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Think Twice Before Changing Insurers

Home Insurance

By Viola Wallace | January 16, 2019

You might be tempted to switch insurance providers for the chance of some savings. As long as the coverage is comparable and you are well protected why not? Right?

Maybe. There are many good reasons to hold off on making a change. Let’s look at some benefits that you might be missing out on if you ditch your current provider followed by a look at the potential pitfalls of switching providers:

Discounts

If you have multiple policies with your insurer you are likely getting or are entitled to some extra savings. Plus these discounts can increase over time. This is not usually factored into the calculations of price comparison websites. Contacting your broker or insurance company is the best way to make sure you are taking full advantage of the discounts available to you.

Of course, you have the option of choosing a new provider for all your insurance needs however switching multiple policies can be a bit of a headache and may require additional documentation and new applications).

You may have earned a ‘disappearing deductible’. This means for a small increase on your premium your insurance company will gradually reduce the deductible required for as long as the person insured goes without making a claim. Careful drivers may find that their deductible has reached zero by the time they eventually do have to make a claim. Switching providers could mean losing this benefit.

Endorsements

Endorsements are add-ons to your policy that alter policy coverage and/or the limits of that coverage. If you feel you are in need of more coverage than the basics of your policy currently provide before making a switch check with your broker about the endorsements available to you. The cost of a policy plus an endorsement may be less than the same coverage from a different insurance company and it just might save you some legwork. Once again it’s better to contact your broker rather than rely on the information available online.

Changing Insurers

If you do decide to change insurers here is what you should know:

  • Gaps in coverage and double coverage.

Be sure your new policy is active before your old one is cancelled. Not only can this have consequences for your insurance history (see Insurance History below) but it is also potentially disastrous should you suffer a loss and need to make a claim.

Regularly changing insurers might also result in payment for two slightly overlapping policies. Even if it is only for a couple of days the costs can add up and eat into any advantage gained by switching. Furthermore, if your property is damaged while you’re insured under two policies you can run into legal issues around insurance fraud.

  • Insurance history.

Although making a ‘clean’ switch with no gaps in your coverage should not in theory be a blemish on your insurance history there is still a risk that a new provider will bump you into a higher risk category. Frequent mid-term cancellations where you cancelled a policy before its official expiry or renewal date can also count against you when you’re shopping for a new policy.

You should always talk to your broker before your insurance policy renews to review your coverage and before considering a switch. Insurance companies are always evolving and getting creative with their products to better serve their customers. Make sure you are really comparing apples to apples before making a move.

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