Insurance is like a spare tyre. You may not require it, but not having one is not an option.

When Should You Change To A Different Car Insurance Company?

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Car insurance is a mandatory expense for a car owner in India. When buying motor insurance, you should do a good amount of research and settle on a policy that offers adequate coverage. With that being said, the competition in the auto insurance space gives rise to potential for saving on insurance premiums. You need to carefully monitor the offerings in the market and compare policies between insurers. This is particularly relevant in a scenario where your financial circumstances have changed.

Changing insurance providers is a very simple process, and can be done at any point of time. It is not mandatory to wait for the existing policy to expire before initiating a switch.

When you do get around to changing insurers, it is necessary to evaluate your needs and your eligibility for discounts. This will go a long way in helping you save on auto insurance premium.

When To Switch:

It is recommended that you check for better motor insurance deals every two years. But at a minimum, you should explore the offerings in the market when you reach certain milestones in life, such as:

  • Change in marital status - Some companies offer better rates on car insurance premium for people who are married. So, ensure that you notify your insurer about your nuptials. This way, you may get a better deal on car insurance premium. You should also explore whether another insurance company is offering you a more attractive deal.
  • Home ownership - Several insurance companies offer discounts on motor insurance premium when the car owner’s status changes from that of a renter to a homeowner. So, you stand to gain from this change in status.
  • Addition of new drivers - When you add new drivers to your car insurance policy, there is bound to be a change in the premium. So, stay abreast of the offerings in the market at this point of time.
  • Change in employment or residence - You may receive a better rate on your car insurance if you shift to a location that is closer to your place of employment. This way, the daily usage of the car will reduce, rendering it safer to insure from the perspective of the insurance company. Change in employment could also attract better car insurance premium; so you will have to check with the insurer on your eligibility for the same.
  • Age and experience - When a driver reaches specific age thresholds, he/she is eligible for better rates on auto insurance. For instance, insurance companies regard drivers above the age of 25 years to be of lower risk than younger drivers. Also, if you have been driving carefully without any accidents in the last five years, your premium could reduce.

Apart from the life events elucidated above, you may also decide to switch car insurance providers under the following circumstances:

  • Increase in premium - Insurance companies review their overall risk for a specific customer base and modify policy pricing at regular intervals. This implies that your car insurance company may charge you a higher premium at the time of policy renewal. However, you should be aware that there is a glut of competitors to choose from. Effectively, you can get the exact same coverage from several insurance companies at varying costs. It is completely possible that you may find a policy (from a different insurer) for which you will be required to pay only a fraction of the price you are paying now. So, explore the options in the market to hit upon a better deal.
  • Availability of cashless garages - Cashless claim settlement is a very attractive benefit in car insurance, wherein you can get your vehicle repaired at a network garage without having to pay for the repair work. The finances will be settled directly between the service centre and the insurance company. If your current insurance company is not offering you a wide network of cashless garages to choose from, you can explore other options in the market.
  • Inadequate add-on covers - Car insurance companies offer add-on covers to amplify the coverage offered by a basic comprehensive plan. In case you are prone to specific risks, you may be able to find the right sort of coverage for your vehicle through add-on covers. For instance, a comprehensive car insurance plan does not offer coverage for engine damage due to waterlogging. In case you live in an area prone to floods/waterlogging, it is advisable to get an engine protect add-on cover to supplement the coverage under your comprehensive policy. This add-on cover will protect the engine from damages due to floods and the like.
  • Issues in customer servicing - If your car insurance provider is not offering good customer service you can consider switching insurance companies. Also observe how the claim adjusters and company representatives deal with the service centres where your car is repaired. It is important to keep track of these things, as these indicate the work ethics followed in the organisation.

It is completely possible that your current policy is in line with all your present insurance needs. If it is not, though, use the guidelines mentioned below to select another insurance company.

