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How to renew your car insurance and when it’s not a good idea

Make sure you're getting the best price come renewal time.

Renewing your car insurance is easy. But if you let it auto renew before taking the time to compare your options, you could end up paying too much.

How to renew your car insurance

Before it comes time for you to renew your policy, your insurer will send you a renewal notice. This normally happens at least 30 days before your policy is due to end. On this notice, it’ll let you know how much your premium is going to be for the next year.

You’ll then have several options to renew your insurance if you want to stay with the same company.

Renewal options

The steps involved in renewing your car insurance will vary depending on both how you choose to renew your policy and the options available through your insurer. Generally, you’re able to renew:

  • Automatically. If your policy is signed up for auto renewal, your insurer will withdraw money from your payment method on file and renew your insurance for another policy period automatically. Your renewal letter will generally mention if you’re signed up for auto renewal. If you are, and you don’t want to renew your insurance, you’ll need to contact your insurer to cancel it.
  • Online. Most insurers allow you to renew your policy online through its website or on your insurance company’s app.
  • Over the phone. If you’d prefer to renew your policy while speaking to a person, many insurers have representatives that can help you with the renewal process over the phone.
  • In person. If your insurer has branches, you can head into their physical to and renew your policy.

When is it better to renew my insurance?

You might be better of keeping your current insurer in a few cases.

  • You’re happy with your current insurer.
  • You can’t find cheaper insurance quotes when shopping around.
  • You have a great loyalty discount or accident forgiveness perks.
  • You haven’t experienced a major life event that would lower your rates, like improving your credit or hitting a big age milestone.

Is it better to renew my insurance or switch to a new insurer?

Whether you should renew your insurance or switch your car insurance depends on whether you like your current insurer and how good of a deal it’s giving you. To get the best deal, it’s usually a good idea to get quotes from other insurers and compare them to your current insurer.

When comparing insurers, consider:

  1. What kind of coverage you have. Before comparing different insurers, check what kind of coverage you have now so that you can compare other similar policies.
  2. The price. Get quotes from other insurers for the same amount of coverage and find out which insurer offers the best price. If you’re thinking of adding more coverage or getting rid of some of your extras, make sure you get a new quote from your current insurer, too.
  3. Loyalty and bundling discounts. Some insurers will offer you a discount if you’ve been with the same company for an extended period of time or if you have multiple insurance products with the same company, you may be getting a discount. Factor in how much you’ll lose — both on your car insurance and on your other insurance products — before switching.
  4. Other discounts. Each insurer offers different discounts for car insurance. Find out what discounts you’re eligible for with each insurer to get the best price.

Switch car insurance policies

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
All 50 states
Your dedicated agent can help you find the best savings with multiple discounts and rewards programs.
All 50 states & DC
Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
All 50 states
Get your most compatible insurance options via a "smart matching" method aimed at finding you value.
The AARP Auto Insurance Program from the Hartford
All 50 states
Enjoy low rates for mature drivers, plus perks like new car replacement and lifetime repair guarantees. Only for drivers over age 50.
Get instant online support and score a low rate thanks to online data that sets premiums automatically.
Available in 31 states
Track your driving to receive a low rate that reflects your driving skills, and enjoy a fully app-based policy experience.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Renewing your car insurance is usually pretty easy — but it might not get you the best deal. Before renewing with your current insurer, compare other car insurers to find out which one offers the best price.

Frequently asked questions about car insurance renewals

Picture: Getty Images

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