It doesn’t matter how discouraging or frustrating things get when you are dealing with your California auto insurance, you have to remember that you are dealing with a business that is profit-driven. Even though the nature of the business seems rather odd at times, it serves an essential need. However, as a smart consumer, you owe it to yourself to do some research and determine whether or not you are still getting the best value for your money at least once every 12 months. Conduct an Annual Review One of the best times to do a California Auto Insurance review is when you are planning your budget at the first of the new year. So if your research has revealed that you might be paying too much for your insurance, how do you go about addressing the issue and possibly deciding to change companies altogether? Reviewing your current policy and changing auto insurance companies does not have to be challenging and frustrating, provided you know what steps you need to take. The Top Reasons for switching Insurers First and foremost, you want to hold on to your current insurer and not cancel your policy until you have started a new one with another company. Before you start searching for another company to do business with, you should be aware of the top 4 reasons that most people change California auto insurance companies. These include: • High prices – as you would expect, this is the #1 reason that families and individuals decide to switch insurance companies. Granted, your agent may have offered you some very competitive premium rates initially, but there is a good possibility that those are no longer in force and you are now paying much more. • Inadequate coverage – many people find out that they have “holes” in their coverages and sometimes, they find out when it is too late. If your needs have changed due to some major life events such as getting married or having a baby, does your insurance company offer coverage that meets your specific requirements? If not, it’s time to switch companies. • Negative claims experience – has your insurer been too slow at settling claims in the past? It’s time to research some different options. Search for California auto insurance companies who have high marks in reviews for outstanding customer claims experiences. • Poor customer service – in many instances, this reason ties for #1 with high prices. If it is difficult to reach your agent or a company representative by e-mail or phone when you need their help the most, it may be time to consider switching companies. Any successful business owner or corporate CEO will oftentimes tell you that their superior level of customer service is what made them successful and insurance companies are no exception. Just remember to stay with your current insurance company and not make any rash decisions about dropping them without doing your homework. Have Your new Policy in Place First When you’re in the process of switching companies, be sure to keep your current policy in force while you are while you are going through the application process with your new insurer. You should make sure that you have been approved and have made your initial payment to your new insurer before notifying your current insurance company that you are cancelling your policy. However, when you do part ways with your current insurer, don’t be surprised if you feel a slight tinge of satisfaction. Additional Considerations Some states require that you keep your current policy in force until you have signed the agreement with your new insurer. Be sure to check with your agent about this or find out more information from the California Department of Insurance. Be sure that you give your current company a written notice of cancellation. Don’t just stop sending your payments. This will lead to a negative report on your credit rating. What’s important is that you don’t have a gap in your insurance coverage. For more information, you should check with the state insurance department and do some research online. Finally, be sure when you start searching for a new insurer that you check out a minimum of 5 or 6 companies and don’t just settle for the first one that offers you lower premium rates.