How quickly do changes I make to my policy go into effect?

Have you ever asked yourself, "Will changes I make to my policy go into effect quickly?" The changes made to your policy are effective immediately, so if you remove a driver or add a discount, you could see savings right away. Your policy is yours to update as needed. But will a new auto insurance company honor changes you make to your policy? As long as you're providing accurate information and not committing fraud, changes you make to your policy must be honored.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jan 31, 2022

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Overview
  • Changes to a policy go into effect immediately
  • You can change your insurance policy at any point
  • Drivers can usually make changes to their policy online
Have you ever wondered, “If I buy auto insurance, will changes I make to my policy go into effect immediately?” It’s common to want to better understand your car insurance policy. Your auto insurance policy is yours to change or adjust as you see fit, and you won’t have to wait long at all to see the changes that you make to your policy go into effect. Most insurance companies allow you to access your insurance policy through the company website, via the insurance company’s mobile app, or by calling the company’s customer service line, which is typically available even after regular business hours are over. This intriguing information may inspire you to ask your insurance representative, “Will I get cheaper auto insurance rates when changes I make to my policy go into effect?” That will depend upon what kind of changes you decide to make to your coverage, but keep reading to learn how you can control your policy and update it to suit your insurance and financial needs. If you’ve ever wondered how changes you make to your policy could lower your rates, enter your ZIP code to compare free auto insurance quotes from insurance companies near you.

Do changes to an insurance policy go into immediate effect?

Any changes you make to your policy will go into effect immediately. Now, if you are an individual who prefers speaking with your insurance representative over the phone and would like to verify that the changes you’ve requested have been made properly, you can request to have documentation emailed to you or even printed out and sent by mail so you have a copy for your records. Of course, changing a car insurance policy after an accident is a different story. If you’ve caused an accident, you must wait for the claims process to be settled before you go about making any changes to your policy’s coverage limits. So if I want to compare auto insurance quotes online, will the changes I make to my policy be visible right away? That’s the beauty of shopping for auto insurance online. You can adjust your coverage limits, add or remove cars, or even tweak your deductibles and see these changes made right away. This powerful tool allows you to shop for insurance in an incredibly efficient manner.

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Who has the authority to make changes to an insurance contract?

If you have a friend who borrows your car from time to time or even have another driver listed on your policy, you don’t need to worry about them making changes to your policy without your approval. Only the owner of an auto insurance policy is allowed to make changes to that policy. So if the policy belongs to you, you have nothing to worry about. While an insurance company can decide to cancel your policy if you prove yourself to be too high a risk or if you commit insurance fraud, your insurance company can’t simply start adjusting your policy for you.

Is changing auto insurance mid-policy permitted?

Can you switch insurance at any time during your policy period? The answer is yes, which will make any drivers who have conducted an internet search for “how to change my insurance plan” very happy indeed. If you’re not sure where to start your search for lower rates, you can view the average rates offered by some of the best insurance companies in the business here:

Average Monthly Auto Insurance Rates by Company

Top Auto Insurance CompaniesAverage Monthly Auto Insurance Rates
Allstate$408
American Family$287
Farmers$349
GEICO$268
Liberty Mutual$508
Nationwide$287
Progressive$337
State Farm$272
Travelers$370
USAA$212
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Of course, if you want to switch to a new insurance company simply to get lower rates, you should know that there may be changes you can make to your current policy to reduce how much you pay for your insurance coverage every month.

How Changes to Your Policy Can Reduce Insurance Rates

Have you ever wondered, “Will I obtain affordable auto insurance with changes I make to my policy?” You certainly can if you review your policy and realize that there are adjustments that need to be made and make those adjustments accordingly. You could end up saving money on your policy if you:
  • Remove a driver who no longer regularly operates your vehicles
  • Remove a vehicle that is no longer in your possession
  • Reduce your full coverage to liability only (if your vehicle is older)
Another important step that you can take to reduce your insurance rates is to add every discount that you qualify for to your policy. This vital, incredibly simple step, could end up saving you quite a big chunk of change. If you aren’t sure what discounts to check for the next time you review your policy, feel free to use this chart as a guide: Auto Insurance Discounts from Top Companies
Auto Insurance DiscountsAllstate (%)American Family (%)Farmers (%)GEICO (%)Liberty Mutual (%)Nationwide (%)Progressive (%)State Farm (%)Travelers (%)USAA (%)
Adaptive Cruise ControlN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/A
Adaptive HeadlightsN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/A
Anti-lock Brakes5555
Anti-Theft25202515
Claim Free2610152312
Continuous CoverageN/AN/AN/A15N/A
Daytime Running Lights155N/A
Defensive Driver105105103
Distant StudentN/A107
Driver's Ed10N/A101583
Driving Device/AppN/A30402050305
Early SigningN/A8N/A1012
Electronic Stability ControlN/A5N/AN/AN/A
Emergency DeploymentN/AN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Engaged CoupleN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Family LegacyN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A10
Family PlanN/AN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/A
Farm VehicleN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Fast 5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Federal EmployeeN/AN/A810N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Forward Collision WarningN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/A
Full PaymentN/A$5N/AN/A7.5N/A
Further EducationN/AN/AN/A1015N/AN/AN/A
Garaging/StoringN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A90
Good CreditN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Good Student1522.5102583
Green VehicleN/A5N/A10N/AN/AN/A10N/A
HomeownerN/AN/A535N/A
Lane Departure WarningN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Life InsuranceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Low Mileage30
LoyaltyN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/A
MarriedN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Membership/GroupN/AN/AN/A107N/AN/AN/A
MilitaryN/A154N/AN/AN/A
Military GaragingN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15
Multiple DriversN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Multiple Policies1029102010121713
Multiple Vehicles25102010208
New AddressN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
New Customer/New PlanN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
New GraduateN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Newer VehicleN/AN/A401012
Newly LicensedN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
NewlywedsN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Non-Smoker/Non-DrinkerN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Occasional OperatorN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
OccupationN/A1015N/AN/AN/A
On-Time PaymentsN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15N/A
Online ShopperN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A7N/AN/AN/A
Paperless DocumentsN/AN/A5$50N/AN/AN/A
Paperless/Auto BillingN/A$30$233
Passive Restraint402040
Recent RetireesN/AN/AN/AN/A4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
RenterN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Roadside AssistanceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Safe DriverN/AN/A15N/A3531152312
Seat Belt UseN/AN/AN/A15N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Senior DriverN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Stable ResidenceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Students & AlumniN/AN/A107N/AN/AN/AN/A
Switching ProviderN/AN/A10N/AN/AN/AN/A
Utility VehicleN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Vehicle Recovery1535255
VIN EtchingN/AN/AN/A5N/A
VolunteerN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Young DriverN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A$75
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If your policy no longer reflects your current insurance needs, it is in your best interest to update it. Doing so is important as this will keep you properly protected while you’re out on the road and could also save you some money.

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Making Changes to Your Insurance Policy: What You Need to Know

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “With a major auto insurance company, changes I make to my policy will be effective right away, won’t they?” you’ll be pleased to learn that, yes, they will be, and you can probably even make changes to your policy at any time of day or night, since most insurance companies allow you to access your policy via mobile app or website. You can customize your policy to reflect your needs no matter where you are in your life. Taking the time to adjust your policy could even save you money, as a quick review could reveal drivers on your policy who should be removed and missing discounts that you can get added on. So the next time you find yourself wondering, “Can the changes I make to my policy secure me lower rates?” enter your ZIP code and get free quotes from insurance companies near you.

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Enter your ZIP code below to compare cheap insurance rates.

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