How To Switch:

After you have made a decision on executing a switch, there are several things you should bear in mind for a smooth transition:

  1. Compare policies - It is recommended that you visit neutral insurance broking websites and compare car insurance plans between companies. This way, you will get a clear picture of the various products in the market and the corresponding costs.
  2. Inform your current insurer - All insurance companies would fight hard to not lose a good customer. It would come as a surprise to you how quickly your insurer would offer competitive discounts once you hint at leaving. You should also check whether you are eligible for other perks, such as multi-policy discounts or loyalty discounts.
  3. Check for penalties - Once you have finalised on shifting insurers, you will have to find out if your current insurance company levies any penalty for doing so before the end of the policy term. Most insurers allow you to switch in the midst of a policy year as long as you provide sufficient notice period. Typically, the premium that was already paid will be returned on a pro rata basis.
  4. Investigate the new company - Before signing on with a new insurance company, you should investigate thoroughly. You can read reviews online and check the insurer’s claim settlement ratio to get an idea of its reliability. You should never sign on with an insurance company solely on the basis of lower premium that it is offering. The premium could be low due to a myriad of factors such as poor claims service, high deductibles, limited coverage, etc.
  5. Avoid break in insurance - When changing insurance companies, you should ensure that there is no gap in coverage. Effectively, you should not cancel your current insurance policy before the coverage under the new insurance plan commences. A lapse in insurance could result in serious financial and legal challenges, particularly if you were involved in an accident. Having a break in insurance could also mean that you will be charged higher premiums at the time of renewal or reinsurance.
  6. Ensure cancellation of the old policy - When you shift between insurers, you should ensure that you end your existing policy through a written notification to the insurance company. You will have to follow up and get a confirmation from the insurer as well. This will help you in two ways:
    1. It ensures that the insurance company does not continue to charge you the premium.
    2. It protects you and your credit history so that you will not be reported for non-payment to the credit bureaus.
  7. Refrain from raising claims on a new policy - If you have bought a new insurance policy, you should be careful when driving, so that you do not end up raising claims under it. You should ideally refrain from raising claims under a plan that is less than 90 days old, as this could lead to the insurer dropping you.

Final Thoughts:

With multiple insurance companies offering you substantial coverage at attractive costs, it only makes sense to explore other options at the time of a car insurance renewal. As long as your driving record is free of blemishes, you have provided ample notice to the insurer, and you have managed to avoid break in insurance, you can safely switch to a new insurer and enjoy better policy pricing and coverage.

GST Update: GST of 18% is applicable on car insurance effective from the 1st of July, 2017

