Like many people, car insurance renewal time is stressful and painful. The process is stressful because you feel obliged to read through pages and pages of documents you might not understand and feel pressured to sign without a second thought. The process is painful because you think there might be better deals elsewhere but overall, you know that your car insurance costs will be astronomical.
What to Do When You Get Your Car Insurance Renewal
So, what exactly are you meant to do when it comes time to renew your car insurance?
Read your insurance policy
Highlight issues you don’t understand or questions you want to ask your broker. Your broker is paid by the insurance company to sell their policies and you should not be afraid to ask for clarification on what you’re buying.
Speak to your broker
You can either email, call or visit your broker. Although in-person visits are usually the best – they make it easier to ask follow-up questions – email can be more convenient for both parties. Make sure you understand your insurance policy before renewing, otherwise, you don’t really know what you’re buying.
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Consider what you actually need
If you’ve gotten married, had a kid, increased your emergency fund or lost your job since you last shopped for car insurance, now is the time to examine what exactly your car insurance needs are. With more income or a larger emergency fund, you should be better able to afford a high deductible.
A higher deductible will decrease your premiums, resulting in a lower insurance rate. The opposite holds true if you’ve just had a child or have lost your job.
Visit, email or find quotes from other insurance companies. This is one of the different ways to lower your car insurance. By comparison shopping with other brokers, you can get a sense of what the market value for your car insurance is.
Oftentimes, people renew their car insurance automatically, without looking at alternative policies. Auto-renewing insurance results in having the same insurance forever, not the best policy (and premium) for your specific situation.
Don’t let your insurance lapse
When browsing for a new or updated insurance quote, be mindful that your old policy is expiring. Be sure to renew it or have a new policy by the expiration date. Without insurance coverage, you’ll be unable to drive (legally) which could make it impossible to get to work or to run errands.
Further, certain provinces and states require uninsured cars of a certain age to prove their roadworthiness before coverage can begin. If you let your old car insurance policy lapse, you could be on the hook for an inspection and/or costly repairs before you can get car insurance again.
When your car insurance renewal documents come in the mail, don’t dash off to the computer to pay your premiums. Instead, read and understand your policy and shop around. Only once you’re satisfied that you have the best deal and right coverage for your situation should you renew your car insurance policy.