4 Mistakes You Should Never Make When Switching Car Insurance

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Woman stressed and anxious (Photo: @ajknapp via Twenty20)
It’s pretty common for drivers to switch insurance for their car. As time passes, you might find yourself needing a different car insurance policy than the one you have. Maybe you got married and need a new policy. Maybe you’re moving to a new state. Or maybe you realized you weren’t getting the best rate in the first place.
Whatever the reason, it’s easy to switch your car insurance. But there are a lot of simple mistakes people make when it comes to canceling car insurance, and you want to make sure that to avoid these pitfalls.
If you handle everything right, you can get onto a new car insurance plan quickly, easily, and without hassle. You just have to make sure you don’t miss a few key things. Here are the most common mistakes you should avoid when you switch auto insurance companies.

1. Forgetting to cancel your initial insurance plan

Switching car insurance plans to save money is a great idea, until you realize that you never actually canceled your first insurance plan. Then you’re stuck paying for two car insurance plans, which is the absolute opposite of saving money.
Anytime you switch coverage, whether it’s car insurance, cable providers, or anything in between, it’s easy to get so excited about the new product that you forget to get rid of the old one. Make sure that when you find a new car insurer, you notify the old one, and get your plan canceled before any automatic renewals kick in.

2. Having a gap in your coverage

Unless you live in New Hampshire or Virginia, it’s illegal to drive a car that doesn’t have insurance. And even if you do live in those states, it’s a really, really bad idea.
One of the most common mistakes that drivers make when switching car insurance companies is having a gap between when their old coverage ends and their new coverage begins. Even if your car is only uninsured for a day or two before the new coverage kicks in, it’s illegal to drive it during that time, and you could be on the hook for a huge sum of money if you get in an accident.
When you purchase new car insurance, the company should be flexible. They’ll work with you to have your coverage start on the right day for you. Make sure it is starting before your old coverage is canceled or expired.
If for some reason you’re unable to get new coverage without there being a gap between your old coverage and your new coverage, avoid driving your car during that time.

3. Missing coverage areas or options

One very common sales trick that companies use is to hook you on the idea of a low price for a product, without disclosing what you’re actually getting for that price. Car insurance companies do this all the time. You might see a company advertising a rate that’s half what you’re paying, but the deductible is higher, the coverage is lower, and a lot of the options you use are missing.
Or you might see a nice price advertised, but it’s contingent on something like only driving a set number of miles a year, or not being in an accident, and your rates might skyrocket if either of those things happen.
Do your research when purchasing new coverage, to make sure you’re not just getting a better price, but all the coverage you need.

4. Not shopping around

It can be really tempting to just take the first good rate you see, especially if it’s being advertised to you. But if you’re going to change auto insurance companies, you owe it to yourself to shop around, and make sure you’re actually getting the best deal.
Just because you found a car insurance company that gives you a better rate than what you’re currently playing doesn’t mean you can’t find an even better rate somewhere else. If you’re thinking of changing insurers, don’t just jump on the first good option.
Changing your car insurance isn’t hard, but there are a lot of common pitfalls. Avoid these common mistakes, and you’ll be all good.