Q

Q

Can I switch auto insurance with an open claim?

A

A

You can technically switch car insurance companies with an open claim, but the claim will be settled with the original insurance company that you filed it with. You cannot transfer your open claim to your new insurance company.

Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Published April 9, 2020

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • You can switch car insurance companies with an open claim, but your claim will be handled by the insurance company you had at the time of the accident

  • If you switch insurance companies with an open claim, the new insurer will be able to see your driving record and claims history, so you may still be quoted higher rates

  • It’s a good idea to shop around for car insurance every year or every other year to get cheaper rates

Auto insurance is financial protection in case you get into an accident and damage someone else’s vehicle or injure someone with your car. A car insurance policy can also protect you if your car is stolen or damaged by a separate covered peril, like falling objects or fire.

If you get into a car accident and the repairs are expensive, or if your car is totaled, then you’re going to have to file an insurance claim with your car insurance company. How long your claim will take to settle depends on the type of damage or personal injury that was involved in the accident. It will also depend on the type of claim you are filing, like a glass damage or a liability claim.

Once your claim is filed and settled, your insurance premiums may go up. Many people will shop around to get car insurance quotes from other insurers to see if they can get lower rates on a policy, especially if their rates are being raised due to a claim. But what if your claim hasn’t been settled yet — can you switch auto insurance companies with an open claim?

Why switch auto insurance companies?

There are a few reasons that you might want to switch your auto insurance company, and most have to do with your own personal circumstances. That said, a common reason to switch companies is to get a cheaper rate than you’re currently paying. It’s generally recommended you shop around for new auto insurance every year or every other year to get lower rates.

Some common reasons to shop around for new auto insurance:

  • To find a company that offer more suitable discounts for you
  • If you move out-of-state and your previous carrier doesn’t write policies in your new state, or if your new state requires more insurance coverage
  • If your premiums went up because you got into an accident
  • If you need to adjust your coverage and want to see what other insurers have to offer

You can shop around for new coverage by doing a quote comparison on your own or by working with an independent broker to compare quotes from multiple carriers. You might find that your current insurer is offering the best rates possible and decide not to switch, or you may discover that you can get the same coverage for a lower price.

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Will my insurance go up after filing a claim?

If you are found to be at-fault for the car accident, then your car insurance premiums are likely to go up after you file a claim. However, it’s hard to predict how much your insurance rates will go up, because it depends on the circumstances of the accident. That said, sometimes your premiums can increase by as much as 40% after filing an at-fault claim.

Insurance companies calculate premiums based on how much of a risk they think you’ll be to insure, and if you get into an accident they consider you to be higher-risk, meaning they will likely increase your premium rates to reflect your new driving history. This is why it’s common for people to start shopping around for new insurance after a claim — in order to find coverage at a cheaper rate. That said, your accident history will be on your driving record, which insurance companies will check when calculating a policy quote.

Learn more about how filing a claim affects your car insurance premiums.

How to switch auto insurance companies with an open claim

You can technically switch auto insurance companies with an open claim. However, you need to make sure you are communicating with both insurance companies about the claims process. If you do not inform your new company about your open claim and your driving history, it could be considered fraud. Insurance companies will factor in your claims history when calculating your insurance rate, so you need to be honest about your open claim and any recent accidents.

If you switch auto insurance companies with an open claim, the claim cannot be transferred to your new insurance company. The claim will stay as-is, and it will be settled with the original insurer that you filed the claim with in the first place.

When switching auto insurance companies, you need to be careful that you don’t lapse in coverage, so make sure your old policy ends on the same day your new one starts. You should also be sure to keep in contact with the insurance company you filed a claim with — you don’t want to be out of the loop if there are any issues or delays with the open claim.

About the author

Insurance Editor

Kara McGinley

Insurance Editor

Kara McGinley is an Insurance Editor at Policygenius. She previously worked as a freelance writer and a copywriter for various startups. Her work can be found in Teen Vogue, The Culture Crush, Mask Magazine, and more.

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

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