The 5 Main Reasons People Switch Car Insurance Companies

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Drivers' reasons for switching car insurance often come down to money. (Photo: @Olha_Tsiplyar via Twenty20)
About 25 percent of drivers stay with the same car insurance company for 16 years or more, according to a report by insuranceQuotes.com.
But what about those drivers who decide that switching car insurance is a necessary step? What reasons do they have for leaving their car insurance company? The five most commonly cited reasons are as follows.

1. Rising Prices and Increasing Car Insurance Premiums

The large number of car insurance companies keeps competition between them high, resulting in lower prices for the savvy consumer. If you notice your insurance costs creeping up over time as a result of inflation, accidents, or a new car purchase — among other causes — then it might be time to consider switching car insurance.

2. Bad Car Insurance Customer Service

Poor customer service can cause even the most loyal customer to throw up their hands in frustration, especially when they’ve had an accident and need immediate help. Dealing with slow, unhelpful, or unresponsive reps may mean it’s time to think about switching car insurance.
When searching for a new insurance company, remember to read reviews online about each company’s response time for claims and the overall friendliness and helpfulness of the customer service reps.

3. A Change in Driving Status

A new event in your life may require you to consider switching car insurance. Whether you add a new driver to your vehicle policy, buy a new car, get married, or move, your rates may go up, so it’s important to periodically assess the premiums you pay. For example, adding a teen to your policy or moving to a more populated area, like New York City or Los Angeles, can result in a big rate increase.
Before switching to another insurance company, call your car insurance provider first to see if they can offer any rate discounts to accommodate your new circumstances. You can save yourself the hassle of looking for new coverage if they do.

4. Auto Insurance Benefits vs. Cost

Loyalty programs and other driver perks make a difference when comparing auto insurance companies. Many insurers, including State Farm, Nationwide, and Allstate, offer drivers a discount for staying with the company for several years or for being accident-free for an extended period of time.
When the costs of the insurance outweigh the benefits of staying with a particular company, policyholders tend to switch to an insurer that can give them more for their money. So check every six to 12 months with your insurer and others to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
In addition, check with your auto insurance company to see if they offer any programs to reduce your current rates. A few such programs include discounts for driving a vehicle with certain safety features, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and tire pressure monitoring systems; taking a defensive driving course either online or in person at the DMV; and parking your vehicle in a garage.

5. Vehicle Insurance Referrals

If a trusted friend or family member tells you about a superior car insurance company, take a few minutes to check them out online. And if you do switch, some companies give both you and the person who referred you a one-time discount or gift card incentive. Other incentives for switching car insurance include entrance into a draw or discounts on future insurance renewal fees.
Many insurance companies do not place restrictions on the number of referrals you make, and some companies, such as Allstate and Progressive, give you credit even if the person does not ultimately purchase a policy.
Switching car insurance companies can reduce your costs and get you some special perks, so if you aren’t completely satisfied with your current provider, it might be time for a change.