When Valentine’s day rolls around each year, the focus tends to be on traditional romantic relationships. A boyfriend and boyfriend. A pair of fiancés. A husband and wife.
But if you think about it, you’re in all kinds of non-romantic relationships: the one with your hairstylist, the one with your masseuse, the one with your employer. You and your auto insurance provider also have a relationship. After all, the two of you once entered into a contract. No matter the type of union, it’s a good idea to do a little relationship inventory every once in a while and ask, am I happy with the way things are?
Typically, when people decide to leave their auto insurance provider, it’s because their premiums have risen over time. If that’s the case for you, then here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can break up with your auto insurance provider without breaking any rules — or hearts.
Step 1: Look at what you’ve got
No matter how unhappy you might be in your current relationship, it’s always a good idea to take stock of what you have together before making any sudden moves. This way, you’re making an informed decision. Review your existing auto insurance policy and make a list of all the things your insurance company is covering you for in the event of an accident. What’s your deductible? What’s your liability coverage? Do you have accident forgiveness? Do you get a discount for bundling other insurance products, like tenant insurance, with this company? And then ask yourself: will I be able to find this kind of love anywhere else?
Step 2: Consider your options
We’re not suggesting you cheat on your insurance company, but even the most faithful partners get a wandering eye every now and again.
Satisfy your curiosity by seeing what else is out there. A quick and easy way to do this is by using an auto insurance rate comparison website that can compare the lowest auto insurance rates from a bunch of companies at once — and show you the cheapest price.
As is the case with courting any new boo, you’ll need to do a bit of getting-to-know-you. With an insurance provider, this might require offering up a bit of personal information, such as your date of birth, what kind of car you drive, where you live, and whether or not you’ve been in an accident before (Don’t worry. We all carry some kind of baggage into new relationships.)
Step 3: Confirm the quote with a broker
If after all that information sharing you like what you see, then you’ve got to be certain that if you do leave your current insurance provider, it’s for someone better. You’ll want to call the broker or insurance company offering the lowest rate to confirm the quote you received. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples and will get the same level of coverage with the new provider. Find out about your deductible, whether you’re getting comprehensive and collision coverage, what your liability is, and so on.
Don’t forget to ask the broker if there are any fees for signing up with the new insurance company, such as a down payment. Every company has its own rules around opening a policy. The broker will verify any outstanding details, and get you a finalized quote. Then, you can make your decision.
Step 4: Let your insurance company down gently
Now comes the hard part. If you did indeed find a cheaper rate for the same level of coverage somewhere else, you’re going to have to break things off with your current insurance company.
There are ways to go about this to soften the blow for all involved.
To ensure a smooth transition, you should actually line things up with your new insurance provider before you cancel your old one. (We do not recommend this in traditional relationships).
Make sure that your new policy is activated before your old one is deactivated. You don’t want to be without insurance for any period of time. Not only would this make you lonely, but it could also raise your premiums in the future, since insurance companies look at whether or not there’s been a gap in your coverage when determining rates. Find out the date your new policy starts and tell your old insurer so they can cancel your policy at the appropriate time. It’s also smart to communicate all of this in writing, too, so there’s a paper trail. Before you pull the plug completely, ask your old insurer if there are any financial penalties for cancelling a policy early. There might be a pro-rated refund (where you get back the full amount of the unused premium) or short-rated fees (where you lose some of the remaining premium). If it’s time to renew anyway, you probably won’t encounter any penalties, but you never know — exes can be fickle.
Whatever you do, don’t just stop paying your premiums and assume that your insurance provider will get the hint and cancel your policy for you. It’s far better to break up with your insurance company than for the insurance company to break up with you. Because if word gets around that you’re a ghoster, well, you might find yourself paying higher premiums with the next company. Plus, when it comes to romantic relationships, what’s the most important thing when breaking up with someone? Saving face.