What happens if my car insurance lapses?
Deep breath! Short insurance lapses in coverage are somewhat common, and reinstating your policy or purchasing a new one can be quick and easy. Carrying auto liability insurance is a law for drivers in all states except New Hampshire (financial responsibility is still required if you cause an accident), so the important thing is to get insurance again as soon as possible.
- Call your previous insurance company and find out how long you’ve been without coverage. If you recently missed a payment, there’s a chance your insurance hasn’t been cancelled yet.
- See if your policy can be reinstated
If your policy was cancelled, find out if it can be reinstated. That means you’ll maintain continuous insurance with the policy you had previously. When reinstating, you’ll pay the past due balance, and you’ll be covered without any lapse.
- If your policy can’t be reinstated, get a new one
You’ll then want to get a new policy right away. Starting a new policy may be more expensive, but you need to be insured before you drive. Many companies, including Progressive, can start your coverage right away.
Insurance lapse grace period
Your policy won’t be cancelled immediately because you miss a payment. Insurance companies are required by state law to provide notice before cancelling your policy. Depending on the state, you’ll usually have between 10 and 20 days. Your company will notify you by mail or email before cancelling your coverage.
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