Switching car insurance is easy if done correctly and it can be done at any time. If you are not satisfied with your current cover it may be time to shop around - just make sure that you are not risking any gaps in cover or receiving any surprises with cover shortfall at claims stage.
This guide provides 7 things you need to know about switching insurers.
1. Review your current cover and see if it’s necessary to switch
There’s a difference between changing your level of cover and changing your insurer. Most car insurers, for example, will offer comprehensive car insurance (the highest level of cover) and third party insurance (the bare minimum cover). Speak to your broker or friends/family for honest opinions. Split car and home insurance if cheaper, or combine insurance on car, home contents and buildings if a company offers a cash-back incentive. Cancelling your insurance could cost you in the long-term as you might lose out on multi-insurance benefits or no-claim cash-back bonuses. In other words, ensure that the monthly savings you will enjoy amount to more than the cash-back you would have received.
2. Contact your current insurer to see if they will reduce your premium
Sometimes it’s better to stay with your current insurer. If cost is your only reason for wanting to change your car or home insurance, speak to your provider to see if they will match a competitor’s offer. Most companies will be keen to reward your loyalty with a reduced premium. Another reason to stay with an insurer is to benefit from a no-claims or other cash-back bonus. Remember, you can cancel your insurance at any time so don’t feel pressurised.
3. How to shop around - or speak to a broker
If you feel it’s time to move on, do your homework to choose the right insurer for your needs. You may want to speak to a broker to get feedback on which companies offer the best cover or service. You could also read online forums or visit social media pages to get a feel for common complaints or compliments. Research company track records, specifically their claims paying ability and customer service ratings. See what else you can get with your cover – such as free roadside assistance, emergency and concierge services.
4. Check fine print to make sure you are getting exactly the same cover and benefits
Shop around for quotes – but read the fine print.Get a number of quotes to help you negotiate the best price. Just be sure to get the same level of cover from your new insurer. If you are getting a better price, look carefully at the details to ensure you are getting exactly the same benefits. For example, check if the excess is a fixed amount or a percentage of the value of the claim, and whether your premium will change after you’ve claimed.
5. Make the deal and get it in writing
Once you’ve found the ideal insurer – a combination of price, value and service – be sure to get something in writing before you cancel your old one. Double-check that your new policy is active because the last thing you want is to have a gap in cover should you have an accident.
6. Cancel with previous insurer - be sure to get something in writing
Even if it’s not required, always cancel your policy in writing so you have a record of the requested cancellation in case the company continues to bill you. Cancelling itself shouldn’t cost you extra but your new insurer might charge a once-off administration fee.
7. Save your new insurer’s details
Display your new insurer’s towing details on your car (if they provide stickers) and save the relevant emergency and customer service phone numbers on your phone.
If you want to switch insurers, why not speak to the insurer that looks for reasons to pay you rather than not? Switch to Santam for comprehensive car cover for all vehicle types and car emergencies. Request a quote , speak to your broker or call us on 0860 444 444..