How do I change car insurance agents?

Changing car insurance agents can be a good choice, as the right agent might get you lower rates and better coverage. Read on to learn how to find car insurance agents with the lowest rates.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Jun 15, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Changing car insurance agents and carriers is about looking for good customer service, lower rates, and better coverage
  • Company agents and independent agents offer different coverage and access to policies
  • To change insurance agents, all you have to do is shop around and find the one who offers the best customer service, rates, and levels of coverage, and the company handles the rest

Insurance agents are much more than a connection between you and your policy. A good agent will shop rates around without being asked, check in with you regularly, and help you determine the right liability and deductible limits for your policy.

When it comes to choosing a new insurance agent, you’re not bound to any specific person for any period of time. You can cancel your car insurance policy and move to another agent quickly. However, make sure you stay insured the entire time. A lapse in insurance coverage can be a problem and raise your car insurance rates in the future.

How do you go about changing car insurance agents?

Your first step to changing insurance agents is to shop around. Look at different sites and speak to different agents. Each agent can give you quotes for the type of insurance you need, make sure you get the necessary coverage and apply any discounts you are eligible for.

Once you have researched several agents and found free car insurance quotes online, you can make a comparison between companies. When making your choice, several factors should influence your decision. Pay close attention to your deductibles, minimum and maximum coverage levels, and your rates.

Once you have made the decision and picked your preferred insurance agent, you need to cancel your old insurance policy. Depending on the company, they may require that you do this in writing and provide proof of your new insurance policy. This is because a lapse in insurance can be a huge problem, even if it’s just for a few days.

Once they have been notified, the old policy should be canceled, although you may want to follow up the next month to make sure.

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What is the difference between a company agent and an independent agent?

When looking for a new agent, keep in mind that there are two different types. The first is a company agent. This someone works specifically for one insurance company, such as State Farm or Allstate. Their quotes will fall within the price range of the company they work for, and that’s all.

The second type is an independent agent. These agents can shop with many different companies to find the best rate. You can often get lower prices from an independent agent simply because they have more options at their fingertips, but remember that the lowest rates aren’t the only reason to choose an agent or a company.

What are good reasons for changing car insurance agents?

As with many things in life, staying with the status quo is often easier. This doesn’t mean it’s the most profitable, and you may find that you can save money and hassle with just a few short phone calls.

The following are some reasons to consider looking into changing car insurance agents.

Steadily Rising Rates

You can pay for car insurance in two different ways. Some consumers opt to pay in one lump sum every six months or once a year. Others choose to pay their rates monthly to spread out the cost. There may be a discount for paying upfront, and that’s something you should discuss with your agent.

Throughout the months and years, you should pay close attention to how your rates change. Adding or changing drivers and cars can change your rates, and accidents and tickets may also increase your monthly costs. If none of these events occur and your costs are rising, it may be time to consider a new insurance agent.

A new agent within the same company may not be able to help you get cheaper quotes, but shopping through different carriers and with independent agents can save you money. Many companies also offer car insurance discounts for additional policies or employment. You may be due a discount if you have added coverage since you started.

Customer Service Issues

Since many insurance policies automatically renew, you may often not hear from your agent. This doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve an agent who regularly checks on your policy to see if they can save you money. It shouldn’t require a phone call from you for your agent to shop your policy around and lower your rates.

Many agents will check in regularly to determine if you are getting the service you deserve and the lowest rates they can find. If you don’t hear from your insurance agent unless there is a problem, you may want to consider finding a new one.

While you want your insurance agent to save you money, you don’t want to get lower rates at the cost of an expensive accident or ticket. Some carriers offer lower rates if your deductible is higher or your minimums are lower. This looks great until an accident and you’re forced to pay more than you should. Your insurance agent should give you good advice about all aspects of your policy when changing car insurance.

Moving Out of State

Some carriers and agents only operate within certain states. If you’re moving, it’s always a good idea to reach out to your insurance agent to find out if you can keep your current plan and company and discuss your best options. Some companies may offer coverage where you’re moving, but only minimal protection. Your insurance agent can help you determine the best option for your new home.

What should you look for when changing car insurance agents?

When you change insurance agents or carriers, it’s important to do a bit of research first. The following simple steps can give you peace of mind about your financial risks and insurance coverage:

  • Speak to several agents to assess customer service
  • Ask for several quotes from different carriers
  • Make sure you have the appropriate coverage
  • Stay insured until the switch is permanent

Changing insurance carriers or agents may seem like an intimidating process, but it’s actually simple. There is no reason to even contact your current carrier if you have chosen a new one. Your new insurance agent can handle the entire cancellation and renewal process. You can focus on getting an agent you like, rates you can afford, and coverage that gives you peace of mind.

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