Switching home insurance companies can be completed in a few steps.
To find the best insurance, you should review your current coverage and your insurance needs, compare companies and quotes, purchase a new policy, cancel your old policy and inform your mortgage company.
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As a homeowner, you should look over your insurance policy and compare quotes annually to make sure that you're getting the best rate. You should also consider changing home insurance if you're moving, the number of people living in your house changes, your credit score goes up or down or you complete a large renovation project.
How to change homeowners insurance
Although switching home insurance companies is easy, it's important for you as a homeowner to follow the steps below to make sure that you're getting the best rate and that you avoid a lapse in coverage.
Step 1: Review your current policy
Before you begin shopping for a new policy, you have to understand your current coverage — and what it costs. You can find the most important information about your current policy on your declarations page, which is usually available through your insurer's online portal.
Your declarations page will include:
- Your current rate
- What coverages you have
- Policy renewal date
- Cancellation fee for early termination, if any
Some home insurance companies charge you a flat fee or portion of your remaining annual premium if you cancel before your policy expires. If your current company charges a cancellation fee, you should consider whether you'll save more money by waiting until your policy renews or switching immediately.
Step 2: Determine your coverage needs
It's important to look over your insurance at least once a year to make sure you have enough coverage to protect your home and family.
Some common events that may require you to increase your coverage limits are:
- You recently renovated your home
- You added a pool or other structure on your property
- You purchased valuable items that need extra protection, like jewelry or artwork
- The size of your family has changed
- You began working from home
Even if it's simply been a while since you reviewed your home insurance, it's possible that your coverage needs have changed, which is why this is an important step.
Step 3: Shop for quotes and compare companies
Now that you know how much insurance you need, the next step is to get home insurance quotes from several companies. We recommend getting prices from at least five different companies to be sure you get your best rate.
Insurance companies tend to ask a lot of specific questions about your home before providing you with rates. To get the most accurate quotes and qualify for discounts, you should have the following information handy:
Personal information for all adults living in your home, including:
- Birth dates
- Social Security numbers
- Prior addresses
Details about your home, including:
- Construction date
- Square footage
- Building materials
- The age of your roof, HVAC system, hot water heater and plumbing
- Renovation details and dates
- Security system and fire safety information
Other important information, like:
- Dates and details for past insurance claims
- Your credit score
- Pet information, including breed and bite history
Although finding the best rate is important, it's equally important to choose an insurance company that offers great customer service.
Most homeowners don't have a lot of interaction with their insurance companies unless they have to make a claim. However, that's exactly why good service is valuable — a reliable insurance company will help you move through the claims process quickly and alleviate stress during a difficult time.
To help you find the best home insurance company, our editors rated top insurers based on customer service reviews, coverage availability and the value they provide to policyholders.
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Step 4: Buy a new home insurance policy
Once you've found the best home insurance company for you, it's time to buy a policy.
If your home insurance is paid out of an escrow account, you'll need to reach out to your lender before buying a new home insurance policy — since your lender will pay your home insurance premium, instead of you doing it directly.
First, you'll need to choose a policy start date. If you're planning on letting your old policy expire without renewing, make sure your new policy starts before then.
Most major insurance companies allow you to make payments via credit card or bank transfer.
Keep in mind that you may be able to earn a discount by paying your annual premium in full or signing up for automatic payments.
Step 5: Cancel your old policy and inform your lender
Once your new policy has gone into effect, you can safely cancel your old policy. If you're ending it in the middle of the year, ask about what you need to do to get a refund for the leftover premium you've already paid.
Finally, if you have a mortgage, reach out to your lender to let it know you've switched home insurance companies.
Your mortgage lender likely requires insurance, so if you skip this, the company may think you let your insurance lapse. If your lender pays for your insurance out of an escrow account, it's very important that you reach out quickly since your old policy may automatically renew 30 to 60 days before the actual date.
Should I switch home insurance companies?
You should consider switching home insurers if you find a better price for coverage or if your current company is no longer meeting your needs. You can switch home insurance companies at any time, not just at the end of your policy.
In addition, it's worth looking into changing home insurance providers if you've experienced any of the following changes since you bought your current policy:
- You moved
- You expanded or improved your house (such as installing a new roof)
- You bought a car (you may be eligible for a bundle discount)
- The number of people in your household changed (events such as a marriage, new baby, move for college, divorce)
- Your credit score changed
- You got a pet
- You added a security system or safety feature
- Your current insurance rates went up
Some of these changes might also affect your coverage needs. For example, a renovation project will likely increase the rebuild cost of your property, meaning you'd want to increase the amount of dwelling coverage you have on your home to match.
Frequently asked questions
Can you change homeowners insurance at any time?
Yes, you can switch home insurance at any time. However, some insurance companies charge a fee if you cancel your policy before the end of the term. If your insurer charges a fee, you may want to consider waiting to shop for a new policy until your expiration date is a few weeks away.
How do you change homeowners insurance with an escrow account?
If you have an escrow account, you'll need to contact your mortgage company once you purchase a new policy. It may ask for your policy number and contact information for your insurer. Once you cancel your old policy, any unused premiums will be refunded to your escrow account, after which your escrow company will send you a refund check.
How do I cancel my home insurance?
Most insurance companies allow you to cancel your policy over the phone. Some insurers may require you to send a cancellation request in writing. It's important to ask for a confirmation email or letter from your insurance company, in case your mortgage company asks for documentation.
To determine average home insurance rates, we collected home insurance quotes for every residential ZIP code in the United States, from the largest homeowners insurance companies in every state. Rates are based on the median home age and value in each state.
ValuePenguin's analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes may be different.