If you received a notice that your car insurance got cancelled, don’t worry – it’s not the end of the world. Take a minute to breathe. Create a plan of action and then get a new insurance policy.
Today, we’ll talk about the different types of insurance cancellations and why a company would cancel your policy. Then, we’ll go over what to do if your insurance got cancelled and how to find the best insurance company after a cancellation.
Time is of the essence, so you don’t want to waste it getting auto insurance quotes from unreliable companies. Check out our review of the best car insurance companies available today and get started comparing quotes below. You can also simply call (844) 246-8209 to get free quotes.
In this article:
- What To Do If Your Insurance Gets Cancelled
- Top Reasons Why Your Policy May Have Been Cancelled
- Option 1: Try To Fight The Cancellation
- Option 2: Get New Insurance (And Fast)
- What To Do If You Can’t Afford A Car Insurance Payment
- What’s The Danger Of Driving Without Auto Insurance?
- Is Insurance More Expensive After A Lapse In Coverage?
- Our Recommendations For Car Insurance
- FAQ: Cancelled Car Insurance
What To Do If Your Insurance Gets Cancelled
What happens when your insurance gets cancelled? You can either fight a cancellation if the company made a mistake, or you can get new car insurance. You’ll usually have between 10 and 30 days to get new insurance before your current coverage expires.
If your car insurance has been cancelled and you don’t get new insurance, you could have your license and registration suspended for driving without insurance. Depending on the reason for cancellation, you may have to pay more for high-risk coverage for the next three years.
Quick Tips For Dealing With An Insurance Cancellation
- Determine how long you have until coverage runs out.
- See if you can fight the cancellation.
- Get another insurance plan ASAP.
- Avoid going a single day without insurance.
- Be prepared to pay more for high-risk coverage.
Top Reasons Why Your Policy May Have Been Cancelled
There are a few different reasons why your car insurance policy may have been cancelled. Sometimes, it's for reasons outside of your control. But other times, your insurance company can decide to cancel your coverage because of something you have done.
If you’ve received a notice of non-renewal, your auto insurance company has decided not to renew your policy at the end of your term. That might be because the company wants to reduce the number of insured people in your state or it doesn't offer your particular plan anymore. It could also be because of unrelated things that are happening to the business.
Non-renewal notices for external reasons usually give you at least 30 days’ notice. However, a company can also issue non-renewals for non-payment. In that case, the provider might only be required to give 10 or 20 days’ notice.
Non-renewals don’t carry the same consequences that other types of cancellations do. You should be able to find another standard car insurance plan easily. When your policy is up, it simply doesn’t renew. By that time, you should have started another policy at another company to maintain continuous coverage.
Cancellations are a different story. Cancellation can happen at any point during your coverage term, or it could even happen before your coverage starts. Here are a few reasons why auto insurance companies cancel policies:
- You misrepresented yourself or your situation when obtaining car insurance quotes (didn’t disclose driving history, didn’t add drivers in the household, etc.).
- You didn’t pay your bill.
- Your driver's license was suspended or revoked.
- You have too many recent at-fault accidents or violations.
Usually, something significant has to happen for a car insurance company to cancel your policy. Even so, a cancellation could still come as a surprise. This might be the case when a company cancels your policy at the beginning of the term because of misrepresentation.
When you fill out an auto insurance quote form, you have to be honest about your driving history, other household members who drive, and your vehicles. Insurance companies have a set underwriting period after you buy the policy to investigate your background and situation. If anything important was left out, the company can cancel your policy.
You’ll notice that non-payment is on this list too. If the situation is bad enough, the insurance company can just cancel your policy instead of sending a non-renewal notice. Cancellations usually require 10 to 30 days’ notice for the driver to get new insurance coverage.
Option 1: Try To Fight The Cancellation
You should fight the cancellation or non-renewal if you think the auto insurance company has made a mistake. State regulations for insurance cancellations are strict, so if the company did make a mistake, it should take you back as a customer.
When you get a notice of cancellation or non-renewal, call your insurance agent right away. See what the reason is, and see if there’s anything you need to clarify. If you have outstanding debts for traffic violations, paying those off might reverse the cancellation. Maybe your ticket was sent to the wrong address, so you didn’t even know you owed anything.
If the cause of the cancellation is a misunderstanding, your insurance agent should be able to reinstate your coverage. If they won’t but you still feel like they made a mistake, you can reach out to your state’s department of insurance and file a complaint. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners keeps an updated contact list of each state’s insurance department.
Also, if you received a cancellation notice because of non-payment, some companies will let you pay the rest of your premium within an agreed time frame to reinstate your policy.
Finally, if your car insurance was cancelled for a legitimate reason like a license suspension or a DUI conviction, you won’t be able to fight it.
Option 2: Get New Insurance (And Fast)
At this point, you know that the car insurance company has a legitimate reason to cancel or not renew your policy, and you can’t get it reinstated. The next thing to do is to get another insurance policy.
In some cases, you can find car insurance from another standard provider easily. This would be the case if your insurance company sent a non-renewal instead of a cancellation, or if your insurance was cancelled because you didn’t disclose another driver in your household when filling out a quote.
