I Switched Insurance Companies Last Year. Here's What I Learned
There's more involved in changing insurance companies than meets the eye.
- Changing insurance companies can lead to savings.
- There's a lot involved in changing insurance companies.
- It's important to allow enough time for the change to go through and to get the correct paperwork together.
Toward the end of 2021, my husband and I made a major change in our household finances: We decided to switch insurance companies.
We have multiple different policies, including home insurance coverage on a primary and vacation home, an umbrella policy, and policies on two vehicles. We changed all of our coverage over to a different carrier, which made the process a pretty big deal.
Here's what we learned during the process, which could potentially help out other consumers who may be thinking about switching to a different insurer -- or who should consider switching.
Switching insurance companies can take a lot of time
Making a change to a new insurer ended up taking much more time than I anticipated. Getting quotes from new companies didn't take very long since I was able to obtain online quotes, and an independent insurance agent also helped me shop around with different providers.
However, to make sure I replicated my coverage as closely as possible, I had to read over my existing policies carefully, provide accurate information about existing coverage to new potential insurers, and get paperwork from my old insurance companies, including proof I had auto insurance over the past five years.
In the end, I ended up spending several hours going through the process. So it's important to set aside enough time to do it correctly.
Changing one policy can have a snowball effect
Initially, we started the process of changing insurers only because the insurance company wanted us to make some repairs to my husband's office that we thought were unnecessary.
We wanted to drop the property insurance policy on just that property. But when we did that, it ended up making all of our other coverage with our existing insurer more expensive because we no longer had as many bundled policies.
Ultimately, it made sense for us to switch all of our coverages over -- but we didn't realize that up front. Anyone who has multiple policies with the same insurer and who is considering shopping around for coverage may want to get quotes on every policy they have rather than assuming they can just switch out one plan without affecting their other ones.
It may not be possible to replicate existing coverage exactly
Not all insurers offer exactly the same type of coverage. For example, new car replacement rules or accident forgiveness rules differ from one car insurance company to another.
If there's a particular kind of coverage that's very important to you, it may take careful shopping around with many different providers to find exactly the protection you're looking for.
It may be possible to save a lot of money
While there's a lot of hassle involved in switching insurers, we did manage to save several hundred dollars per year by switching all of our policies over. While it took a little time, this ongoing savings year after year will be well worth the effort.
Despite the challenges involved, we'll continue to shop around for coverage each year. When it makes sense to do so, we'll switch insurers to continue to get the best coverage at the best price possible. For most people, it likely makes sense to do the same.
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