Life happens, and sometimes it can be difficult to pay your car insurance premiums on time. Learning more about the impact of not paying this important bill can help you prioritize your spending and ensure your funds are being directed to the right places. It can also motivate you to make a change; another insurer may offer lower rates or easier payment terms that you can more easily afford.
What Happens if You Don’t Pay Your Car Insurance?
Other service businesses and utilities may be flexible when it comes to accepting partial payments and working with customers who are stretched to the limit, but many insurers are not so flexible. It is imperative that you make your car insurance payments by the due day; if you don’t you face the following consequences:
- Your policy is cancelled. For most brands, a user’s insurance is canceled when they fail to pay a premium installment by the due date. Some brands may issue a warning that the policy is pending cancellation, others may not.
- It becomes illegal to drive. While state and local laws differ, virtually all areas require drivers and vehicle owners to maintain active car insurance with some minimum coverage requirements. Once your insurance lapses, you will no longer be able to drive legally in your own vehicle. You risk getting a ticket, heavy fines or even the impounding of your car.
- You could lose your registration. In many locations, once the DMV discovers you don’t have car insurance, they will revoke or invalidate your car registration. This means that even when you do reestablish your insurance, you’ll have some other expenses. You’ll need to pay any fines leveled by the DMV before they will restore your vehicle’s legal right to be on the road.
- You risk a lawsuit if you drive. If you are in even a minor accident and you are not covered, you might end up responsible for both property repairs and medical bills, since your insurance won’t be in effect.
- Getting reinsured may be costly. It can be an uphill battle to get back on the road. It is easy to change providers while you are insured, but much more challenging and costly to resume a policy once it is canceled.
Any one of these consequences will impact your ability to get to work, enjoy your life and get back on track financially, so you should do anything you can to minimize the risk of your insurance being canceled.
How to Prevent Car Insurance Policy Cancellation
If you rely on your vehicle to get to work, get around and for pretty much everything, then you need to do anything you can to prevent cancellation. Taking proactive steps now can help prevent problems later; consider the following steps to lower your costs and avoid the high cost of driving without insurance:
Shop around. One of the best things you can do for yourself financially is to make sure that you are getting the best possible rates on essentials like car insurance. By shopping around and considering different insurers, you may discover that one offers you better rates and terms than the others. Shopping around can result in substantial savings, so if you haven’t looked around recently, you should begin comparing insurance rates.
Review your coverage. Your state requires you to have insurance, but you don’t have to buy everything your provider recommends. Research the minimum coverage required by law and make sure that your own coverage matches. If you are overinsured, you are paying too much each month. Lowering your coverage to the legal minimum or close to it can significantly reduce your costs.
Consider your budget. Where does car insurance rank when it comes to your budget? It should be one of your top priorities, because of the harsh penalties imposed by a cancellation. Consider your insurance a must-have, just like your rent and food budgets. Pay this bill before you buy clothing, head to a restaurant, pay for streaming or for a smartphone and you’ll find you do not end up facing cancellation at all.
Take a proactive stance now by searching for a better plan with a better insurer. We can help you find the right plan for you — from one of dozens of options. By searching for a great rate, you can ensure your coverage is affordable and that you don’t face cancellation. Our goal is to give you clear, easy to understand information that helps you make decisions about your car insurance.