What Happens if You Don’t Pay Your Car Insurance?
While it’s a situation no one wants to consider, there may come a time when you can’t afford your auto insurance premium. The best thing you can do if this happens is to educate yourself about the consequences and implement measures to rectify the situation. Here’s what happens if you don’t pay for your auto insurance and corrective steps you can take to minimize the negative effects of your coverage lapse.
what are auto insurance premiums?
Car insurance premiums are the monthly premiums you pay for your car insurance policy. The insurer will determine your rate based on a few key considerations. these include:
Reading: What happens if i don’t pay car insurance on time
- your driving record
- your age
- where do you live
- the type of car you drive
- how often you drive your car
- buy or rent a house
- buy or lease a vehicle
- acquire a loan
- apply for credit cards
- make investments
There are several ways to pay your insurance premiums. Payment options typically include monthly debit order, cash payment at the insurance company’s office, or mailing a monthly check. Depending on your carrier, you can also make payments online or through a mobile app. Many companies offer discounted rates for customers who pay their annual premium all at once instead of paying monthly. if you can do it, you can save some money.
what can happen if you skip payments?
If for any reason you stop paying your monthly premiums, you should be aware of the possible consequences. these include:
1. you will receive a reminder
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When you miss a payment, the first step an insurance company will likely take is to send you a reminder to pay the bill. You will most likely receive this reminder, either by mail or text message, a few days after you have missed your payment. Some insurers may add a small late payment fee. if possible, you should liquidate at this stage.
2. you won’t be covered
policygenius states that even if you miss a payment, you may not be covered for any damage incurred while your account is past due. This means that if you are involved in an accident or incur damage to your car when you are behind on a payment or payments, you will have to pay everything out of pocket.
According to dedeud.org, there is an additional risk of not being covered if you are pulled over by the police. Depending on the state, you may be legally required to carry minimum coverage for bodily injury and property damage liability. In some states, you may also need uninsured or underinsured coverage. drivers whose insurance does not meet state requirements can incur heavy fines and penalties. To avoid this, learn about your state’s insurance requirements and avoid having your coverage lapse for non-payment.
3. your premium could go up
insuramatch warns that even if you miss a payment, your insurance company may cancel your insurance coverage. When you apply for a new policy, you will probably have to pay more due to the expiration of the coverage. The reason for this, according to ValuePenguin, is that when you apply for a policy with a new insurance company, it will ask you about your insurance history and will know if you haven’t made any payments. Because of this, they are likely to see you as a risk and may not want to insure you or dramatically increase your premiums. this means that missing even a single payment could negatively affect your future insurance costs.
4. a collection agency may get involved
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There is always the possibility that an insurance company may turn it over to a collection agency. Aside from the fact that a collection agency will constantly nag you to pay, policygenius warns that having a debt in collection could negatively affect your credit score, which, in turn, could make it harder for you:
5. you could lose your car
If you are leasing a vehicle or have taken out a loan to finance a vehicle purchase, the lender will likely require some form of insurance, such as collision and comprehensive coverage. If you default on your insurance payments and lose your coverage, a lender has a legal right to repossess your vehicle.
Is there a grace period before losing coverage?
An insurer may not immediately cancel a policy for late payment. would normally provide a 10-20 day grace period before doing so. If the insurance company decides to revoke your policy, you will receive a notice informing you of the cancellation. Debt.org states that in the event your policy is cancelled, your insurer may be prepared to reinstate it once you have cleared all outstanding payments.
what to do when you have an expired policy
If you have lost coverage due to non-payment, you should not drive your car until you are insured again. therefore, it is crucial to restore your coverage as soon as possible. If it’s only been a few days since your policy was cancelled, call your insurer to discuss a payment plan and ask if they’d be willing to reinstate your policy. however, if you’ve been without insurance for a long period of time, you may have difficulty finding a company that covers you, or you may end up paying high premiums.
To get the best rate possible, brightway suggests you talk to your new insurer and explain why your old coverage lapsed. You can also shop around at various insurance companies to see what they offer. remember to ask about possible discounts you may qualify for when doing so. once you’ve gotten coverage again, you can ask your insurer to recalculate your rates after six to 12 months have passed during which you paid your premiums and didn’t file a claim.