Canceling your car insurance policy is not complicated. If you’re at the end of your 6-month policy, you can simply switch to another carrier with no friction. If your policy has yet to expire but you still want to switch for whatever reason -- moving to a new state, found a better deal, etc -- you can certainly do that, but there may be small fees involved.

Below we endeavor to lay out all the facts for the major carriers and their cancellation policies, so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s in your best interest to make a switch now.

Carrier Cancel Fee How Much? Notes
21st Century Yes $50 May vary by state
AAA No N/A Pro-rated
Allstate No N/A Pro-rated
American Family No N/A Pro-rated
Dairyland Yes Unclear Hidden, small fee
Esurance Yes $50 Pay 2 mos up front, they keep $50
Farmers No N/A Pro-Rated
GEICO No N/A Pro-rated
GMAC Yes $0-$50 Penalty varies by state
Liberty Mutual No N/A 12-month policies
Mercury Yes 10% of remaning premium $30 penalty if still owe $300 on policy
Nationwide No N/A Pro-rated
Safeco No N/A Pro-rated
State Farm No N/A Pro-rated
The General Yes 10% of remaining premium $30 penalty if still owe $300 on policy
The Hartford No N/A Pro-rated
Travelers No N/A Pro-rated
USAA No N/A Pro-rated

Here are some additional things to remember when cancelling or switching your auto insurance policy.

  • Find out insurance carrier’s cancellation policy. Just because it’s easy to cancel your policy, doesn’t mean your carrier will make it easy :). Most will want at least 30 days notice. Others will charge a small fee -- see if you can negotiate a less expensive exit.

  • Have a replacement policy read to go. You should always be on the lookout for a cheaper policy. Rates fluctuate across the industry and if your carrier is slow to react, you should definitely go in another direction. Accordingly, you shouldn’t cancel your policy before you have a new one picked out. Do not go without car insurance. Cancel one and start another at the same time.

  • If applicable, get your money back. A lot of drivers pre-pay their 6-month policies. So if you cancel part-way through, make sure you get a full refund. The carriers should offer without being reminded, but they don’t always...

  • Contact your state’s DMV. A handful of states require that you inform the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) when canceling or changing your auto insurance. Check your state’s DMV guidelines, or ask your agent when setting up your new policy, and they should be able to help you.

To sum up: It’s no huge deal to switch your car insurance policy. Shop around for a new policy and if it’s significantly better or less expensive -- don’t think it’s overly complicated to make the move. Just follow the handful of steps outlined above and you should be fine.

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