When you receive your car insurance renewal notice, it’s very easy and tempting to just go ahead and pay the premium and stick with the same insurer. That could be a costly mistake, because you might get a much better deal for cheap car insurance by switching car insurance companies.
If you find a premium that beats what you’re currently paying and you decide to change insurer, you need to be careful so you don’t end up with a gap in your cover. Follow these steps to a successful switch.
Shop around. The best time for checking out the prices offered by other insurers are when you move, when you buy a new car, or when you receive your car insurance renewal notice which will be at least 3 weeks before your due date.
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You should gather at least three different quotes. You will also want to know what is covered and what extras are included in a possible new policy. If you would prefer somebody do this research for you, Click here for an online quotation which checks the prices from at least 10 different insurance companies in Ireland.
The next step is to contact your current insurer who may be may be willing to fight to keep your business! It’s amazing how quickly some insurers offer competitive discounts when you threaten to leave. Many companies will try to match or beat a rival’s quote.
While you are talking to your current insurer check that you are getting all of the discounts you are entitled to. For example, you might qualify for discounts if you have another policy with the company, such as a second car, a van or your home insurance.
If you ultimately decide to move insurer, do consider taking all of your business with you. That way you will bet your new insurer’s multi-policy discount
Can switching car insurance cost you?
If you decide that changing your insurer is the right option for you then you need to find out if there are any penalties for cancelling your car insurance policy mid-term. This is very important if it is your first year with an insurer. Many insurers in Ireland charge “short period rates” if you cancel your policy before it expires at renewal date. Short period rates = expensive! So, if you are cancelling in the middle of the term, it is wise to check with your insurer to see whether you will get a full pro-rata refund or whether they will be charging you short period rates.
Investigate the new company. Check out an insurer thoroughly before signing on. Typically people go to the Ombudsman with complaints because of claims payments. You want to be sure other people are happy with the way they resolve complaints. You want to know if your claim is going to be paid. Is it going to be paid quickly or not? Is this an insurer that is likely to say it’s your fault if you’re in an accident?
Health Warning: Don’t sign on with an insurer just because it offers the lowest price. Some insurers offer great rates but sorry claims service.
Mind the gap. You want to make sure that there will be no gap in coverage as you change insurers. Don’t cancel your insurance before you have your new policy in place. It is a good idea to have something in writing from your new company before communicating your intentions to the old one.
Remember that there are no days of grace with a motor insurance policy. You must ensure that your new insurance policy starts before the old policy lapses automatically at renewal date. A lapse in insurance cover could lead to serious legal and financial challenges for you if you have an accident.