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What Happens If I Forget to Pay my Car Insurance Bill?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 04/04/2017

Cancellation for non-payment of your car insurance may not be the end of your coverage.

A Cancelled Policy

Always ask for a reinstatement if your car insurance cancels

Things happen and we get busy with our lives to the point that we just sometimes forget to pay a bill. If you do find that you forgot to pay your car insurance and have been canceled you can ask your car insurance company for a reinstatement.

A reinstatement is when they begin your car insurance policy over again, but with a lapse in your coverage from your cancelation date to the date that you pay to reinstate your policy. A reinstatement is a much easier way to get your car insurance coverage back than having to start all over again with a different company. Car insurance companies also prefer that you reinstate with them rather than taking your business to a different company, but even car insurance companies have their limitations when it comes to reinstatements and may not agree to one.

Reasons your car insurance company may not reinstate your policy:

  • You have had too many returned payments.
  • You have been canceled for too long.
  • You have had too many cancellations for non-payment.
  • Underwriting has blocked your policy from being reinstated because you are not a risk that they want to insure any longer, but they are not able to legally invoke a company cancellation.
  • Underwriting has a valid cancellation reason and has set your policy to “do not renew” already. Your policy was going to be canceled at your next renewal anyways, so just best to find new insurance now that you canceled a little earlier than expected.

If you do find yourself with a canceled policy, it’s best to take care of the situation as soon as possible especially if you are in a state that will suspend your license or vehicle registration for not having active car insurance.

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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.

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