Many car insurance policies have automatic renewal written into their terms, which is great if you don’t like to think about paperwork, but also means that your rates could go up without you noticing, if you’re not paying attention. If your car insurance company offers auto-renewal, renewing is easy because it happens automatically.

A month before your policy expires, you’ll get a letter from your insurance company about renewal, along with info about your new car insurance premium, and new insurance cards. If you do nothing (and keep making payments), your policy will automatically be renewed and new premium rates will apply on your renewal dates. The new rates are based on your driving history, your age, and other factors, including claim rates for your state — sometimes it’s possible for your rates to increase even if you’ve never made a claim or had any strikes against you.

If your car insurance is set to automatically renew and you feel okay about the new rates, you don’t have to do anything except continue to make payments and swap out your new insurance cards to keep in your wallet and glove box of your vehicle. And if your car insurance payments are automatic, they’ll most likely just continue into your new policy term, so you don’t need to worry about stopping and starting payments again

Some insurers may require you to sign off on your personal information before your policy renews. If this is the case, you’ll be prompted to look over your info when it’s time for renewal.


How to shop around for car insurance

Shopping around for a new policy to replace your current one is a similar process to when you first got coverage:

Decide whether you want to work with an independent agent or search on your own. You can get quotes from carriers online, but working with an independent agent or broker means you only have to submit your information once, and an expert will be there to help you choose from multiple carriers.
Determine how much coverage you need. You may want to keep the exact same coverage youhave now, or you may want to adjust your coverage limits and change the details of 
your coverage.
Fill out your application. Whether you’re working with a broker or not, you’ll need to submit basic info like your name, birthday, address, Social Security Number, Car Vin 
and your declarations page from your most recent prior car insurance policy.
Choose a carrier. 

One note: Be sure to set the cancellation date of your old policy and the effective, or start date of your new policy on the same day. Insurance policies begin and end at 12:01 AM on a given date, so you want to make sure you don’t accidentally leave a one-day gap in your coverage.

Learn more about How to Shop for Car Insurance.

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