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How to switch car insurance

 You might think changing insurance companies is complex or headache-inducing, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s a bit of a misconception that switching car insurers is difficult. Timing can play a part, and we’ll cover that below, as well as how to switch car insurance, refunds and exclusions you might face when switching.
Step 1: Cancelling your existing policy
Okay, so you’ve decided to switch policies. If you choose to cancel, it may be best to do so at the end of your renewal period or payment cycle, so you can exhaust your remaining cover.
In a perfect world, you would switch to your new policy as your old one comes up for renewal and is cancelled. Renewal letters are generally sent 14 days prior to the actual renewal date. Don’t worry; your insurer is required by law to alert you when this is happening (usually via email or post).
How do I cancel my policy?
So, here’s the first real step to cancelling your policy: call your insurer, ideally more than 14 days before your policy removes. During your conversation, it’s important to:

  • state your intention to cancel. Let your insurer know you wish to cancel. Check if they have an internal process for doing this (e.g. some companies may require written notice), but in most cases, you can cancel over the phone; and
  • state the date in which your policy is to become inactive. Select a date that comes at the end of your existing payment cycle so your insurer doesn’t need to refund you any money (which can take time). Take note of this date.
Remember, you can still cancel the policy inside the cooling-off period, and you won’t incur any costs or fees.
Step 2: Find and sign up for a new policy
Cancelling can be a pain, but signing up is simple! Use our site to compare your options, find one you like and go from there. Make sure your new policy becomes active the day your old policy expires or several days before to ensure you’re always covered.
Purchased your car with a loan? Generally, you’re required to provide the financiers (i.e. who you got the loan from) with a certificate of insurance. Your loan terms and conditions may outline that you require insurance while the car is under finance. If so, it’s important to make sure you have uninterrupted coverage when switching insurers.
Why switch car insurers at all?
There are many reasons why insurance companies and other websites may get you to switch car insurance. Here are four key factors that encourage Aussies to switch:
  • to save money
  • to get more for your money
  • your situation has changed (new car, you’ve moved, etc.)
  • to receive discounts.
When changing insurance companies, can I do it before the renewal date?
Yes, you can change your insurance provider before the renewal date of your insurance. At the start of your policy, you’ll have a cooling-off period where you can cancel your policy for a full refund.
If you cancel and change car insurance companies after the cooling-off period but before your renewal date, you can still be refunded for ‘unused’ premiums. However, your previous insurance company may charge exit fees and administration costs. If you pay your insurance monthly, you may not receive any refund.
Refunds for ‘unused’ premiums
If you pay annually, you may have a couple of months of unused premiums leftover. These will be refunded when you cancel or switch, minus any cancellation fees and other costs.
Changing car insurance? We can simplify the process
If you’ve decided to switch car insurance, we can help you out. Our free car insurance comparison service compares a number of policies from a panel of car insurance providers across Australia.
Within minutes, you’ll be comparing and filtering products with our easy-to-use tools, and if you see a policy you like, you can apply for it straight from our results page, all at no additional cost to you.

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