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How Long Should I Wait to Switch to a New Auto Insurer in CNY?

February 12th, 2024 | 4 min read

By Daniel J. Middleton

As a Central New York driver, you know the frustration of dealing with auto insurance. Rates keep going up even when you have a clean record. And shopping around feels like a headache.

At Horan Insurance, we understand your pain. We're local experts who have been helping drivers like you since 2009. We know how confusing and stressful insurance can be. But there’s a better way.

In this article, we’ll walk you through:

  • When it makes sense to stay loyal or shop around
  • How switching carriers affects your rates
  • What to do if you change vehicles
  • Tips to keep more money in your pocket

We want to save you time, money, and headaches so you can get back to what matters most. Read on to discover a new approach to insurance that puts CNY drivers like you first.

How Often Should I Switch My Auto Insurer?

If you’re a Central New York driver, you may wonder how often you should switch your auto insurer. Is it better to stay loyal or shop around for the best deal? The answer is not so simple. 

Here are two factors to consider.

  1. First, you shouldn’t switch your insurer every year. This can hurt you more than help you. Insurance carriers look at how long you’ve been with your previous insurer. Some carriers charge more if you’ve been with your previous insurer for a short time. Others are happy if you’ve been with your previous insurer for at least three years.
  2. Second, you should check the market every three to five years. This is a good balance between loyalty and savings. You can compare your coverage and rate with other options. You can see if you’re getting the best value for your money. You can also adjust your coverage if your situation changes.

Your new insurer will base your rate on your claims history.When Switching Carriers, Your Claims History Can Affect Your Auto Insurance Rate

What if you switch your insurer with recent claims on your record? Your new insurer will base your rate on your claims history. This may make your rate higher than usual.

But what if those claims drop off your record after a few years? Will your rate go down automatically? The answer is no. Your existing insurer will not lower your rate because of your improved record. You’re locked in with the rate you started with. They won’t check your claims history again.

So, what can you do? You can shop around for a new insurer. This may help you get a lower rate based on your current record. You can do this anytime during your first five years with your new insurer. You do not have to wait for the three to five year period. 

But you should only do this if you have no new claims since you switched. If you have new claims, you are better off staying with your existing insurer.

Sometimes Staying Put Can Save You Money on Auto Insurance

What if you have a recent claim on your record? You may think you should switch your insurer before they raise your rate. This isn’t a good idea. A new insurer will likely charge you more than your current insurer. Your current insurer knows you better than a new insurer. They won’t be as harsh on your rate as a new insurer.

What If You Have No Claims on Your Record?

If you have no claims on your record, you may still see your rate go up every year. This is normal. Rates go up for everyone. Don’t trust an agent who says your rate won’t go up next year. Your rate will go up unless you change your policy. The question is how much it will go up. 

That’s hard to predict.

So, what can you do to save money? You can shop around for a new insurer every three to five years. This is a good way to find the best deal for your coverage. You can also adjust your coverage if your needs change. 

This is easier if you work with an independent agency. They have your information on file. You just have to ask them to shop your policy, leaving you to focus on other things.

How Switching Carriers After Changing Vehicles Affects Your Rate

What if you change your vehicle to a newer or more expensive one? This will increase your premium. Your new vehicle has more value than your old one. Your insurer has to protect more value. This means more risk for them.

You may think you should switch your insurer to get a lower rate. This isn’t a good idea if you’ve switched your insurer recently. Your insurance history matters

If you switch your insurer too often, you look fickle. You appear to them as someone who doesn’t stay loyal. The new insurer might not trust you. They may fear you’ll leave them after a big claim. Or they’ll charge you more than someone who stays with them longer.

Some insurers prefer customers who stay with them for five years or more. They think these customers are more stable and less risky. They have more data on them. Sadly, new insurance customers usually get better rates than those who have been with that carrier longer.

So, what can you do if you change your vehicle? You can stay with your current insurer if you’ve been with them for at least three years. Or you can shop around for a new insurer if you’ve been with them for more than five years. 

You can also adjust your coverage if your situation changes.

What Your New Insurer Knows About You and How It Impacts Your Rate

Your previous insurer and how long you stayed with them matter. Every insurer asks you this question. They’re not just curious. They use this information to calculate your rate. They want to know how loyal and stable you are. They also want to verify your honesty.

Some insurers check your insurance history with a vendor report. This report shows how long you’ve been with your previous insurer. It may not match what you told your agent. If there’s a discrepancy, your new insurer may think you lied. For that reason, they may charge you more than they would otherwise.

Your new insurer also looks at other factors besides your previous insurer. They look at 

  1. your claims history
  2. your vehicle
  3. your driving record
  4. and more

They try to find out how risky you are. They want to reduce their chances of losing money.

So, how long should you stay with your previous insurer? We usually recommend three to five years. This shows you are loyal and stable. It also gives you a chance to compare the market. Anything less, and you could pay more. So be careful. That’s the simple answer.

Horan Can Help You Make the Switch at the Right Time

As a Central New York driver, you now have a guide to making smarter auto insurance decisions. We covered proven strategies used by savvy local drivers to keep more money in their pockets. 

By shopping around strategically instead of annually, you optimize savings and loyalty rewards. Adjusting coverage as life changes prevents paying for unused protection. And when claims happen, staying put leads to better rates than switching on impulse.

Armed with these tips, you can approach insurance with confidence rather than frustration. Over time, the savings add up through wiser choices. The composure and security benefit not just your wallet, but carry through to other areas of life.

Yet overlooking this advice keeps you stuck in complex policies, rising premiums, and no trusted advisor. Take our hands and walk this simpler path. Gain an expert advisor who wants to help you protect what matters most: your family, assets, and security as a Central New York driver.

Horan is ready to lend a helping hand. Click the Get a Quote button below to get things started.

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Daniel J. Middleton

Daniel is an accomplished content creator. He has been working in publishing for almost two decades. Horan Companies hired Daniel as its content manager in November 2022. The agency entrusted its messaging to him. Since then, Daniel has written insurance articles, service pages, PDF guides, and more. All in an effort to educate CNY readers. He's helping them understand the world of insurance so they can make informed decisions.