Breaking up with your insurance: is it hard to do?

Breaking up with your insurance: is it hard to do?

Let’s say you just bought a new auto policy, then discover you’re paying twice as much as you should be. Is it too late to switch? No, it’s not – not even if you pre-paid for a brand new 6-month policy.

Unlike a lease agreement, signing up for an insurance policy doesn’t mean you’re locked in. Customers are free to cancel at any point along the way, and in most cases, you’ll be eligible for a refund of the unused portion of your coverage – even any remaining days in the current month. But before you run out and cancel your policy, there are a few things you should know.

Not all insurance policies were created equal

Price shouldn’t be your only consideration when switching insurance carriers. You may find a bargain bin rate, but if it’s from a fly-by-night company or unscrupulous agent, the cheap may come out very expensive. There are three things to keep in mind when looking for a better deal:

  • Make sure you’re dealing with both an established agency and a reputable insurance company. (It’s easy to offer cheap policies if you don’t pay out on claims.)
  • Ensure the coverage level is sufficient for your situation. If you aren’t sure how much insurance is enough, it may help to discuss your situation with an agent.
  • Consider the whole package. Even the best-known brands vary widely in terms of customer service and satisfaction, so find out what current customers have to say. If you end up unhappy, the cheapest policy may not be the best value.

With that said, insurance pricing can be extremely fickle. It’s not uncommon to find a policy that’s both less expensive AND a better value, especially once discounts are figured in.

Do not cancel your policy until the new one is in place

We can’t stress this enough. Having a lapse in coverage is one of the best ways to spike your premiums, even if it’s just for a day. If you cancel the overpriced policy before your new one kicks in, that shiny low rate you saw won’t be available anymore, and you’ll be left paying more no matter which policy you buy.