Compare Rates From Top Providers
Save Up To 46% on Car Insurance
Enter Zip Code:

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.

Cheap Insurance For Young Drivers

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 09/13/2010

How staying out of trouble, getting good grades, insuring a cheaper car, and staying on your parents policy will keep car insurance premiums lower

Young driver ready to take the keys.

Can this guy really get cheap insurance?

Cheap insurance for young drivers” may be one of the great oxymorons in the English language, right up there with “military intelligence” and “jumbo shrimp.”

There really is no such thing, especially for single males under 25.

However, there are a few things youthful drivers can do to contain the cost and at least prevent it from becoming “exorbitantly expensive insurance for young drivers.”

Stay Out of Trouble

The most obvious thing a young driver can do is keep a clean driving record. Even a single accident, ticket or claim can send the premium through the roof – especially if it occurs while he or she is already in a high-risk company.

Cheap insurance for young drivers may be a matter of opinion even under the best of conditions, but with a bad driving record it’s an outright fantasy.

Get Good Grades

Young drivers can also keep their insurance costs down by getting good grades in school. What’s more this is no big deal. It’s not like insurance companies expect high school-age drivers to get into MIT.

In many cases traditional-age college students (i.e. those under 23) qualify for the good student discount as well. Most companies require documentary proof of a 2.0 GPA or higher. A transcript or letter from a school official to the insurance company usually works.

Insure a Cheaper Car

Another thing to consider is the young driver’s vehicle. Auto insurance premiums are determined not only by the driver but by the car. Some makes and models are significantly cheaper to insure than others.

While a young driver can’t do much about his or her age, they can do quite a bit about what they drive. Choosing an older, paid-for car and going with a liability-only policy is a good way to move towards cheap insurance for younger drivers.

Make sure you check with your agent before buying anything though. Some companies will require the highest-risk family member go on the most expensive car. Agencies can vary on how they enforce that rule as well.

Parents Can Help Young Drivers Too

A final way to work towards cheap insurance for young drivers is for them to stay on their parent’s policy for as long as possible. This allows the young driver to take advantage of many of the same auto insurance discounts his or her parents enjoy. It’s unlikely a youthful driver would qualify for these discounts separate from parents.

Most insurance companies are perfectly happy to keep a young driver on the parent’s policy throughout high school and well into college. This is assuming the college student goes to school in a state where the insurance company does business. However, students are usually forced to go it alone by age 23. Consult with an insurance agent or broker to determine your best course of action.

When To Drop Collision Insurance

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 09/06/2010

Consider your lienholder and personal financial situation before dropping collision coverage

car in accident with bus

This at-fault driver better have collision coverage.

Collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle when you are in an at-fault accident – so it can be a big chunk on your insurance bill.

Dropping collision coverage on your vehicle can often be appealing. After all, it’s probable the single most significant thing you can do to lower your auto insurance rates.

It’s no wonder people think about when to drop collision insurance – part of full-coverage insurance. But as with anything else, actions have consequences. Bear a few things in mind before dropping collision.

Don’t Drop It Until Your Car is Paid Off

Perhaps a better question is when NOT to drop collision insurance. The answer is if you’re still making car payments. Virtually all banks and other creditors on car payments – aka “lienholders” – require full coverage to protect their investment.

As the policyholder you have the right to drop your full coverage at any time. But if the lienholder finds out (and they will – the insurance company is required to inform them), they will “force place” collision coverage on the vehicle and then bill you for it.

No matter how expensive your full coverage is, the force placed insurance will be more expensive. As long as the lienholder is on your title, you are truly better off keeping your collision insurance. Adjust your deductibles if you need a price break.

Consider Lowering Deductibles Before Dropping Collision

Most lienholders require deductibles of $1,000 or less. Coincidentally, most insurance carriers offer maximum deductibles of $1,000. Higher deductibles are sometimes available on commercial policies.

If getting rid of collision insurance isn’t an option, raising your deductible can maximize cost savings. Just be sure not to raise it too high. When considering your deductible, choose the maximum amount you’re willing to spend on your vehicle in case of a mishap.

Anything lower, and you’re paying too much in insurance premium. Anything higher, and you could be stuck with paying more than you bargained for if you have an accident.

Understand the Risks of Dropping Collision

Regardless of whether you keep collision insurance, be sure to inform your insurance company to drop the lienholder as soon as you pay off your car. Otherwise this may be forgotten and cause problems later.

But once the lienholder is paid off and gone, you can consider dropping collision insurance without fear of their intervention. Just remember collision insurance protects your financial investment in your car. Without it, your car is not protected from at-fault incidents.

When considering dropping collision coverage, ask yourself one question, “If something happens to this vehicle, will I be OK with paying cash for another car?” If the answer is “yes,” then the time has come to drop collision coverage.

Save Up To 46% on Car Insurance
Enter Zip Code: