What Happens if Car Insurance Lapses?
It is important that you protect yourself by having car insurance
at all times. Letting your car insurance lapse isn’t uncommon, but it can be costly. Whether the lapse was on purpose or your policy was canceled because you didn’t pay your car insurance bill, your rates might go up. If an insurance company sees that you had a period of time with no insurance, they might consider you a higher risk. Driving without insurance could also result in fines, tickets and a suspended license, depending on the rules in your state. It’s important to keep continuous car insurance coverage, even if it's the minimum amount your state requires.
What Does It Mean to Let Your Insurance Lapse?
A car insurance lapse is a period of time when you own a car but you don’t have car insurance coverage. A lapse in coverage can happen because you didn’t pay your car insurance premiums or you were dropped from your insurance company. If you’re in an accident and you don’t have coverage, you may be liable for damage or injuries.
Car Insurance Lapse Grace Period
You may have a lapse in coverage because you missed the due date on your monthly car insurance payment. If it’s only been a short period of time, your insurance company may allow you a grace period. State laws require that your insurance company notify you before canceling your policy completely. You’ll have between 10-20 days, depending on where you live, to make your payment and avoid a car insurance lapse.
What Do I Do if My Car Insurance Lapses?
Don’t panic. Just take care of it quickly, so you can get safely back on the road. Here are a few steps you’ll want to take:
Contact your insurance company. Find out what happened. Did you miss a payment?
See if your policy can be reinstated. If the issue has to do with payment, call your car insurance company right away. If it hasn’t been too long, they can likely reinstate your policy so you have continuous coverage.
Shop around. If your car insurance company is not willing to reinstate your policy, you may need to consider switching car insurance companies.
Customers of the AARP Auto Insurance Program From The Hartford
If you’re a customer of The Hartford and have a question, simply call 888-413-8970
and a customer service representative will be happy to help you.
If your coverage with another car insurance company lapses, you may still be able to get coverage with The Hartford. To be sure you’re protected, get a car insurance quote
by calling us at 888-413-8970
or get a quote online.
Is There a Penalty for Lapse in Car Insurance?
Almost every state requires you to have car insurance to legally drive your car. Even if you’re driving a registered car, the penalties you’ll face if you’re caught driving without insurance may include:
Fines of up to $5,000
Impounding of your car
What Happens if Your Insurance Lapses and You Have an Accident?
If you’re in a car accident while driving without insurance, you could be held financially responsible. You will likely have to pay out of pocket for any property damages or injuries as a result of the car accident. The best way to make sure you’re protected is to keep continuous coverage and avoid a car insurance lapse by:
Paying your car insurance premium on time
Renewing your insurance policy
Doing your best to keep a clean driving record
How Long Does an Insurance Lapse Stay on Your Record?
If you’ve had a lapse in coverage, you may have to file an SR-22 with your state for three years to prove you have purchased at least the minimum car insurance required. A lapse in coverage may cause insurance companies to see you as a high-risk driver, even if you have a good driving record. It can also potentially impact your future car insurance premiums. It’s best to keep continuous coverage to get the best insurance rate and make sure that you’re protected in a car accident. If you’re looking for car insurance that will give you peace of mind as you travel, get a car insurance quote