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When Do I Get My Money After I Cancel My Policy?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 08/04/2011

Getting an insurance refund of your unearned premium from the insurance company should happen automatically when you cancel your policy, here’s what to do if it doesn’t.

Company and Insured Fighting Over Refund

If the insurance company won't send your refund, it may be time to contact your insurance commissioner.

When you cancel your policy with an insurance company, you may be due an insurance refund of the unearned premium. Unearned premium is simply the amount of premium that you have already paid to the insurance company that they have not “earned” yet. The insurance company earns the premium you paid by providing insurance coverage to you for a period of time.

For example, if you paid insurance premium for 30 days and you cancel your policy on day 20, there is 10 days’ worth of unearned premium that should be refunded to you.

Find the Status of your Refund

If you feel that there is unearned premium left on your cancelled insurance policy, contact your insurance company directly or talk to your agent about an insurance refund. If they admit that they do owe you a refund, demand (nicely) where it is.

If you are told that it was already mailed, ask the exact date that it mailed. If it has been a while, advise them that you want a new refund check sent or you want a copy of the cashed check provided to you.

Contact the Insurance Commissioner

If both the insurance company and your agent are saying that you are not owed a refund, make them prove it. It is your money and your policy and you have the right to know what your money went to.

Make them provide you with a billing breakdown of how much they charged you daily for insurance. This breakdown should also have how many days the premium you already paid to them covered.

If they refuse to provide this or to issue you a refund, contact your state’s Department of Insurance or Insurance Commissioner’s office. These are the governing insurance entities in your state and the best place to file a complaint with.

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele's first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she's earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

Reviews (2)

  • Putri


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    Hi Michele, I have a question about contacting the DoI, will it really take effect if I file a claim there? and could you please explain how you can file a claim? thank you


    • Michele Wilmonen


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      The best thing to do is to look up the contact information of the Department of Insurance or the Insurace Commissioner in your state. Make sure you are contacting the section that handles car insurance, because there are many different types of insurance that they handle.

      Once in contact with them they will be able to tell you how to file a complaint against the insurance company. Will it really help? I don’t know, but you have a better chance of something happening by filing the complaint than you do by not doing anything at all.


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