Am I entitled to a refund if I switch auto insurance?

If you paid your auto insurance policy upfront and you switch providers, you may be entitled to a refund. Your insurer can tell you how much refund you are entitled to.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Nov 8, 2021

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Things to Remember...

  • If you switch insurance providers, you may be entitled to a refund
  • If you have paid in advance for your policy, you will get some money returned
  • If you disagree with the refund amount, certain states will help you to fight for it

If you’re considering changing auto insurance companies, you might also be wondering if you’re entitled to a refund from your current provider.

The answer depends largely on the total cost of your policy, how much you’ve already paid into it, and whether the policy has a 6- or 12-month term.

There may also be some policies in place regarding early cancellation and fees that might apply.

Most states have auto insurance laws in place preventing car insurance companies from charging drivers for coverage not provided. And most insurance companies are honorable enough to issue refunds where they are due.

But to cover administrative costs and the filing of state paperwork, some companies may charge you a fee for canceling your insurance policy early.

You can compare auto insurance quotes online by entering your zip code below!

What if I’m only in the second month of a six-month policy?

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The biggest factor in determining whether or not you’re entitled to a refund is how long and how much you’ve already paid into a policy.

If you paid the entire amount up front, you would be entitled to a refund if you switched insurance companies in the second month of your policy.

The insurance company would refund you four month’s worth of coverage, minus any fees that might apply.

On the other hand, if you’re the type of driver that pays for your insurance monthly or bi-monthly, you may not get a refund.

In some cases, you may even owe your insurance company for any past days of coverage you have not already paid for.

An interesting side note, many times policies that allow monthly payments include cancellation fees to discourage drivers from frequently changing insurance companies.


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How do I get my refund?

If you are entitled to a refund, your insurance agent or company will inform you of that at the time of cancellation.

In this case it’s better to take care of cancellation over the phone so that you can verify whether or not you’re entitled to a refund.

If you are, the representative should be able to explain to you how much the refund will be, what that refund covers, and how long you can expect for it to take before you receive it.

One of the most common ways auto insurance companies issue refunds is to credit you in the same way you paid for your policy.

So, if you paid for your policy with a written check, they will most likely issue you a refund check in return. If you made your payment with a credit or debit card, the insurance company will often simply issue a reverse transaction.

The insurance company will never issue a refund in cash.

What if I disagree with my refund amount?


State law allows for some recourse when customers disagree with actions taken by their insurance companies. However, be advised that laws differ from one state to the next.

There are some states with the government directly overseeing the insurance industry. In many of these states, there are mechanisms in place where customers can appeal to that governing body for relief from their insurance company.

In any case, before you seek legal redress in a disagreement over refund, your best bet to contact your insurance company’s senior management first.

Often times a high ranking management personnel would rather keep you happy than argue with you because they want to protect their name and reputation.

If your disagreement with the insurance company is how long it will take to receive your refund, that’s a different matter altogether.

Unfortunately, it’s something you have no control over unless it becomes unreasonable. Enter your zip code right now to see online auto insurance quotes from providers in your state!



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