In general, you will have 10 to 20 days between the date of the cancellation notice and the date you no longer have coverage. The exact amount of time varies by state. After that, your insurance will officially expire and you will no longer be able to drive your car legally. In some states, letting your insurance expire also cancels your registration immediately or a few weeks after your insurance expires.
But no matter where you live, the longer you wait before correcting the problem, the greater the consequences. Therefore, be sure to contact your insurance company immediately. You may decide to switch car insurance providers to get a better rate. Once again, it's generally a good idea to switch to a new policy before canceling your current coverage.
The best time to change insurance companies is usually closer to the end of the policy term. You should start looking for a new insurance company at least six or eight weeks before the policy term ends, so that you have plenty of time to get new coverage. It's usually easiest to change your car insurance company at the time your policy is renewed, but if you choose to switch in the middle of the policy, your current insurer will normally reimburse you for unused premiums, less cancellation fees. After that time, if your insurance company decides to cancel your coverage in the middle of the policy, you will be notified 10 to 100 days in advance, depending on the state.
If you need to cancel your car insurance policy, the Bankrate guide can help you take the necessary steps to do so. If your car insurance expires or is canceled, either due to non-payment or for any other reason, you're likely to face some kind of financial ramification. You may have to cancel your car insurance for a variety of reasons, but it's important to consider your plan beforehand so you don't have coverage. Google “how do I cancel my insurance policy” or “how do I cancel your car insurance” and you'll get a variety of results.
Most insurance companies will allow you to cancel your car insurance at any time, but some insurers require 30 days notice to cancel your policy. In Nebraska, for example, an auto insurer must contact you within 15 business days of the cancellation to inform you of any eligible reimbursement. If you cancel your insurance policy instead of suspending it, your insurance company is likely to view this interruption as a lapse in coverage and that your insurance premium will increase. If you paid your premium in advance and cancel your policy before the term ends, the insurance company must reimburse the remaining balance in most cases.
Yes, car insurance can be canceled after an accident, but insurance companies don't usually do so unless the driver has several violations on his record or the accident was caused by a serious violation, such as driving under the influence of alcohol. Depending on the auto insurance company, canceling your policy before the end of your term may result in a cancellation fee. Keep in mind that if you simply stop paying for your insurance instead of canceling your policy, you won't lose your insurance immediately, as most insurance companies have a grace period, during which you're still covered and you're still billed for that coverage. If you don't pay for car insurance, you'll receive a notice of cancellation required by law from your insurer.
Not properly notifying your auto insurer that you want to cancel coverage may even affect your experience of finding car coverage in the future.