When it comes to car insurance, switching policies can offer greater value. However, saving money is not important if you are losing coverage elements, such as choice of repairer. It is always best to read the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision.
There are so many options out there for insurance. We want to explore when it might be better to change insurance providers, and what you should look for in an insurer.
How to change insurance providers
When you want to change insurance providers, there is not a lot of legwork that needs to be done once you have found a better policy. But of course, you don't want to leave anything out, either. We have put together a step-by-step guide to follow when switching insurance providers.
- Find a replacement policy for your existing policy — If the price is your reason for changing it might be worth calling your current insurer and let them know you are considering changing providers to see if they can match what you have found.
- Think about cancellation fees — While you might save money, you may end up paying fees which can negate your savings. Look at when your existing policy is coming up for renewal and think about switching then.
- Have a new policy ready to go — You do not want to be without insurance for any period of time.
- Understand your requirements for cancelling — Including whether you need to notify your insurer in writing about your desire to cancel.
Why should you change insurance providers?
There are a number of reasons why you might switch insurance providers, whether you are unhappy with their service, or have found better value for money. Common reasons why people switch include:
- Whether your current insurer offers flexible policy terms, like choice of repairer. It may be time to go with an insurer who will let you get your car repair by a repairer of your choice, without voiding your insurance.
- You have a change in circumstances, perhaps one of your kids is learning how to drive and your insurer does not offer affordable younger driver insurance.
- Your insurance provider does not offer agreed value and only provides market value insurance for your car, and you want to ensure you get the correct value in the event of an accident.
Whatever your reasons for changing, it's worth comparing insurance providers semi-regularly to ensure you are saving as much as possible. Even if it's a saving of $50 per year, that can be going on something else that benefits you. If price is a factor in changing insurance, it is important that you are not sacrificing policy benefits
Helpful tips for changing insurance providers
When you are considering changing insurance providers, you want to make sure you have considered all of the options and potential issues that could arise. For example:
- Is it actually worth it to change insurance providers? Consider your options and compare carefully.
- Do you have cover from your new insurer lined up and ready to go? Make sure you do this critical step.
- Should you review the value of cover provided for your vehicle? For example, do you value your vehicle at $15,000 but your insurer is only willing to provide market value which is $12,000? If so, another insurer may agree to insure you for agreed value for a slightly higher premium, but a better result in the event of an accident.
- Should you change providers if you have recently had an accident? Note that this can cause your premium to rise, but you may be able to negotiate a better premium with a different insurer.
Insurance comparison is an industry in itself. You can find the best coverage for your car, age, and situation by visiting resources like Compare the Market, iSelect, Canstar, and Finder.com.au. Simply enter in your details and compare car insurance policies side by side. Switching car insurance policies is as easy as evaluating your options and making a call.
How changing insurers can offer you more
Comparing insurance agencies is imperative to finding not only the best deal, but the best fit for your situation. It's important that you have the right cover that protects yourself, your vehicle, and your hip pocket. Here are some of the most important considerations you should keep in mind when evaluating insurance policies:
- Right to repair. You should be able to choose your own repairer when faced with a repair bill following an accident.
- Flexible add-ons. The right insurance policy will allow you to pick and choose from a range of inclusions, like windscreen protection, lock and key protection, and new-and-old replacement cover.
- How your premiums are calculated. Good insurance policies will give you a lower premium if you drive less, park securely, and have a clean driving record.
- Adequate support. Does your car insurance agency offer transparent, around the clock support for driver, no matter where they are driving?
- Driving without roadside assistance. Roadside assistance can be an unnecessary expense, especially if you have comprehensive towing and panel beatings services at your disposal.
How to switch insurers mid-policy
You are entitled to change insurance providers in the middle of your policy. However, some providers will charge you a cancellation fee. You will likely get a refund of any unused portion of insurance premium paid, but do note that these insurance refunds can take time. To cancel you need to:
- Find a new policy with a better rate/conditions than your current policy.
- Contact your existing insurer and let them know you are looking to cancel.
- Sign up for the new policy and ensure that there is no gap in your cover.
We hope this has been a helpful resource in managing your insurance cover and has provided some guidance on how to change insurance providers.