How can I renew car insurance online?

Before you renew car insurance online, (1) review your policy, (2) check for increased rates, and (3) compare quotes online to lower your car insurance rates by up to 20%.

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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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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®

UPDATED: May 18, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • More and more people are using the internet to conduct business.
  • Make sure you pay for your renewal on time because most insurance companies do not offer a grace period.
  • Set up on online account with your carrier if you haven’t already.
  • Once your online account is set up, you should be able to conveniently pay for your renewal when it is due

The internet provides people with a great deal of convenience. One such convenience is the ability to renew car insurance online.

In today’s highly safety-conscious virtual world, technology has provided the ability to make secure online payments and, thus, conduct a good deal of daily commerce at the click of a mouse including car insurance renewal.

Enter your ZIP code into our FREE search tool above to discover valuable insurance savings!

People across the globe purchase almost anything online these days from automobiles to information products that are immediately downloaded when payments are verified.

There are certain products that lend themselves well to the online environment and one of these happens to be the purchase of insurance.

According to comScore, Inc., a highly respected digital world monitor, in its U.S. Online Auto Insurance Report, more than 38.8 million requests for insurance quotes took place in one year.

A record was set that year with 2.9 million policies purchased online. According to this report, consumers were seeking different ways to save on auto insurance because of the recession.

Using the Internet to Save Time and Money

The Internet provides consumers with the opportunity to conveniently shop around seeking the best deals on auto insurance from the comfort of home.

The actual search for and the purchase of insurance online make great sense for people who seek to cut down their costs and save some of their valuable time. The same reasons are true when it comes time for this same consumer to renew car insurance.

Car insurance renewal is that period of time where the insurance provider keeps the policy in effect without adjusting the premium according to Yes, there are always exceptions to every rule.

It may be possible that your specific rate will change shortly after renewing your policy if your situation has changed and you no longer meet specific underwriting guidelines.

However, once time has elapsed to the initial policy period, your automobile insurance policy should stay at the same rate until the next renewal period comes along.

All insurance policies contain a declaration page that explains what is included in your policy along with other information such as the procedure for renewal.

Additionally, new insurance cards are typically enclosed with your renewal packet and are necessary to carry for providing proof according to most state Departments of Motor Vehicles.

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Car Insurance Renewal Periods

Policy renewal dates are always based upon the original date in which the policy went into effect. There are no set dates for policy renewal deadlines since it can be any day of the year based upon when the policy actually started.

Typically, though, most automobile policies renewals are based on the actual policy length, which could be either annual or semi-annual.

Most automobile policies are issued for a full-year and, along with motorcycle, recreation vehicle, and boat policies are typically renewed on an annual basis. Some consumers prefer to run insurance policies on a semi-annual basis, renewing these policies every six months.

Most insurance companies will either email or traditionally mail renewal information approximately 45 to 30 days before the policy stops coverage.

Usually, a return envelope is included in the renewal packet for your convenience if you so choose to send it back by mail. However, remember that you must put a stamp on it before either leaving it at your curbside mailbox or dropping it off at your local post office.

Before Renewing Your Car Insurance Policy

Savvy consumers always save money on activity such as renewing a car insurance policy by taking the time to execute several actions.

An annual policy review and on time payments are two of the most effective actions a driver can take.

  • Policy Review – Use the renewal alert as a good time to review a policy. Make sure that there are no undiscovered changes and all the discounts for which you qualified for in the past are still in effect. Renewal is also a good time to consider deletions or additions to your car insurance policy in order to suit your present needs.
  • Submit Your Payment – This is the sure way to indicate to the insurance company that you wish to continue the policy. Most major insurance providers, as well as many independent agents, provide consumers with online payment solutions, again, making the Internet a convenient place in which to conduct commerce.

Car Insurance Rates Change at Renewal Time

Often rate changes do take place during renewal periods. Here are two specific reasons why an insurance rate may increase:

  1. Provider Executes an Overall Rate Increase – Sometimes a renewal happens to fall when the carrier decides to execute an across-the-board rate increase for all people insured. This may be due to increased claim activity, but all insurance company rate increases are governed by the states in which the company operates.
  2. Insured Driver Risk Changes – Any policyholder experiencing recent traffic violations or involved in an at-fault automobile accident is typically going to experience a rate increase at the time of renewal.

Unfortunately, when an insurance company happens to be losing money, customers who make claims and safe drivers who have absolutely no accidents or tickets on their record, both may have their rates increased.

However, if you are a safe driver with no violations, the rate increase you experience will be lower than others with a poor driving history will.

If your rate only changes at renewal time, you might also be wondering why there is an extra fee attached to your monthly auto insurance bill. This is not necessarily a rate increase but a penalty fee of some sort since you may have made a late payment.

Some late payment fees can run as high as $15 and, depending on your particular carrier, may not show up on your monthly bill until the second month after the late payment was made.

With a little self-discipline, this particular monthly increase will disappear once payments are made on time.

This is one reason why using an online payment option is of particular interest since you will not have to mail anything on time and can easily and conveniently pay your bill at the very last moment.

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Examine Whether Your Car Insurance Company Offers Online Payments

The insurance industry is highly competitive. Therefore, companies compete ferociously to attract as many consumer dollars as possible.

Part of that strategy is not only offering value through a variety of different products to suit different needs but making the entire insurance purchase process exceptionally convenient.

Today, it is incredibly easy and more convenient to make insurance payments online including renewals.

This is a great feature for any busy career person who, aside from the weekends when most brick-and-mortar insurance establishments may not have convenient hours, has no time during the week to do anything but work.

In the past, most insurance companies were extremely arrogant when it came to customer service and their clientele had to arrange contact according to the provider’s schedule. No more, thanks to the World Wide Web.

Not only can people access information about automobile insurance, but they can also check their account status and pay bills online through a number of different options.

The major carriers and savvy independent agents have all provided online payment software that works well. Most include:

  • Customer Account Set Up – Insurance carriers and agents typically have account setups on their websites where a client chooses a login (sometimes an e-mail address or an assigned customer ID) and chooses a personalized password.
  • Information Input – Once a client has successfully logged into an insurance website, personal information must be entered in order to complete any transactions. Often this is a client profile that once it has been set up, only needs to be visited when modifications are needed to be made such as a physical address change.
  • Payment Options – Clients will be provided with a number of options for making monthly payments as well as for successfully navigating through the renewal process. A confirmation that this process has been successfully completed once a payment has been verified will be requested through email.

Show Them Your Card(s)

Today, the most common online payment method when renewing a car insurance policy is through either credit card or debit card. Simply provide your credit or debit card information and the online bill payment software will do the rest.

Often, insurance providers offer an auto-payment option that includes policy renewal. Automatic payment may be a great feature for people who are always busy and never wish to miss a payment or a renewal opportunity.

Before renewing your car insurance online, be sure to check out rates from other providers by entering your ZIP code in the box found here to see FREE quotes now!

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

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