Proceed with caution: If you’re thinking of switching your car insurance company, read this
Insurance, in general, is something which one must not ignore. Be it for their loved ones, or even their assets. While life insurance takes care of your loved ones, car insurance is what you need to keep your vehicle safe from the risk of loss, theft or damage. However, unlike life insurance which covers you for a longer duration of five years and more, car insurance policies normally expire every year. This means that one would have to get their motor insurance policy renewed each year.
However, when it comes to car insurance renewal, policyholders can choose from two options. The first is to continue their car insurance policy with the same company, while the second is to get a new car insurance policy altogether. Thanks to the internet, it is now a lot easier to not only compare car insurance plans online, but also apply for a policy online as well.
If you have decided to go with the option of switching your car insurance provider, there are a few things that you must consider before doing that. Read on to find out more.
● Don’t focus on the premium
When buying car insurance, don’t make premiums the primary basis to pick policies. Yes, you might be taking a car loan and purchase the car and you have the liability of paying your monthly car loan EMIs. But, still don’t opt for a lesser premium on your car insurance policy. It will get you a smaller claim amount. Take a plan that fits your requirements, even if it is a bit more expensive than what you have been paying previously.
● Consider the bigger picture
Third party cover is the basic cover which all car insurance policies provide. However, in addition to this, there are a number of other covers which are equally necessary, such as zero depreciation cover, no claim bonus, roadside assistance, etc. When switching to a new insurance provider, you need to ensure that the prospective provider you’re planning to switch to offers the covers you’re looking for and also at what premium.
● Claim settlement ratio
Claim settlement ratio is a very important part of every insurance agreement. That your car insurance provider offers extensive cover at a low premium will not be of any use if they cannot honour your car insurance claim. Claim settlement ratio is a very important aspect which every policyholder must pay close attention to. Does your insurance provider have a high claim settlement ratio? If not, then you might want to steer clear of them and what they may offer. To know more about the insurer’s claim settlement ratio, do your research online, or ask around.
● Convenience is always welcome
Convenience is something which will always attract customers. When choosing a new insurer, opt for one which has a well set-up claim settlement process, a widespread network of partner garages for cashless repairs, and a well-established customer support system. Also, it would greatly help if the insurer has a mobile app where you can access policy related services from your mobile device.
● A little patience goes a long way
If you are not satisfied with your car insurance provider, but your policy with them is about to expire, it would be wise to wait. The advantage to be gained here is that once your old policy expires, you can immediately switch over to your new policy. Doing this will ensure that there aren’t any gaps in your policy coverage and continue to have gapless coverage. Also, if you have not filed a claim on your existing policy, you will be eligible for a considerable amount towards your No Claim Bonus. The No Claim Bonus can be transferred from your existing insurer to the new one on the condition that it is availed within 90 days. So, don’t forget that.
● Shop around
If you are in the market for a new policy, take your time and look around. There are so many options that one can choose from under car insurance. The ideal time to look for a new car insurance plan would be when you’ve purchased a new car, your policy is about to expire within a month or two, or when you’re about to move places. While searching, make sure you get quotes from at least three providers. If you have zeroed in on a plan, make sure you get a thorough understanding about the scope of coverage provided by the plan, what are its exclusions, inclusions, terms, conditions, etc. Then move on to purchase the plan that will fit your requirements. Later, you can renew your car insurance online.
● Don’t forget your existing insurance company
In today’s times, it is quite evident that insurance is a very competitive business. Considering this, your exit from the policy will mean bad news for your existing insurer’s business. Keep this in mind when you are on the lookout for a new plan. It may sound odd, but if you do give your insurer the hint that you may be looking for a new plan with another provider, chances are strong that they will offer you a discount that is equal, if not higher, than what their rival is offering you. Also, insurers do give preference and discounts to customers who may have purchased more than just one policy from them. So, if you have a home insurance plan from XYZ insurer, enquire with them for a car insurance plan and you may just get a modest discount on the premiums for the same.
● Do a penalty check
Many a times, insurers may enforce a penalty if the policyholder breaks the policy agreement before the end of the coverage period. While this is usually not the case with car insurance policies, it is always wise to check beforehand. If there is a penalty associated with cancelling your policy before it expires, it would be wiser to wait to avoid any monetary loss.
● Ensure that your old policy is cancelled
When it comes to car insurance, it is of utmost importance that you receive a written confirmation from your existing insurer that you are no longer a subscriber of their car insurance policy. Ceasing premium payments on your existing policy is not enough. Make sure you get a written confirmation from your existing insurer that your current policy has successfully been cancelled and no further payments are due on the same. Doing this will ensure two things. First, you will not be billed for the cancelled policy anymore, and second, it helps safeguard your credit score and you from any allegations of non-payment on an insurance policy.
● Go through the fine print of your new policy
When you have selected a new car insurance policy, make sure to go through the fine print of the policy to ensure that you are getting the exact same cover which you had asked for. Also check the premiums, and add-on cover (if any) details included under the plan.