Can I Switch Auto Insurance Companies Even If I Have an Open Claim?

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An open claim may not prevent you from switching auto insurers.
An open claim may not prevent you from switching auto insurers. (Image: auto image by Falk from Fotolia.com)

The situation may arise where you want to switch auto insurance carriers while a claim is open. Perhaps you are not happy with the claim service you've received, or you fear that your present insurer will cancel your coverage. This may be possible, but it won't be easy.

Present Carrier

Your current insurance company cannot prevent you from jumping to another insurance company, even if you have an open claim. As long as your coverage was in force at the time of the event that resulted in the claim, your insurer is obligated to pay for any damages or injuries in accordance with the provisions of your policy. If your claims history with your current company is excessive, it may not always be sorry to see your leave.

Considerations

While your current insurer can't prevent you from leaving, it may be difficult to find a new insurer, especially if you are at fault for the accident. Any potential insurer will scrutinize your claims history and driving record, so an open claim could be enough to make it steer clear of you. If the claim is open because your vehicle was stolen, and the situation is still under investigation, you will have great difficulty finding new insurance for a vehicle that may never be recovered.

Providing Documentation

A prospective insurance company may accept certain types of documentation to support your account of events, even if a claim remains open. For instance, a police report that indicates the other driver was at fault during your accident may be enough to support your story. A written statement from the claim adjuster who is handling your claim may also suffice, as long as there is a reasonable explanation as to why the claim is still open.

Injury Claims

Injury claims can take months, or even years to settle if litigation is involved. In the meantime, the claim will likely continue to show as open on your claims history. If the claim is for bodily injury, meaning that an injury to the driver or passengers in the other vehicle resulted due to your negligence, any prospective insurer will likely count this against you and consider it to be an at-fault accident, even though the claim has not been settled.

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