How Often Can You Switch Car Insurance?

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You can switch car insurance providers whenever you want—but there are good times to switch (like for better rates or because of poor service) and bad times to switch (like immediately following an accident, or if you’re eligible for accident forgiveness with your current provider).
Not only will this article break down when and when not to switch insurance, but we’ll also tell you what you need to know to ensure there are no loose ends when doing so.
If you’re going to switch car insurance providers, there’s no easier way to do so than with Jerry. Sign-up takes a mere 45 seconds, and then Jerry uses your previous car insurance information to retrieve more than 50 competitive quotes from the country’s best insurers—tailored to you!
To learn everything you need to know about switching car insurers, keep reading.

How often can you switch insurers? 

If you’re wondering how often you can switch insurers, the answer may (or may not) surprise you—you can switch as often as you want! But you’ll want to pay attention because some times are better than others. 

When to switch insurers

You can switch insurers anytime, but it is best to do so when you stand to benefit due to better rates, discounts, or service elsewhere. 
Here are some solid reasons to switch insurers:
  • Poor service with your current provider
  • Hike in premium with your current provider
  • Adding a new driver (such as a teen driver, or a spouse)
  • A major life event (getting married, divorced)
  • Adding a car to your policy
  • Significant change in your credit score (either up or down)
  • More coverage at a better price with another carrier 
  • Less coverage at a better price (say, because your car is old and doesn’t need comprehensive insurance anymore)
No matter your reason, always shop around to get the best rate!

When switching insurers may not be ideal

There’s a good time—and a bad time—for everything, including when to switch your car insurance. Situations vary, but it may not be the best time to ditch your insurer immediately after you’re involved in an accident or when you could score significant discounts with them.

Switching right after an accident

Switching insurers right after an accident often results in you immediately being hit with a higher rate since you’re considered a high-risk driver.
As renewal time approaches, your current insurer will inform you of your upcoming rate. If it is significantly higher than your current rate, that’s a good time to look at making a switch.
That said, you’ve got nothing to lose by gathering quotes immediately after your accident. If you find a better rate, you can switch. If not, you can stay with your current insurer until the end of your term.
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You’re offered bundled policies or loyalty rewards

Sticking with your insurer can be beneficial if they entice you with bundling options or loyalty rewards for remaining a client. And the longer you stick with them, the more likely it is that you’ll become eligible for car insurance discounts and perks
Insurers want your business—so if you inform them you’re shopping around, they may try to keep you by matching (or beating) any other competitive offers you receive.

You qualify for accident forgiveness insurance

If you tell your insurer you are looking elsewhere, be sure to listen if they offer accident forgiveness insurance in an effort to keep you.
This add-on means that your insurance rate won’t go up after your first at-fault accident, which can mean significant financial savings.
Most insurers require drivers to be accident-free for between three to five years before they offer this policy. Some companies allow you to pay for accident forgiveness immediately—but if you drive safely, you could be rewarded with this for free.

How to switch insurers

If you decide to switch, you’ll want to do some research and let your current insurer and lender (if you have one) know that you’re swapping policies. 

Get at least three quotes and do your research 

You’ll want to compare what you get with your current policy with what you may get with at least three other insurers. Jerry can help you do this efficiently and without all the usual hassles that come with comparison shopping.
Ask yourself the following questions when examining potential insurance carriers:
  • What are the rates—are they higher or lower than your current insurer?
  • What coverage options do competitors offer—more or less than your current provider?
  • What are the deductibles offered by potential new insurers?
  • Compare the limits on your current policy to those of any potential new insurers’ policies
  • Perks—what is a potential new insurer offering you that the current one isn't?
  • Is accident forgiveness insurance on the table?
  • Can you bundle policies?
  • Is car replacement insurance an option?

Dig deeper into potential new insurers

When you’re looking for a new insurer, you want to make sure you end up with a reputable provider that is the best fit for you.
Do your homework to make sure you make the right choice. Here are a few resources to help you do just that.
  • A score above 1.00 means the insurer has more than the average number of complaints
  • A score of less than 1.00 means the carrier has a less than average number of complaints
    • Examines levels of overall customer satisfaction, as well as claims satisfaction
    • Also offers regional-specific information
    • Ranks insurance carriers based on financial strength
  • Will a new insurer be reliable in paying out claims on time (or at all)?
  • You want to buy a policy from an insurer with at least a grade of A- (excellent)

Contact your current insurer

Let your current insurance provider know you’re looking elsewhere and see if they’ll match any offers or do better.
If you decide to leave, ask your current insurer how to cancel. You’ll likely need to advise them of the cancellation in writing, including the policy end date. 
DO NOT stop paying your premium until your policy has been officially canceled. You’ll be on the hook for the portion of premium that you still owe and letting a policy lapse in this way can leave you with serious liability.

Don’t leave coverage gaps

You can lose your license by driving uninsured, so ensure that your new policy begins the same day your old policy ends
Driving without insurance for even one day makes you vulnerable—if you’re involved in an accident on that day without insurance (even if you’re between policies), you’re going to have to pay any damages out of pocket.
You may even get a discount for continuous coverage if you sign up for a new policy at least 7 days before it starts (that is, while you’re still covered under the old policy).

Let the leaseholder and lender know about a switch

If your car is leased or financed, you must let your lender know that you’re switching policies. Ask your new insurer to send a copy of your new policy on your behalf.

Take care of any cancellation fees or refunds

Some providers charge small cancellation fees if you switch policies midterm—and it may be worth it if you find great savings with another company!
If you’re partway through your policy, your lender may owe you a refund for the unused portion.  Request the refund right away—the longer you wait, the less of a refund you’ll be entitled to.

Switching insurers with an open claim

You can switch providers while you have a claim ongoing, but the open claim will remain with the same insurer. You’ll need to deal with both insurers—the one handling your claim and your new company—until your claim is resolved.

Let Jerry help you find the best insurer for you

So if you’re looking to switch your car insurance policy, rest assured that you are in the best hands with Jerry.
Jerry is the top-rated super app that helps you save time and money on your car expenses, including insurance. After you sign up, Jerry will use your current information to retrieve quotes from more than 50 insurance companies for you to choose from, delivering them right to your smartphone.
Once you make your pick, Jerry handles everything—from finalizing your new policy to helping you cancel your old one. The best part? The average Jerry customer saves $879 per year on their car insurance!
 “Jerry is the future of car insurance! I downloaded the app, entered the information, picked my insurance rate, and paid my fee. I even switched insurance providers easily! Jerry saved me $182/month so quickly!” —Paulina F.
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