The validity of a car insurance policy is for one year. This duration is pretty short and convenient in case a policyholder is not happy with the current car insurance company. The insurance regulator of India has given the freedom to the policyholder to choose a car insurance company and avail services from a new insurer without losing the benefits of a car insurance policy if he/she is not content with the current insurer. If this is the case with you, here is an extensive guide on how to change/switch car insurance providers. Take a look:
How to Change/Switch Car Insurance Provider:
A car insurance provider can be changed upon the expiry of the current car insurance policy. In an extreme situation, a car owner can also buy another policy if he/she has had a bad claim experience with the current insurer.
The current insurer can be changed by looking for a new car insurance company and buying (or) renewing car insurance policy from the new insurer. All you have to do is conduct a small amount of research while selecting the new insurer and then buy a policy to avoid a bad experience.
Things to Consider before Switching Car Insurance Provider:
The most common mistake people make while selecting an insurance company is to make haste while getting their car insured. As a policyholder, you need to invest some time in analysing your requirements and how good an insurance company is. If you are confused about switching to a new insurer then the following points will help you make a clear decision:
If you realise that you are paying more premium for fewer features, then it is time to change the insurance company. Take a look at the current coverage of your car insurance policy. Do you have to pay more money than the insurance coverage you are receiving in case of a claim? If yes then look for a new insurer.
- The Quality of Service
One should be free of worry with respect to car insurance when he/she has chosen a good insurer. The overall quality of service will help you decide if you want to switch an insurance company.
- Customer Service
Are the customer care executives of the current insurance company well trained to guide you through the process or resolve your queries? If you are kept waiting on a loop of automated responses without a proper solution then you should consider switching to a new insurer.
- Confusing user interface
Nowadays, most insurance companies have an online presence. There are no set guidelines on how an insurance company should design their user interface for a website or a mobile app. This could lead to a bad or an outright worst experience while buying a policy, availing a service, or even while filing a claim. If this is the case with you, then consider changing the insurance company.
- Lack of additional coverages
Additional coverages or Add-ons as they are popularly called, are not necessarily available at all insurance companies. Add-ons like Roadside assistance, Zero depreciation, Engine protect, etc. are very useful for a car owner. These may also help increase the claim amount in some cases. If you need such add-ons, and they are not available at your insurer, then you should change the insurance company.
Step-by-Step Guide to Switch Your Car Insurance Company Online:
Switching a car insurance company is a simple process when done online. You need fewer documents as soft copies or details like policy number, etc. are enough to buy car insurance online. An important step in switching insurance companies is to compare car insurance. It helps to know the current trends of the car insurance market. Here are the steps to change your car insurance company:
- Step 1: Analyze your requirements
The very first step towards buying car insurance or switching the insurance company is to analyze your requirements thoroughly. This helps in avoiding the purchase of unnecessary coverage. Additional coverage only leads to a higher premium. To analyze your requirements, consider the daily usage of the car, age and experience of the driver, driving habits, etc.
- Step 2: Research and compare policies
Nowadays, new and efficient car insurance companies are selling policies. The car insurance market is brimming with competition and this has made it extremely easy to compare similar types of multiple products. It allows you to get the most features for the lowest price. Use car insurance comparison tools or visit a web aggregator’s portal to compare policies.
- Step 3: Check suitable coverages
The next step is to check if the policies include the coverage that you require. Choose a policy that offers full coverage at a lower price. Always prioritise coverage before the price of the policy.
- Step 4: Check the online reputation of the insurer
After selecting the most suitable policy move on to check the online reputation of the insurance company. Visit the social media handles of the insurance company to read user testimonials and online reviews for that insurer. Ideally, the company should have more number of positive reviews and less negative ones.
- Step 5: Check the Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR)
Another parameter to choose a motor insurance company can be the claim settlement ratio of the insurance company. It is the ratio of the number of claims settled upon the number of claims received. Some people may judge an insurance company by its CSR, however, there are multiple factors that affect the CSR and a good insurance company may have a low CSR.
