Insurance Renewals : Compare Rates Before Renewing Your Car Insurance Policy

May 31, 2018

A Guide For Insurance Renewals And Policy Coverage

Insurance Renewal

Insurance renewal time is an opportunity for drivers to save money and reassess their insurance policy and coverage needs. However, the majority of drivers simply allow car insurance renewals to auto renew.

A recent survey conducted for the Financial Services Commission of Ontario found that 52% of drivers paid their policy or took no action to explore their insurance options upon renewal. 16% could not recall if they took action when their policy was last up for renewal.

Failing to take action and compare car insurance options when your policy is up for renewal could be costing your hundreds of dollars per year. Ready to take action? Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.

The following will provide you with information about how to renew car insurance, things to consider, tips to get the best rates, and answers common questions about the insurance renewal process. First, let’s start by defining insurance renewals.


Auto Insurance Renewal Definition

What Is An Insurance Renewal?

Standard auto insurance policies last for one year in duration. At the end of the term, your policy will be up for renewal. Your renewal is a new insurance policy.

Your policy renewal includes information about your new insurance rates and coverage for the upcoming year. Rates may or may not be lower than the previous policy. Your rates generally stay the same during the year until your next insurance renewal.

When Does Your Car Insurance Policy Renew?

Car Insurance Renewal

Your insurance policy renewal date is based on when your policy started. Most policies last for one year. Therefore, your renewal will be one year from the date the policy became effective.

For example, if your policy started on March 30, 2018, it would be up for renewal March 30, 2019.

What Can Happen During Insurance Renewals?

There are a number of things that can happen when you get your insurance renewal in the mail :

  • No change : Your rates stay the same
  • Increase : Your rates increase
  • Decrease : Your rates decrease
  • Cancellation : Your policy is not renewed by your insurer

You also have the option to not renew your policy and switch car insurance coverage to another provider.


The Car Insurance Renewal Process

Whether you are getting auto insurance direct through an insurance company or through a broker, a typical insurance renewal follows these steps :

  • You receive your policy renewal in the mail : Most insurers will send you a new policy in the mail about 30-60 days prior to your insurance policy renewal date.
  • Review your new policy terms and rates : You have the opportunity to review the terms of your new policy for the upcoming year.
  • Auto renewal - no action is required to continue with your policy : If you are in good standing, no action is required by you. Action is only required if you want to make changes to your policy.
  • Your car insurance coverage continues : You pay your policy or allow the current payment schedule to continue.

The Problem With The Auto Insurance Renewal Process

While there certainly can be instances where no action is required (no change or reduction in rates, no information to update), too many drivers fail to review their new policy. All drivers should, at the very least, review their policy.

Automatic insurance renewals make it easy for people to not be proactive about their auto insurance policy. Too many drivers simply look at the cost and take no action beyond this.


Car Insurance Automatic Renewals Are Simple, But Potentially Costly

How To Renew Insurance Automatic car insurance policy renewals are easy, but it could also be costing you money. Each time your policy is up for renewal is your opportunity to compare insurance quotes, see what other insurers have to offer, and save money.

Never assume your renewal is the best price or your coverage meets your insurance needs. A lot can change in a year. Driving needs may have changed, you may qualify for new discounts, and insurance rates may be lower with other insurance companies.

Using a broker to compare auto insurance quotes before renewing will help you get the cheapest insurance rates each and every time.


The Best Piece Of Advice About Car Insurance Renewals

Even if you intend to stay with your current insurer, still take the time to get a car insurance quote. Comparing quotes is the single best way to see what the market has to offer.

Plus, you may be surprised about how much money you can save – especially if it’s been a few years since your last car insurance quote.


Why Did My Policy Rates Increase At Insurance Renewal?

It’s not uncommon for any driver to see their rates increase, even those with clean driving records. Here are some of the common and foreseen reasons why you could see your insurance rates go up at renewal:

Even if you were claims free and didn’t have any tickets, your insurance rates could still increase at insurance renewal. Insurance rate increases can happen due to increased claim activities, insurance fraud, and changes in the insurance market.


Things To Consider Before Renewing Car Insurance Coverage

Here are some questions to consider that could impact your insurance rates upon renewal :

  • Do you commute? How far do you drive each day? Has your daily driving distance changed recently?
  • Do you use your car for business?
  • Who drives your vehicle? Do you need to add an occasional driver to your policy?
  • Do you need to remove a driver from your policy?
  • Have your coverage needs changed? Do you need to increase or decrease coverage limits?
  • Do you have winter tires?
  • Have you added any upgrades to your vehicle (stereo, auto car starter, tint, aftermarket accessories)?
  • Have you recently upgraded the vehicle security? Added an anti-theft device?

Always Update Your Information During Car Insurance Renewals

Expired Insurance Renewal

Insurance renewal time is also your opportunity to update your information with your broker or insurer. Here is some information to update :

  • Mailing address : Your postal code impacts car insurance rates
  • Contact information : Ensure your phone number and email address are up to date
  • Vehicle usage : If you change how you use your vehicle, notify your insurer
  • Car modifications : Any changes to your vehicles engine or physical appearance should be reported to your insurer
  • New drivers : Let your insurance company know of any new drivers in your home that will be using your vehicle
  • Tickets : While you may be tempted to not tell your insurer, you are required to inform them of traffic convictions, license suspensions, and accidents

What Happens With A Renewal Of Car Insurance After The Due Date?

