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Car Insurance: When Should You Switch Companies?

You may have had your car insurance with the same company for a long time or just a short while. For many reasons though, it may be time to switch.

By Scott Lunt

You may have had your car insurance with the same company for a long time or just a short while. For many reasons though, it may be time to switch. Here are some of the common ones.

You're moving. When you move to another state, you'll need to alert your current insurance company. They may not provide coverage where you are moving, or they may have to change your rate.

You’ve received poor customer service. Maybe you've had a claim and it took forever to get resolved. Or maybe the representative was rude or didn't return your phone calls in a timely manner. These are all good reasons to start shopping around for another insurance company.

The company raised your rates. Insurance companies don't typically raise rates without a reason. It may be because of a high number of losses in your state (in which the company usually has to petition the state insurance department before they can raise rates), or it may be because of something you did. Perhaps you got a traffic citation. If your rates have been raised, start shopping around.

Your situation has changed. Changes in your life can change your car insurance needs and affect what you pay for car insurance. Maybe you drive less, or it's now been several years since an auto accident that you were at fault. Maybe you have a teen driver now or a driver who has moved out of the house. You should always review your insurance needs in light of your current situation, and then do some comparison shopping to see if you can get a better deal.

You may find a better value. Some car insurance companies may offer policy features -- like replacement cost coverage -- that other companies don't offer or charge extra for. When you comparison shop, it's not only about price but service and coverages which give you real value.

Remember, before you switch car insurance companies make sure you have a new policy in place. Also, find out from your old insurance company how they want you to cancel the insurance.

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