Car Insurance Reviews

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  • HDFC Ergo Car Insurance
    "Need to reduce the premium"
    0.5 4.5/5 "Excellent!"
    I had a car insurance with HDFC Ergo and I felt the premium is very high hence I changed my insurance provider. The customer service is very good. There was no claim experience. The policy period is one year. It is a zero dep policy which includes bumper to bumper and RSA. It is a first party insurance.
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    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Jan 23, 2019
  • New India Car Insurance
    "Good"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    My car insurance was recently purchased with New India Assurance through online. When I logged into the online site it gives better option with multiple insurer and I felt New India Assurance is good with reasonable premium and better benefits. I have paid 13,500 rupees for a year. I got the insurance paper. The claim experience is very good.
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    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Jan 23, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Good Policy."
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    I have bought my car insurance with ICICI Lombard for last 5 years which I'm continuing for with the same company. The claim experience was better and when i applied for the same, they have given upto 80%. Its covered with bumper to bumper facility. They have given the claim in 1 week.
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    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 22, 2019
  • Royal Sundaram Car Insurance
    "Good policy "
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    My car insurance was purchased in the year 2014 with Royal Sundaram. My dealer has recommended me about this policy. I pay the premium amount of Rs. 14000 with the coverage value of Rs. 6.27 lakhs which covered with the bumper to bumper facility.
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    , ahmedabad
    Reviewed on Jan 22, 2019
  • Bajaj Allianz Car Insurance
    "Good Policy"
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    I had taken this insurance policy a while back and the premium amount has been quite good and not too high. The payment method has been easy and there has not been any sort of charges, and the policy covers bumper to bumper. Their customer support has also been responsive and was helpful as well.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Jan 22, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Its Good"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    There was no claim experience for my Tata Tiago with ICICI Lombard. I have renewed the car policy at last june, I paid the amount around Rs. 10,600 because its around 1.5 year old vehicle. I took comprehensive plan which includes loss , damage, ICICI Lombard got tie up many showroom.
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    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 21, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Best cover"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    Very recently I took policy from Car insurance for my new Baleno car, it was done by ICICI bank, they deducted insurance fee from the loan. The loan department issued the policy copy on time. For first year its 100% coverage available its a bumper to bumper with ex showroom.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 21, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Good Car Insurance policy"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I have selected the ICICI Lombard for my car since the dealer has given me this insurance. I have been paying the premium amount of Rs. 15000. This is not covered for the bumper to bumper facility. They have given me a IDV value of Rs, 3.10 lakhs. They are providing the good garage facility all over the city.
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    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 21, 2019
  • United India Car Insurance
    "Yet to experience the policy"
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    I have applied the claim for my car recently. I have given the car into the showroom and they have asked me to inform in the insurance company. When i visited other branch they have asked me to the home branch. They have given me a sufficient IDV value. Its covered with a bumper to bumper facility.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , chennai
    Reviewed on Jan 21, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Reliable Policy"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    Purchased my car insurance through ICICI Lombard and They have given me a low premium since i have taken a loan from ICICI bank. They have given me a good IDV value. This is a bumper to bumper covered policy. They have given me a road side assistance, no claim bonus benefits.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , chennai
    Reviewed on Jan 21, 2019
  • National Insurance Car Insurance
    "Good Insurance"
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    My Honda amaze car got insured with National insurance for one year of tenure period. I think my old premium amount was around Rs.30,000. I took first party comprehensive plan it covers for loss, damage, theft. The customer support is good even the IDV is good.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bhubaneshwar
    Reviewed on Jan 21, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Competitive price"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I have taken a car insurance from ICICI Lombard and the service is really good. I spoke wtih the customer care once for the claim. The garage people taken care of the full settlement process. The premium amount is nominal. They have given me a best claim what they can offer according to their norms.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 21, 2019
  • Royal Sundaram Car Insurance
    "Economic offering and wide accessibility"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    Because it was good comparison between other companies hence i have chosen the Royal sundaram. The premium amount is reasonable. The IDV value is good. This a comprehensive policy which covers third party insurance. They have tie up with most of the garages. They have cashless facility in most of the places.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 21, 2019
  • Royal Sundaram Car Insurance
    "Average"
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    I took my car insurance with Royal Sundaram. I never contacted the customer service. It is a default insurance from the showroom. The premium is high because I go for bumper to bumper offer, road side assistance, zeo dep. It is a first party insurance and no claim. The policy period is one year.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 19, 2019
  • SBI General Car Insurance
    "Good Policy"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    The showroom people has offered me a car insurance policy with SBI. I have made a premium amount of Rs. 22000. They have given me a coverage value of 100%. Total IDV value is 90% of the car value. I have no claim experience till now. The documentation process was done by showroom.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 19, 2019
  • National Insurance Car Insurance
    "Smart protection with National"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    The major factor to chose National Insurance because of the premium is economic, I took the policy for 3 years the IDV value remains the same for the whole tenure. The customer support is good on time they activated the policy. I have Tata Tiago , its around four months vehicle. Its zero depreciation comprehensive plan. I taken the policy through showroom.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , lucknow
    Reviewed on Jan 19, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Satisfied with the policy"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    My car insurance is with ICICI Lombard. The customer services are good and I got the policy documents on time. The policy coverage is good and there are features of a road side assistance is there. The premium is economical too. Good overall.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 19, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Need to reduce the premium"
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    I had a car insurance from ICICI LOMBARD which was offered by the showroom at the time of purchasing the vehicle. I felt the insurance premium is very high compared to others. I got a reminder call from the customer service at the time of renewal. It has zero dep for one year.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 19, 2019
  • Tata AIG Car Insurance
    "Excellent"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I took my car insurance from TATA AIG through online channel. They have given lesser premium with zero dep and it includes road side assistance. The customer service is very good. The policy period is one year. I have no claim experience. It is a first party insurance.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 19, 2019
  • Tata AIG Car Insurance
    "Satisfied policy"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    TATA AIG is the best company to take the car insurance. Since long time i have taken this insurance. The customer care people used to call me to renew the policy and they used to policy renewal letter. I will do payment through online. Several times i have claimed the policy and i have received very good response.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Jan 18, 2019
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