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I Missed an Auto Insurance Payment: Here's What to Expect

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Life happens, oversights can occur, and payments sometimes get missed. If you missed a car insurance payment, don’t panic. Your policy will not be cancelled immediately. State laws require auto insurance companies to provide notice to policyholders before cancelling their coverage for nonpayment.

What Happens if I Don’t Get My Payment in on Time?

Most car insurance companies offer a grace period for late payments. If you submit your payment a few days late, it should not be a major problem. However, the grace period can vary from one provider to another. It is important to make your payment as soon as possible after you discover the oversight.

What if My Car Insurance Payment Is More Than a Few Days Late?

If the grace period has passed and your payment has still not been received, your insurance company will notify you by mail or by email before cancelling your policy. Generally, you will have between 10 and 20 days to rectify the situation by bringing your payments up to date. If you receive a notice of cancellation, contact your insurance company to find out if your auto insurance policy is still in effect.

What Should I Do if My Policy Has Been Cancelled?

If your policy has already been canceled, find out from your insurance company if you can renew it. Reinstating the same policy that was just cancelled for nonpayment will allow you to maintain continuous coverage without a lapse. To reinstate your previous policy, you will need to pay the past due balance to your insurer.

What if My Policy Cannot Be Reinstated?

You will need to purchase a new auto insurance policy as soon as possible if the insurance company will not reinstate your previous coverage. This may be more expensive, but it is nevertheless necessary. Without the minimum coverage, you cannot legally drive your vehicle.

What Are the Consequences of Not Having Auto Insurance?

Drivers are required to carry mandatory minimum auto insurance coverage in nearly every state in the U.S. If your car insurance lapses for nonpayment or any other reason, there may be financial and legal consequences, including:

  • Driver’s license suspension: In many states, insurance companies are required to notify the government when drivers let their auto insurance lapse. It could mean automatic suspension of your driving privileges or your vehicle registration.
  • DMV administrative fees: In some states, drivers are required to pay administrative fees to the DMV for lapses in auto insurance coverage.
  • Higher auto insurance premiums: If you let your coverage lapse, even briefly, you are likely to see an increase in your auto insurance rates. Insurance companies want their policyholders to be reliable in their payments.
  • Lower credit score: Failure to pay your auto insurance premiums can impact your credit score, which can affect your ability to get a loan.

If you need auto insurance, contact our agency today. We can help you find the best quote in the area for the coverage you need.

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