Your options for getting car insurance after your policy has lapsed depend on how long you have been without coverage. Your car insurance company may agree to reinstate you if the lapse has only been for a few days. If a longer time is involved, you can approach your former insurer for coverage. You may have to find a new company willing to offer you this required protection, though. To find and compare quotes from many different companies so that you find find the best coverage just enter your zip code above and you can compare car insurance quotes right now!
Lapse of a Few Days
If you didn’t renew your policy as scheduled and you realize that the policy has lapsed for a few days, contact your car insurance company immediately. They may be willing to reinstate your coverage, so long as you pay the amount due.
When you contact the insurance company, ask about payment options. To get your coverage back quickly, you will want to make sure that you get your premium to the insurance company right away. Paying by credit card or through online banking may be the best choices to get back on track sooner.
During the period starting when your policy expired and when it officially is reinstated, you don’t have any coverage. It is not wise to drive during this time. Not only will the insurance company refuse to pay any damages as a result of an accident if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in one, but you will also be facing criminal charges if you are caught. The inconvenience of looking for another method of transportation while you are uninsured is definitely worth the hassle.
Getting Coverage from a Former Insurance Company
You may be able to get coverage from your former insurance company following a lapse in coverage. The insurer is under no obligation to extend coverage to you, but if you have been a customer for some time it may choose to do so. Most companies understand that a lapse in coverage can happen due to an oversight or some other circumstance. They are willing to work with existing customers who want to get back on track by providing coverage. Ask about the procedure for getting coverage after the lapse and find out if the company will renew the former policy or if you will need to reapply for coverage.
You also need to know that your insurance company is required to notify the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) about the lapse in coverage. The DMV will send you a form asking you to respond to the report about the lapse, and you will need to provide proof of insurance within a certain time limit. Failure to do so will result in being ordered to surrender your plates.
Shopping for New Coverage
A lapse in coverage doesn’t necessarily make you the most attractive customer to an insurance company, but you can still get the protection you need. You will need to shop around to find a new insurance company. Be sure to compare coverage options and rates from different insurance providers.
Pricing for similar levels of coverage can vary greatly between companies. Each one uses a different system for rating applicants, and it may be possible to find an insurer who won’t put you in a higher risk category because of the lapse in coverage. If you find out that the lapse in coverage makes you too high a risk for standard insurance companies to insure then look to insurers who specialize in covering higher-risk drivers. The premiums will be higher.
A number of insurance companies will let you buy your coverage online and print off proof of insurance right away. The card you get from the web site should be stored in your vehicle so that you have it handy in case you are stopped by police or are involved in an accident. When you get your insurance policy and the insurance card that comes in the mail, you can switch the temporary card for the new one.
Try to avoid any future lapses in your car insurance coverage. Things come up and sometimes the car insurance policy is overlooked or a tight budget makes it difficult to pay the premiums on time. If you find that your car insurance policy has lapsed, contact your insurance company immediately to discuss your options. You may be able to get the coverage reinstated.
If your insurance company is unwilling to extend coverage to you after the policy has lapsed, you will need to find new coverage quickly. You can start your search for the protection you need by clicking on the free car insurance comparison tool on this page. Why don’t you get started right now?