If you have an open claim with your vehicle insurance company, you may be wondering if you can change providers.
Is it possible to switch vehicle insurance providers while still having an active claim? What if you switch vehicle insurance carriers in the middle of a claim? Today, we’ll answer all your questions about getting new car insurance with an open claim.
It is possible to get new car insurance with an open claim.
Let’s get one thing out of the way first. If you have an open claim, nothing is stopping you from moving insurance companies. You can usually change your insurance company at any time. If you paid in advance for a 6/12 month policy, you might be eligible for a refund, but you are unlikely to receive a refund if you have month-to-month coverage.
If you have an open claim with your former insurance provider, it is still their responsibility to handle it. Switching to a new insurance carrier has no effect on the validity of your claim with your previous insurer.
You signed a contract with your prior insurance provider when you bought a car insurance policy. According to that contract, your old insurance provider is obligated to cover certain damages to your vehicle in specific circumstances. Regardless of whether you switch insurance carriers or not, if you have an open claim, your insurance company is mandatory to process it.
With an open claim, why should you switch companies?
We’ve established that you can transfer vehicle insurance companies while a claim is pending. The second issue is why you want new car insurance with an open claim?
Switching insurance providers in the middle of a claim are not as unusual as you would assume. The reason for this is simple: many consumers are unaware of how horrible their existing insurance company is until they need to file a claim. You may have gotten a good deal on vehicle insurance from a lesser-known firm. For months, that vehicle insurance company serves you admirably – until you are involved in an accident and discover how complex the claims procedure may be. Because they have a poor claim satisfaction percentage, certain vehicle insurance firms can offer lower prices.
If you’re unhappy with your current insurance carrier following a recent claim, you might want to consider switching – even if you still have an open claim with them.
Your new insurance company will not handle your old claim
Another less legitimate reason for switching insurance companies in the middle of an active claim is that some people try to “double claim” an incident. They may file a claim with their previous insurance company, transfer to a new carrier and file a claim for the same incident.
For example, your car could have been damaged in an accident a week ago. You file a claim with your old insurance company, then move to a new one and file a different, fictional accident claim.
This is a case of insurance fraud. According to the Criminal Code, “double-dipping,” or attempting to file the same claim with different insurance providers, is known as insurance fraud.
There’s nothing wrong with switching insurance companies if you have an open claim. Still, your new insurer is unlikely to cover any accidents that occurred while your previous provider insured you.
Will a pending claim affect premiums with a new insurer?
Is it true that a future claim with your former insurer will affect your new auto insurance? Will the fact that you have an open claim affect your premiums with a new insurance company?
Yes, to put it briefly.
Insurance firms share client information with one another. If you have an open claim with one insurance company, your new insurer may view you as a higher risk – especially if the open claim is your fault.
If you’ve been in an accident where you were at fault, your current insurance carrier may hike your premiums. After a single at-fault accident, most insurance companies will hike rates dramatically. You might be encouraged to search around for car insurance after the accident. Don’t expect to save money, though. Your new vehicle insurance carrier may not be aware of your recent at-fault collision, but they will undoubtedly learn about it during the discovery process.
In the end, the details of your claim will decide the likelihood of an open claim affecting your search for a new insurance company.
You can switch vehicle insurance companies even if you have an active claim. If you do this, your former auto insurance company will still be responsible for your previous claim. However, nothing is preventing you from switching providers.
After being dissatisfied with the way their previous insurance company handled their claim, many drivers prefer to switch to a new insurer. This is absolutely okay.
If you’re unhappy with your existing car insurance company for any reason, compare car insurance quotes today. If you decide to transfer providers, be sure you don’t have any gaps in your auto insurance coverage.