However, if you have a DUI or a license suspension in your recent history, you might not find insurance from standard providers. The next option is to check providers that specialize in high-risk auto insurance. These include but are not limited to the following providers:
- The General Insurance
- Progressive Car Insurance
- Workmen’s Auto Insurance Company
- AssuranceAmerica Auto Insurance
- Preferred Auto Insurance Company
- Access Auto Insurance
- Good2Go Auto Insurance
- Freeway Auto Insurance
- Acceptance Auto Insurance
In rare cases, you could be denied even by these companies. If that’s the case, you can turn to your state’s assigned risk pool, also called the “shared market” or “residual market.” This solution provides insurance for drivers who can’t find car insurance on the regular market.
States require auto insurance companies to cover a portion of the assigned risk pool according to market share. So you might be able to find coverage from a company like Geico through the assigned risk pool.
What To Do If You Can’t Afford A Car Insurance Payment
If you know you have a payment coming up that you can't afford, you need to make some arrangements. First, try to see if your car insurance company will push out your payment for one month. Insurance companies let customers do this once in a while.
If that won't work, you can always change your coverage options. A change in coverage is usually reflected on your next billing cycle. For example, maybe you have a good health insurance plan so you don't need to have medical payments coverage on your policy. Or, maybe you can lower your liability limits to the state minimum for a few months.
Call your agent and see if you're paying for other things like roadside assistance or rental coverage that you could go without. But if the bare minimum is still too expensive, do some research and think about switching to a cheaper auto insurance company. You can change companies as often as you want, but don’t ever go without insurance.
What’s The Danger Of Driving Without Auto Insurance?
The question should really be, “What isn’t dangerous about driving with insurance?” Driving without insurance is one of the worst things you can do in a car. Here’s what can happen if you get pulled over by the police while driving without insurance:
- You’ll get a ticket.
- Your license and registration will be suspended.
- You’ll have to turn in your license plates to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- You’ll have to pay fees to reinstate your license and registration once you have insurance.
- You’ll have to file an SR-22 form and carry insurance for the next three years.
- Your insurance rates will rise for the next three years.
Now, here’s what can happen if you cause an accident without having insurance:
- You will be subject to all of the above.
- You’ll have to pay to repair the other person’s vehicle.
- You’ll have to pay for their medical costs.
- If you can’t, the other person will take you to court.
- If you still can’t pay, you might have to declare bankruptcy.
- Your car insurance premiums in the future will rise even more for causing an accident without insurance.
Is Insurance More Expensive After A Lapse In Coverage?
Yes, car insurance will be more expensive after having a lapse in coverage even for one day. Generally, there isn’t an easy way to suspend your insurance without paying. If you cancel it, you have to give your license plates and registration to the state. So if an insurance company finds that you had a registered vehicle without coverage, it will view you as a high-risk driver.
Even if you don’t get caught driving without insurance by the police, your last insurance company will let the state Departmet of Motor Vehicles know when your coverage ended. So the next insurance company you talk to will know that as well.
In the eyes of the insurance company, you could have driven your car during the lapse, and that’s risky behavior. So, don’t let your insurance lapse.
Our Recommendations For Car Insurance
Receiving a notice of non-renewal or cancellation from your insurance company is not fun. But now is the time to kick things into high gear and find a new insurance provider. You can still find coverage. If it’s more expensive right now, it will come back down in a few years when the cancellation is off your record.
Here are a few auto insurance companies to reach out to for high-risk coverage. It’s smart to get several quotes and compare coverage and rates.
Use our tool below or call (844) 246-8209 to start comparing quotes from top car insurance companies:
#1 Progressive: 4.5 Stars
In our review of Progressive car insurance, we found that the car insurance company performed well across areas like cost, discounts, availability, and coverage options. It was also our first choice for high-risk drivers. Here are a few things we like about the company:
- A+ financial strength rating from AM Best and A- rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Name Your PriceⓇ tool for finding the right coverage starting with price
- Extra options beyond standard insurance coverage, like custom parts and equipment value
- 13 discounts including the usage-based SnapshotⓇ program
Another thing we like about Progressive is its quotes comparison tool. By using that, you can see other quotes from multiple insurance companies. The companies you see will be ones that offer you insurance based on your particular background. That can make shopping for insurance a bit less hectic during this transition time. Read our Progressive insurance review for more information.
#2 State Farm: 4.5 Stars
State Farm auto insurance also offers good coverage options and discounts. The Steer ClearⓇ app is a great way for drivers under 25 to get a discount for increasing their driving skills. Young drivers can also take advantage of a 20 percent student discount for having good grades. Those discounts add up, and they aren’t based on your driving record or insurance history, which is great. Other highlights about State Farm include:
- A++ financial strength rating from AM Best and A+ rating from the BBB
- Extra coverage options including rideshare insurance and roadside assistance
- 13 discounts based on the driver, car, and policy
- Available coverage for high-risk drivers
- Scored high on J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study℠
Read our State Farm insurance review for more information about their coverage options.
#3 The General: 3.5 Stars
While The General didn’t score quite as high as our other two recommendations, we did find that it offers good coverage for high-risk drivers. Compared to high-risk coverage from other companies, coverage from The General can be cheaper. Here are a few more highlights:
- A+ rating from the BBB
- Underwriting companies with a financial strength rating of “A”
- Extras including roadside assistance and custom parts coverage
- Accepts most cars and drivers
For more, read our The General insurance review.
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.
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