The option to switch your insurer is always open to you, and not just at the time of renewal. There is a possibility that switching insurers will save you on premium payments, and as long as the coverage is as you desire there is no real downside to choosing the most economical policy. If you choose to switch insurers in the middle of the policy period, your old insurer will refund the premium paid on a prorated basis. In such a case, the old insurer may charge a small cancellation fee as well.
Why change your car insurance provider?
While you may have compared the premiums across insurers and chosen the most cost-effective policy, that may not be the case even an year after the purchase. Insurers frequently update the formula they use for calculating insurance premiums, and any change in your circumstances may change the insurer who offers the lowest premiums.
Of course, premium is not the only reason to switch insurers. A bad customer service experience with the current provider may also push you to change insurer. Or an add-on cover that you are looking for may not be available with your current provider. For example, individuals end up considering Bharti AXA GI due to the comprehensive 24×7 roadside assistance offered by it.
When should you switch your car insurance?
You should shop around for the best available car insurance when:
- You want to add or remove a driver from the policy
- You are upgrading to a new car
- You are moving to a different state
- Your current car insurance policy is up for renewal within a month
Another situation when you should shop around is if your premium has gone up because of an accident. If you are involved in an accident, and you are found to be at fault – the insurers would consider you a higher risk and charge a higher premium when the time to renew your policy comes. That said, not all insurers treat an at-fault accident in the same way. For example, a few insurers would charge a higher premium for up to five years after such an accident, while others may do so only for three years. Therefore, it is important to check the options available to you at least every six months after an at-fault accident.
Switch while a claim is open
You can switch your insurer even when you have a claim open with them. The old insurer will still have to treat the claim the same way and make the required payments. Remember that if you do this, you will have to interact with two insurers till your claim is settled. If this feels like too much of a hassle, wait till your claim is settled before switching insurers.
Making the switch
It is important to ensure that there is no gap between your insurance policies. This is important as it is against the law of the land to drive a vehicle on public roads without an insurance policy coverage in India. Once you have decided to switch your insurance provider, purchase the new policy and wait till it is active before requesting your old provider to cancel the existing policy.
Remember that while having double insurance for a few days will cost a little money, a gap in insurance can set you back by much more.