Can You Switch Car Insurance at Any Time?

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Yes! You can switch car insurance at any time—even in the middle of a policy period. When you cancel a policy midterm, your company will issue you a prorated refund.
There are a lot of great reasons to switch car insurance providers. Maybe you want to save more money, obtain better coverage, or simply find a company whose values align with yours. Either way, the most important thing is to avoid a lapse in coverage.
Keep reading, because Jerry is about to help you understand how to switch car insurance while avoiding classic mistakes. Jerry is a super app that streamlines car ownership, from finding car insurance to auto loan refinancing. Before you switch, try the app to find the lowest rate!
Here’s the lowdown.

How to switch your car insurance

You need continuous coverage to be legally allowed on the road. Can you change car insurance at any time? Yes, but you must always have some kind of coverage.
In other words, make sure you have a plan before canceling your current policy. 

Shop around

Have your coverage needs changed? Start by determining your perfect mix of price, protection, and customer service.
The best way to find the right policy is to shop around. The Jerry app is the fastest way to compare rates quickly, and it will unlock discounts with no extra effort from you. All you need to know is what kind of coverage you want.
To see rates, you’ll need your vehicle year, make, and model, the VIN, your address, and your driver’s license or SSN. Remember, you may be eligible for additional discounts now, too!
If you want to conduct your own research, here are some good sources:
  • NAIC: The National Association of Insurance Commissioners assesses companies based on average number of consumer complaints.
  • J.D. Power: Evaluates and scores each insurance company based on criteria like claims satisfaction and customer satisfaction.
  • AM Best: Reviews companies based on financial strength (in other words, their ability to pay out claims in a timely manner).
  • Jerry: User-friendly resources for consumers about auto and insurance news

Contact your current provider 

Before you switch, contact your current provider and inquire about two things. First, see if they will match their competitor’s rate to keep your business. If yes, great! If not, ask about their cancellation process.
  • How much advance notice is required to cancel my policy?
  • Does my contract require me to pay a fee to cancel my policy?
  • When can I expect to receive my prorated refund? (if canceling mid-policy)
If you used an independent agent to find your policy, note that they usually represent multiple companies. They may be able to help you find a lower rate while technically keeping your policy within the same agency.

Purchase your new policy

Now it’s time to buy your new policy, either directly through a company or through the streamlined Jerry app.
Once you confirm that your policy is active—and you have proof of insurance in hand—you can then cancel your old policy. If you have been paying the premium with your bank’s bill pay feature, make sure to stop the payments.
A word of warning: it is illegal in almost every state to drive without insurance. You could lose your license and your premiums could skyrocket if you are caught driving without coverage. We know it’s tempting to save money by canceling ahead of time, but it’s seriously not worth having a gap in coverage.

Notify your lender 

If you have a leased or loaned vehicle, you must immediately notify your lienholder upon switching providers. Otherwise, they might think you canceled your coverage, which is probably against your agreement—and they could make a move to repossess your car.
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Reasons to switch car insurance companies

Most people switch companies to save money. Even if you had the lowest possible price a few years ago, it may not be the cheapest rate now. Companies sometimes raise their rates and your own situation may have changed, as well.
Other people switch because their circumstances have changed. For example, if you bought a new car or recently got married, you may be able to find a cheaper rate now with a different (or the same!) company.
Of course, terrible customer service is enough to drive people away from perfectly good insurance companies. If you had a bad experience, try switching to a company that has better reviews and better ratings by the companies linked above.

Best (and worst) times to switch car insurance companies

It’s a good time to shop around when…

  • You’ve had a major life change. Your insurance rate is unlikely to change much unless you change—in other words, if you change zip codes, change jobs, change cars, grow your family, or improve your credit. 
  • You’re no longer a young driver. Young drivers have some of the highest rates of all. If you’re over the age of 25 now, it may be worth checking around to look for a better rate.
  • You were charged with a traffic violation. If you received a speeding ticket or DUI charge, it could be a good time to shop around. You can switch providers even if you currently have an open claim, though it’s not recommended.
Each state has its own guidelines about getting back on the road after a serious conviction. Plus, every company has its own formula for assessing risk and calculating premiums. If your provider is set to increase your rates due to an accident, for example, you may be able to find a lower rate somewhere else.

It may not be the best time to shop around if...

  • You were recently in an accident. A recent accident means your rates probably won’t go up until your policy renewal time comes. If you switch immediately, your new company’s rates will immediately take into account your accident. If you wait until renewal time to switch, you can enjoy lower rates for at least a little longer.
  • You qualify for accident forgiveness. This is a coveted benefit that can save you thousands if you get into an accident. Top companies require drivers to have about five years of claim-free coverage before they receive this perk, but it’s a good reason to stay with your current provider.
  • You’ll lose a good discount. Two of the best discounts in car insurance are loyalty and bundling. If you switch providers, you will lose these discounts. Is it worth it?
No matter your circustances, though, it never hurts to check rates with other companies. Even if you don't find a better deal, at least you'll know that you already have the best rate you can get!

The secret to finding affordable car insurance

Jerry is the car owner's super app that makes finding and switching insurance easier. Seriously, it’s simple.
Enter your requirements for coverage and quickly see personalized rates. The average user saves almost $900 a year! Oh, and the Jerry app takes care of all the paperwork. No phone calls or confusing forms—just savings.
Jerry saved me over half of what I was paying and I was able to stay with the same insurer. Thanks from Sacramento, CA!” —Elijah M.
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FAQs

Not usually. In some states, it is legal to check a driver’s credit-based insurance score before issuing a quote for a car insurance rate. However, this check does not affect your credit score.
There’s no set time period, but it’s a good idea to shop around if something major in your life has changed. This could be a change in your finances, career, or relationship. Remember, you don’t necessarily need to switch providers to get a new policy. You could find a better policy from the same company!

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