When it comes to renewing car insurance policies, insurance companies are legally required to send renewal notices and they will usually send timely notices three – eight weeks prior to expiration. Insurance companies are well aware that because of busy schedules, expiration dates can come and go.
Thus, to avoid gaps or actual loss of auto insurance coverage, renewal notices that also serve as reminders are sent out well in advance of expiration dates, although the format regarding the amount of time and type of notification given is different with each company. Enter your ZIP code into our FREE auto insurance comparison tool to find the best rates!
Renewing Car Insurance Prior to Expiration
Renewal notices are also sent out in advance to give drivers the time and opportunity to review their current policies and request adjustments according to any changes in their driving profiles. The majority of car insurance renewal notifications are actually lengthy documents that require time and patience to review completely.
While examining, drivers can take note of any and all changes in the terms and conditions that the auto insurance companies may have made. No matter what the case, notifications are sent early enough to grant policyholders the chance to consider all the facts before renewing or rejecting their policies.
In the interest of eliminating as much uninsured driving as possible, an increasing number of insurance companies offer continuous coverage that renews automatically unless the policy is cancelled. Usually, insurance companies will automatically renew the policies of those customers who pay using debit accounts or certain credit cards.
However, unless the insurance company specifically states that the policy will be automatically renewed (and this should be clearly indicated on the renewal document), customers shouldn’t assume that because they’ve received a renewal notice, their insurance coverage will continue. They should contact the company not only to assure they have continuing coverage, but also to report all incorrect policy information, and if any necessary changes needed for adequate coverage hasn’t been noted and incorporated.
Continuous Renewals Benefit the Companies
Customers should understand that accepting the automatic renewal process could result in numerous drivers having higher costs rather than the lowest cost auto insurance company. While there’s a convenience involved because it eliminates the possibility of lapsing policies and dealing with the hassle of reviewing and signing contracts, it removes the customer’s incentive to shop around and possibly lose out on finding a better deal somewhere else.
Automatic renewals are actually favorable for insurance companies as well because if the customer doesn’t shop around and the policy is simply renewed, then the insurance companies retain their business . . . and all the profits from rate increases too! Therefore, it is always to the customer’s advantage to thoroughly review their renewal policies because all insurance companies’ rates and coverage change on a regular basis and the only way to be assured of receiving the best policy is by comparison research.
The Best Time to Renew Auto Insurance
The ideal suggestion regarding the renewal process is for customers to keep the current expiration date in mind and begin on their own approximately two months prior to expiration by doing research on other insurance companies.
In so doing, they give themselves ample time to investigate thoroughly which will place them in a better position to negotiate a more favorable deal either with other companies or their current insurance company.
In answer to the question as to whether or not a car insurance policy can be renewed prior to expiration, the answer is the policy will be effectively renewed after the renewal information has been sent and the customer has accepted renewal of the coverage with that company.
This process is designed to have policies renewed by or within range of the renewal dates so trying to have it renewed prior to this is not likely to happen, nor is it even necessary. Depending on the method of payment, renewed policies can issue as early as ten days prior to the renewal date. Insurance companies prefer the courtesy of being notified of renewal intentions as soon as possible after receipt of the renewal notification.
In actuality, it is not important to renew an auto insurance policy prior to expiration. Most policies remain in effect for only one year and most customers don’t have the time to consider renewing before then. The important thing to remember is that it’s beneficial to the customer to remain mindful of the expiration date so timely research can be done. Insurance companies are always striving to attract new business and as a result, they offer a multitude of discounts and promotions to prospective customers.
This alone can be tremendous for policyholders saving money on car insurance making it highly worth it for them to do their homework, but even more significant is the fact that remaining with the same insurance company for long periods of time could mean these customers might be paying considerably more than new customers who are receiving discounted rates for the same coverage. In order to find the best rates, enter your ZIP code into our FREE auto insurance comparison tool!
There is a lot of detail involved with the auto insurance process whether it is a new policy or a renewal, and it varies in each company as to how much of that detail is disclosed to their customers. Thus if a customer has a desire to renew well before the expiration date, they should check with their insurance provider to find out if this can be done.