How to Change Car Insurance

To change car insurance companies, shop around for quotes, schedule your new policy's start date, and cancel your old policy.
Written by Amy Bobinger
Edited by Lauren Smith
To change car insurance,
compare auto insurance rates
through a broker or insurance agent and schedule your new policy to start before your old one ends. 
Before your policy renews:
It’s a good idea to shop around for new rates two to four weeks before your insurance policy renews so you’ll know whether you’re currently paying the best price for your preferred level of coverage.
When you move:
You’re required to inform your insurer when you move, but it’s a good idea to check around for better rates when you do so. And if you're buying a home, you may be able to save by bundling your auto and home insurance with a single provider.
When your household changes:
Life changes like getting married, getting divorced, and adding a new teen driver to your policy can all change your insurance premiums. It’s a good idea to shop around when drivers are added to or removed from your existing policy. 
When you get a new car:
A new car requires new auto insurance—and you may find a better price for your new car if you compare quotes.

How to change car insurance in 3 steps 

Changing auto insurance is as simple as finding quotes, making a payment, and canceling your old insurance. If you have
an active auto loan
, you’ll need to let your lender know as soon as possible after the fact. 

1. Compare new quotes in your area

Start by finding new
car insurance quotes
from providers in your area. You can request quotes directly from any auto insurance companies you have in mind, or compare quotes from multiple providers at once with an independent broker like
Jerry finds real insurance quotes from providers in your area.
You can compare coverage levels, adjust add-ons, and read reviews from current customers when looking at quotes in the app.
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Look for offers that provide substantial benefits compared to your current policy. Those include: 
When you’re shopping for insurance, be sure you have the following
information on hand
  • Your driver’s license number
  • Your current insurance information 
  • The make, model, and VIN of your car
  • Approximately how many miles you drive in a year

2. Choose a quote and purchase your policy

Once you’ve found a quote that meets your insurance needs, choose the date you’d like your new policy to start. Be sure to select a date before your current coverage expires to avoid a gap between insurance policies. 
Then, confirm your final price and make your first payment to secure your policy.
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How long does it take to switch insurance?
Switching car insurance companies is typically a quick process, especially if you’re using a digital tool like Jerry. Most drivers can switch to a new car insurance policy in as little as an hour or two, with most policies activating 
the same day you request a quote
In some cases, switching takes a little longer. Your new policy’s start date could be delayed if the new insurance company has trouble verifying: 
  • Proof of current car insurance coverage 
  • Your vehicle’s documents, such as registration 
  • Your address, if you recently moved
  • Any information associated with your auto policy, including credit score and driving record 
To avoid delays, always provide the most accurate and complete information possible on your insurance application. 

3. Cancel your old policy

Don’t forget to cancel your coverage with your current insurance
. Just like your new policy’s start date, this can be scheduled in advance. Look up
how to cancel insurance
with your current provider—or, if you bought insurance through
, simply click the cancellation button below your new insurance card to get instructions and assistance.
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Depending on your previous insurer's policies,
may not be able to cancel your old car insurance policy outright, but we'll help you get the process started.
Notify your lender about your new insurance policy: Be sure to contact your financing company with your new coverage details right away—your lender will be notified when you cancel your old policy, and they could repossess your vehicle if you fail to update them with the information for your new policy.

Change your car insurance right away after moving 

When you move to a new state
, you’ll typically have 30 to 90 days to update your auto insurance policy and change your driver’s license and vehicle registration. 
Failing to update your address with your insurance company is more than a minor slip-up. Because insurance companies use your garaging address to determine your car insurance rates, failing to change your address could be considered a form of insurance fraud, and your provider could cancel your coverage.


Do I need to cancel insurance before switching?

Don’t cancel your car insurance before you have a new policy lined up. The start date of your new car insurance policy should come before—or on the same day as—the cancellation date of your old one. 

Can I change car insurance before my renewal date? 

Yes, you can switch car insurance companies before your policy term expires—even if you have an open claim. While there’s no limit on when you can change car insurance, it’s typically best to look for new rates around two to four weeks before your renewal date, or whenever you have a major life event or change to your current auto insurance. 

Is it a good idea to switch car insurance?

In most cases, switching car insurance is a good idea if you can find lower rates or better coverage with a new provider. The main times when switching is discouraged are if you already have the best price or if you don’t want to lose loyalty discounts from your current insurer, such as a good driver discount or record-based free accident forgiveness. 

What should I look for in car insurance?

When shopping for new car insurance, look for a company with an offer that would reduce your car insurance costs, offer better coverage (such as full coverage), and/or give you better customer service, discounts, or claims handling than your current insurer. 

How much will my rates go down if I switch?

The cost benefit of switching car insurance varies for every driver. Drivers who switch car insurance providers with Jerry save an average of $600 per year. 

Can I switch insurance companies if I still have an outstanding balance?

Yes—even if you owe money to your previous insurer, you can still open a policy with a new company. That said, it’s a good idea to resolve any outstanding payments and insurance claims before switching, if possible, to simplify the process. 

How do I change car insurance to another state?

To change car insurance after moving to a new state, you’ll need to provide the new insurance company with proof of your new residential address. The easiest way to do this is by changing your driver’s license to reflect your new address before changing your insurance. 

Should I change car insurance companies every year?

It’s a good idea to check for better rates every year—but changing to a different company annually might not benefit you in the long run. While staying with a single insurer for years can lock you into higher rates and cause you to miss out on savings, switching insurers every time your policy is up for renewal—or repeatedly switching mid-term—sends a bad message to insurance companies.  

Can I save on my car insurance without switching?

To save on your car insurance without switching providers, ask your current insurer if you’re eligible for any discounts you’re not already receiving. However, if your only options for saving on your car insurance premium are to lower your coverage levels or raise your deductibles, it’s probably a good idea to shop around for another insurance carrier.

Who has the cheapest car insurance?

While companies like GEICO and State Farm advertise affordable insurance, there’s not one single auto insurance provider that offers the lowest rates to all drivers. To save, compare rates and choose a company that offers low rates to drivers who fit your profile.

Meet our experts

Amy Bobinger
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Licensed Insurance Agent — Expert Insurance Editor
Expert insurance writer and editor Amy Bobinger specializes in car repair, car maintenance, and car insurance. Amy is passionate about creating content that helps consumers navigate challenges related to car ownership and achieve financial success in areas relating to cars.
Amy has over 10 years of writing and editing experience. After several years as a freelance writer, Amy spent four years as an editing fellow at WikiHow, where she co-authored over 600 articles on topics including car maintenance and home ownership. Since joining Jerry’s editorial team in 2022, Amy has edited over 2,500 articles on car insurance, state driving laws, and car repair and maintenance.
Lauren Smith
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Expert Insurance Writer and Editor
Lauren Smith is an insurance writer with over five years of experience in the writing industry. Lauren specializes in car insurance, automotive news, and car review content. As someone with an especially keen eye for detail and organization, it’s Lauren’s mission to execute well-researched, informative, and engaging articles. Lauren has written over 500+ articles since joining Jerry’s editorial team.
Prior to working with Jerry, Lauren was a contributing writer to the Matador Network, Korvia Consulting and World Nomads and taught English in South Korea.

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