- Step 6: Begin the purchase journey
Visit the official website of the insurance company and look for car insurance. Enter your car’s registration number and other details as required. Choose the desired type of car insurance policy and continue with the purchase journey.
- Step 7: Choose the right IDV
If you are buying a comprehensive car insurance policy, you will be asked to declare the IDV of the car. IDV means Insured Declared Value. It’s the approximate current market value of the car. IDV comes into the picture in case of car theft or extreme damage.
- Step 8: Choose the required add-ons
Add-ons are additional coverages that increase the scope of your car insurance policy. Some add-ons offer additional services while others increase the claim amount. Choose the necessary add-ons that suit your needs.
- Step 9: Go through the terms and conditions of the policy
One of the most important aspects of switching to a new insurance company is to read the terms and conditions of the current insurer. It is a good practice to familiarise yourself with the new terms as they will help avoid claim rejection.
- Step 10: Make payment
After reading the terms and conditions, proceed to make payment for the current policy. If the process is completed successfully, you may receive the car insurance policy instantly. Else, the company may request an inspection before issuing your policy.
Also, consider cancelling the current policy and apply for an adjusted amount of refund if you are cancelling it in the middle of the policy period.
Advantages of Changing Car Insurance Provider:
When you feel you are not getting the best services related to car insurance, then switching to a better insurance company is the best option available. The well-chosen insurance company can provide the following advantages:
- Enhanced Coverage
Car insurance is a financial backup that is helpful in case of an unfortunate event. An insurance company should provide complete coverage as per the policy terms in exchange for the premium you are paying.
- Better Price
Car insurance comparison can help you buy the right car insurance policy at a lower price. The new insurer may prove to be light on your pocket if chosen correctly.
- Better Services
A good car insurance company will provide quality services in a timely manner. You may have to follow-up less if the insurance company is dedicated to providing better services.
- Experienced Customer Support
Customer support executives are considered to be the face of a company. A good insurer will have an experienced customer support team that will help you through an issue and provide the best solution.
- Better Value Added Services
A customer-centric car insurance company provides useful value-added services like accommodation in case of a breakdown, fast repairs, instant claim settlement, etc. These enhance the “happy-customer” quotient of the company.
Disadvantages of Changing Car Insurance Provider:
Just like every coin has two sides, changing your current insurance company also has a few downsides. Here are the disadvantages of switching to a new car insurance company:
- Loyalty Discounts
A few car insurance companies offer a loyalty discount that could reduce the cost of the policy. When you switch to a new insurance company, you may lose out on loyalty discounts.
- Discount for buying multiple products
This is called bundling discount. It is offered when you buy different policies from the same insurance company. For example, consider you buy car insurance and health insurance from the same company then you may be offered a discount on one of these policies. You would lose the bundling discount for opting out of car insurance.
It is clear that the advantages of switching to a better insurer outweigh the disadvantages. Thus, go for the best available car insurance company to avail the best services as a car owner. Also, remember to be judicial while selecting add-ons as they would increase the cost of your car insurance policy.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, a policyholder pays hard-earned money to buy insurance. A bad experience can greatly reduce the trust factor between the policyholder and the insurer. That being said, it is also important to identify a genuine issue faced by the insurer and then consider switching.
Yes, one can get the policy cancelled anytime during the policy period. However, it is advised to switch to a new insurance company upon the expiry of the policy or after buying a new insurance policy. This will avoid any gap in insurance coverage and you won’t have to drive without insurance.
One should switch their car insurance provider in case of repeated bad experiences, high turnaround time, or if a better car insurance policy is available in the market.
Depending upon the policy purchase date, you may be asked to pay cancellation charges. The company may also ask for certain documents depending upon their terms and conditions. Levying the cancellation charges depends upon the insurance company.
Yes, depending upon the terms and conditions of an insurance company, you may be allowed to cancel the policy after filing a claim. Ideally, the claim should still be processed as it was for an event when the policy was active.
You may get a refund for the premium on a pro-rata basis. That is, the premium will be adjusted to correspond with the remaining policy period.
Yes, changing car insurance companies frequently may result in higher premiums as you may lose out on some discounts offered by the insurance company.
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