Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Feb 3, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's What You Need to Know

  • No matter what type of insurance you want to change, the process of switching providers is relatively easy
  • The most difficult insurance policies to switch are life and health, while changing car and home insurance is simple
  • You should ensure that the timing is appropriate before you cancel your old insurance so as to avoid cancellation fees or a lapse in coverage

For most types of insurance, you can change your coverage provider anytime you want (with the exception of your health insurance). In fact, some home and car insurance companies will give you a special discount for leaving your current provider and signing up with them.

While there are many reasons why switching insurance is appropriate, there are also times when it’s beneficial to stay put.

If you’re wondering, “Can I change my insurance coverage at any time?” the answer is yes. If you need to find new coverage, enter your ZIP code into our free tool to discover what quotes might look like for you.

Can you switch insurance at any time?

If you ever feel like your insurance isn’t working out for you, you can cancel your policy and switch to another company at any time. Most insurance companies don’t charge a cancellation fee. If you paid for your entire policy up front, you should receive a refund for the unused portion.

When you find yourself with car insurance that’s more expensive than you’d prefer, it can be tempting to switch insurance companies. However, switching providers isn’t necessarily always the best choice. The best times to research new companies include the following situations:

  • You got married
  • You bought a new house
  • One of your children got their license
  • You have a new car
  • You moved to a new area, and your rates increased
  • You drive fewer miles now than you drove when you signed up for the policy
  • Your credit score has increased or decreased significantly
  • A terrible customer service experience has left you wanting out

Do you notice anything about these situations? Aside from poor customer service, your driving situation has changed considerably. Insurance companies use your driving profile to determine your rates.

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How do insurance companies decide rates?

Car insurance companies review many factors to determine the price of your coverage, and even a small change can prompt an increase. Every company is different, but these are the most common factors that providers consider:

  • Location – Providers have detailed information on how many claims are filed by ZIP code. Moving a single ZIP code over can result in substantially different prices.
  • Age – Younger drivers are more likely to engage in risky behavior, and they don’t have the driving experience to know what to do in dangerous situations.
  • GenderMen are statistically more likely to drive recklessly, so women tend to pay lower prices.
  • Marital status – No one knows exactly why, but married couples are less likely to file claims.
  • Vehicle make, model, and year – Some cars are more likely to be involved in accidents, while others have more expensive repair costs. Insurance companies even use the color of your car to determine your rates.
  • Credit score – Your credit score represents the likelihood that you’ll pay your bills, so insurance companies charge more for people with lower scores.
  • Driving record – Drivers with clean records will pay less than drivers with accidents, speeding tickets, or DUI infractions.

The price of your coverage also depends on the insurance you need and the number of cars and drivers listed on your policy.

For example, state-required minimum liability will cost much less than full coverage. A plan with a single driver will be cheaper than a family policy with multiple drivers and cars.

If your situation changes, it can be worth it to compare quotes with other companies merely to know your options.

Are there times when you shouldn’t change your insurance?

If you’re wondering when you can change your insurance policy, there are a few situations in which it doesn’t pay to switch.

First, you might want to remain with your current insurance provider if you’ve only been with them for a short period of time. You can usually find a discount for switching insurance companies, but only if you’ve been with your current company for a while (usually six months).

Sometimes, car insurance companies charge a cancellation fee. Most do not, but you can avoid one by waiting until it’s time for your policy to renew.

Finally, you shouldn’t switch when you have an open at-fault claim. You can, but it may drastically increase your rates. If switching is absolutely necessary, ensure that you’re honest with your new company. If you omit an open claim, your rates could skyrocket.

How to Change My Insurance Plan

The process of changing your insurance is relatively easy and can be completed in a few steps.

First, you should compare car insurance companies. There’s no point in switching if you have lesser quality insurance at a higher rate. Insurance providers can give you information about the type of coverage you can purchase and how much it will cost, utilizing your basic details.

Keep in mind what you want your insurance for. Do you have multiple drivers that will be listed on your policy? Do you want to protect your car from theft but aren’t worried about collision damage? Different policies will have varied price tags, and you don’t want to pay for coverage you won’t use.

Second, purchase your new policy. When you find the one you like, contact an agent either online or by phone and sign up.

Only after you purchase a new policy should you cancel your current insurance. You don’t want to have even a tiny lapse in coverage on your car because it can cause your rates to increase.

Once you’ve canceled the former policy and printed — or retrieved from the mail — proof of insurance, all you’ll have left to do is to notify your auto loan lender (if you have one).

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Can you change other insurance plans?

Car insurance is easy enough to switch, but what about other types of insurance?

Of course, you’re never stuck with an insurance provider. However, there can be some major downsides to switching, so make sure it’s the best choice for you before doing so.

Life insurance doesn’t alternate rates like car insurance, so there are fewer situations that arise where you’ll need to switch companies. If you do, you’ll be starting a brand new policy which means that you’ll be at the beginning of your waiting period.

Ideally, that wouldn’t be a problem. However, if you perish immediately after switching, your beneficiary will receive either a reduced payout or nothing at all.

Health insurance is more challenging since you usually need to sign up during open enrollment. You can sign up for temporary health insurance, but it might be best to wait until open enrollment before you switch.

Home insurance works similarly to car insurance. If you’re a homeowner who is wondering, Can I change my insurance plan midyear?, then yes, you can. There might be a cancellation fee, but home insurance is very easy to switch.

Find the Best Insurance for Your Needs

While there are times when it’s best to keep the insurance you have, you should never feel as if you’re stuck with bad coverage. If your insurance isn’t covering your needs the way you think it should, there are other companies out there that will happily accept you as a customer.

If you’ve been wondering, How do I change my insurance coverage?, now you know that the first step is to compare quotes with as many companies as possible. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool to get started.