U.S. you need insurance. That's an obvious fact. But what kind of insurance and at what price?

Liability insurance. As you may know, there are two basic types of liability insurance, namely bodily injury and property damage. If you buy a 25/30/25 coverage that means the insurer pays up to $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $30,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident. So this would be a relatively low amount of coverage, and you must assess your own situation in deciding what level of coverage is best for you. All states, except New Hampshire and Wisconsin, require that you carry liability insurance.

Collision. This category of auto insurance covers your property damage and medical expenses in an accident in which you are at fault.

Comprehensive. This type provides coverage for loss from accidents other than collision, or from theft, for example property damage sustained from flood, fire, or vandalism.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist. Pays you if the other driver in an accident does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance. (It's not required in all states.)

Personal injury protection. Pays your unrecovered medical expenses as well as lost wages resulting from an accident. PIP may also include a death benefit. (About 16 states now require PIP coverage.)

A source of confusion are so-called "no-fault" auto insurance program. In a no-fault system, all drivers pay their own accident costs, no matter who is to blame. It was for a long time thought that this system would reduce litigation thereby holding down costs. It didn't happen. In fact it usually resulted in higher accident rates, higher costs, and higher insurance premiums. As a result, most states that had enacted no-fault laws repealed them (DC, NV, PA, NJ, GA, CT, CO, FL). leaving only Michigan, Kansas, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York North Dakota, and Utah. However a couple states - New Jersey and Pennsylvania - adopted "choice no-fault", allowing drivers to choose between no-fault and a traditional policy. (Results, in terms of premium levels, have been mixed so far.)

Keeping Your Premiums Down

To the average consumer, insurance firms may seem to have some strange ideas about what factors to consider in setting your insurance rates. For example, I once found my rates increased after another driver hit my car, and when I called the company, and explained that the accident had not been my fault, the customer service rep answered, "Yes, but you were in the wrong place at the wrong time."

That is, it's all a numbers game, and there's no real effort to achieve equity in setting rates. So to win the game you have to provide the company with numbers that will result in reasonable premiums. Some of these you have some control over and some you don't. Among the factors that will be taken into account are: age/gender (single males under 25 get higher rates; women generally get lower rates); location (New Jersey and California rates are high; urban rates are higher than rural rates; many companies now even look at your zip code); driving history (if you've filed one or more claims in the past five years, this will boost your premium significantly; so will a speeding ticket or other violation, even if no claim was filed); amount you drive; type of car (expensive cars get higher premiums, so do cars with high rates of theft, like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord; so do off-road vehicles and large SUV's).

Finding an Auto Insurance Company on the Internet

If you run a Google, MSN or Yahoo search for "car insurance" or "auto insurance" you'll see that this is a crowded business on the Internet. There are literally hundreds of companies advertising auto insurance online. However your best bet is to use one of the companies which allow you to order online, like or

You'll soon notice that each online insurance company has its own little qualifying process and series of screens it forces you to go through before it give you a quote. is a good example. It starts by asking you for your zip code - an easy enough question. Then on the ensuing screens they request detailed information -- How many cars you are insuring. How many drivers. Year/Make/Model of your car. Uses of your car. Discounts for which you may be qualified, such as airbags, antilock brakes, car alarm, etc. Coverage you are looking for. And so forth.

The application process is actually fairly simple, and takes only a couple minutes - after which you're provided with a specific quote from, which is a virtual (online) insurance provider.

By contrast, another website, takes you through a very similar application process, but concludes without providing you with a specific quote. Instead, it lists several brick-and-mortar insurance companies which will contact you later, either by email or phone, with specific quotes. This has the advantage that you will be able to compare policies and quotes, and the disadvantage that you will have to wait awhile for the companies to contact you.

Other auto insurance aggregators (as they are called) have other processes -- some, for example, run your credit report as part of the process.

In any case, as a final step in choosing a policy, you may want to take a little time to check out your selected insurance provider at, particularly if it's one you're not familiar with. To do so you'll have to create an account on to look up an auto insurance company's rating, but it's fairly simple to do so. Once you've created your account, click on "rating and analysis" and input your company's name. Companies are assigned a letter grade from "A++" downward. You'll definitely want your selected company to have at least a "B" rating, which is "good."

Incidentally, even if you already have what you think is a reasonably-priced policy, it's usually still a good idea to apply online to see if you can get a better premium rate. After all, there's no obligation and it only takes a couple minutes. According to a recent survey of consumers by the industry publication EDP Weekly, one in three people who shopped online for auto insurance and then bought a new policy saved more than $500 with some saving $1,100 or more.

Joseph Ryan is editor of Web Search Guides which provides tutorials on a wide variety of topics of current interest.

10 Tips That Will Help Save On Auto Insurance

Very often we land up spending more on insurance policies than on ourselves. Many insurance policies like life, health, home, and auto insurance are not just essential but mandatory. Auto insurance alone can set you back by several hundred dollars every year.

How much the premium on auto insurance will cost really depend on many factors like: your age, driving record, where you live, the risk factors, and the make and age of your car. If you are style conscious and choose a powerful car in the latest model then you will certainly have to pay higher insurance. And, as you know having no auto insurance coverage is not an option. And, if you do not have adequate coverage and when good luck is not on your side, you could land in deep financial mess if you were to be involved in an auto accident or theft of the car for no fault of yours.