When your car insurance policy is up for renewal, it’s very important to make your insurance fee payment on time. If you fail to pay by the due date, your policy could be temporarily suspended or cancelled. You’ll also be driving without insurance.

While a renewal of car insurance after the due date is possible, it can be difficult. You may be forced to pay a late fee or face higher rates because of a gap in coverage.


I Was Refused A Car Insurance Renewal. Now What?

Has your car insurance renewal been declined? Car insurance non renewals can happen. Your insurance company has the right to NOT offer you a policy when your policy comes up for renewal.

In most cases car insurance is not renewed due to high risk activity. If you’ve been involved in an at fault accident or two, have been convicted of a major traffic violation, filed too many claims, or have had payment issues, you could have your policy cancelled or not renewed.

If you’ve been refused a car insurance renewal, contact a high risk insurance broker. Our brokers can help you get coverage, even if you’ve had difficulty getting coverage from insurance companies.


Is Switching Car Insurance Before Renewal A Good Idea?

Renew Car Insurance Policy

Many drivers incorrectly assume they cannot switch car insurance before their policy is up for renewal. This is not true. You can switch car insurance at any time. However, it may or may not be a good idea depending on your situation, how long you have left on your policy, and other factors.

Changing car insurance before renewal could result in a penalty or administrative fees for cancelling your policy. You will also be required to follow all policy cancellation procedures as outlined in your policy.

Depending on the cost savings from your new policy, it may or may not make more sense to wait until renewal. Switching insurance companies during the renewal process is simpler, you won’t face penalties, and it’s your best time to take advantage of cost savings.

Use A Car Insurance Renewal Calculator To Determine If Switching Mid Policy Is Worth It

A car insurance renewal calculator can help you determine if renewing with your current insurance provider is the best decision for you. It can also help you determine if switching mid policy is the right move to save money.


Car Insurance Renewal Quotes – Your Chance To Shop Around And Save

Each year you have the opportunity to renew your car insurance policy. It’s also your chance to get car insurance renewal quotes and explore your insurance options.

When you compare auto insurance renewal quotes, you give yourself the best chance to save. Rather than auto renewing, use a broker to get quotes from multiple insurance providers.

It’s your chance to shop around, compare coverage and quotes, and choose the cheapest rates for the coming year. Get a quote annually to put yourself in a position to save on auto insurance coverage each year.


Insurance Renewal FAQ

Have more questions about the auto insurance renewals. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the insurance renewal process :

What Is A Renewal Premium For Car Insurance?

Your renewal premium is the money you pay to your insurance company for insurance coverage to continue your current policy. You can pay the renewal premium in full or you can pay monthly.

What Is The Car Insurance Renewal Notice Period?

Insurance companies will send you a renewal notice in the mail or online when your policy is nearing expiration. Generally, you will receive this notice 30 days or more before your policy expires. During this period you will need to decide to renew your policy or switch coverage to a different insurer.

When Should I Renew My Car Insurance?

Things To Consider Before Renewing Your Car Insurance

Your car insurance policy renewal date is listed on your policy. It’s important to renew or switch your policy before your renewal date to avoid a gap in coverage.

Can I Renew My Car Insurance For 6 Months?

Car insurance renewals are typically for one year in length. Some insurance companies may offer insurance for 6 months. Contact our brokers for more information about short term or temporary insurance coverage.

Can I Complete The Renewal Of Car Insurance Before Due Date?

If you are satisfied with your current insurance policy, you can complete the renewal of car insurance before the due date. Simply notify your insurer once you receive your renewal notice.

Can I Change Car Insurance Before Renewal Date

Yes. You can change your car insurance provider at any time. However, doing so before the renewal date, mid policy, could result in a cancellation or administration fee.

Should I Cancel Car Insurance Before Renewal Date?

Cancelling your car insurance policy before the renewal date could make you subject to a cancellation fee. You could also create a gap in coverage if you have not secured a policy with another insurance provider.

Is There A Car Insurance Renewal Grace Period?

No. Once your auto insurance policy expires, you no longer have coverage and you are not legally allowed to drive the vehicle. Always take action, renew your policy, or get insurance quotes when you receive your renewal notice.

How Do I Get A Cheap Car Insurance Renewal?

To get a cheap car insurance renewal, it’s important to compare quotes. Make sure your information is up to date. Ask about insurance discounts. Work with a broker to get the cheapest rates.

How Early Can You Renew Car Insurance?

How early you can renew your car insurance policy depends on your insurer. Most companies will allow you to renew your policy 30 to 45 days prior to your policy expiring. Check your policy to confirm.

Can I Do Online Car Insurance Renewal?

Most car insurance renewals are completed automatically. If you are considering switching, you can get online insurance quotes to compare your auto policy options.


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