So stop thinking of cancelling your auto insurance comprehensive coverage and find ways in which you can have the same extensive coverage for lower costs. You can reduce auto insurance premiums by:

1. Making the time to shop around. Do the exercise well before the auto insurance comes up for renewal. Auto insurance premiums vary from company to company and between online payments and payments at offices or by mail. So, comparison shop and find an insurance policy that offers a great bouquet of coverage for less than what you are presently forking out for auto insurance. Shop online and use the tools for getting comparative quotes from different providers.

2. Thinking about increasing your deductible. Paying a higher deductible always lowers the premiums payable on auto insurance. Check your finances to see how much of a larger deductible is possible without pinching your pocket.

3. Maintaining a good credit score and report these always get you a better deal with auto insurance companies. A good credit report means that your risk is lower than others so insurance companies will gladly offer you better rates to cover your vehicle.

4. Being eco-friendly and driving an eco-friendly car then you will be eligible for a great deal from the auto insurance company. Many companies have special discount schemes on auto insurance for clients who care for the environment.

5. Keeping your mileage low if you driver lowers than say 7500 miles a year you will qualify for a low-mileage discount. Qualify for this discount on your auto insurance premium by car pooling, walking instead of driving to close by locations, and using public transport.

6. Not using your personal vehicle for business related travel. Vehicles used for work related driving attract higher auto insurance coverage than vehicles meant for personal use.

7. Considering a policy that covers all the vehicles the family owns. A group auto policy means much lower premiums than covering each car owned by the family separately.

8. Finding out if your organization or memberships to clubs or other professional organizations, makes you eligible for a discount on an auto insurance policy. For example most companies offer discounts on premiums to cover vehicles owned by members of AAA.

9. Maintaining an error free driving record for three years you will become automatically eligible for a discount on premiums payable. No accidents, drunk driving convictions, moving violations, or break downs means great savings on premiums payable on auto insurance. When you have a clean driving record it means your risk is lowered greatly.

10. Considering taking an auto insurance policy from the same provider who has extended life, home, and health policies for your family. When a company knows you well they are more than willing to offer you auto insurance at lower than market rate.

Other ways of reducing payment for auto insurance are: to live away from the city in a community that has less traffic, lower accident rates, and lower crime rates and to buy a low risk car. Sports and other high-performance vehicles are considered high risk by insurance companies and attract higher insurance premiums than a station wagon, sedan, or compact car.

Lower insurance payments on your car by following the recommendations of the road traffic police and insurance companies. For example installation of anti-theft devices, air bags, seat belts, and anti-lock brakes will make you eligible for great discounts on insurance premiums.

So, instead of moaning and groaning about high premiums reduce your auto insurance premiums by following the recommendations given above and constantly staying abreast of new developments in the auto insurance sector.

Barry Allen is a freelance writer for the premier website to find Car Insurance Quotes including auto insurance quote, online auto insurance quote, free car insurance quote, cheap car insurance quote, on line car insurance quote and more.

He also freelances for the premier Insurance Quote Site

Understanding Auto Insurance

Auto (car) insurance is a type of insurance coverage for damage to and resulting from an auto. Insurance of this type can cover a variety of things depending on the kind of auto insurance that has been purchased.

All auto insurance policies involve a premium, which is the payment a customer makes to have auto insurance. Premiums for auto insurance can be extremely divergent and are determined by a number of factors. Gender is the major determinant for auto insurance premiums. Statistically, men are 80% more likely to be involved in an accident, and therefore have a greater need for insurance. Auto insurance premiums for men are higher than auto insurance premiums for women. Similarly, teenagers are considered high risk and will have to pay higher auto insurance premiums. The auto insurance premium can be reduced if the teenager takes a defensive driving course. Many states require teenagers to take defensive driving courses in order to obtain a driving permit and auto insurance.

It is customary for auto insurance plans to have a deductible that the customer is responsible for before the auto insurance provider offers coverage of expenses. Deductibles can have an effect on the coverage available under an auto insurance plan.

Auto insurance is slightly different than other types of insurance because you can purchase auto insurance that covers specific needs. For this reason there are different kinds of auto insurance. Auto insurance basics are covered by liability auto insurance plans. Liability auto insurance is usually the minimum required by state laws. Liability auto insurance is characterized by a set dollar amount of coverage for damages resulting from accidents or negligence. The coverage amount of liability auto insurance can be applied to property damaged in the accident that is not an auto.

Car insurance also comes as collision auto insurance. Collision auto insurance is meant to cover the cost of repairs to a vehicle involved in an accident, or the cash value of the vehicle if it cannot be repaired.

Comprehensive auto insurance is also available. With comprehensive auto insurance, coverage of fees for repairs is provided for accidents that are not collisions. Comprehensive auto insurance will, for example, cover hail or fire damage.

Whatever type of auto/ car insurance you need, Business Health Insurance can help! We have all of the information on auto insurance in your state.

Paul Stewart is a freelance web application developer, search engine optimization guru and the webmaster, an online insurance quotes web site. For more information