How do I check my car insurance expiration date?

Your policy documents list your car insurance expiration date. Most policies last six months or one year. You can cancel your policy any time but beware of early cancellation fees.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Check on your proof of auto insurance card or auto insurance certificate
  • Most state laws require providers to send you a cancellation or non-renewal notice
  • If you fail to make your premium payments on time for your auto insurance, the company can terminate your coverage early
  • Many states have verification systems that show the current status of each registered driver’s auto insurance

Knowing the exact dates of your auto insurance coverage is very important in preventing a lapse in coverage because you could have an auto accident after that time or be cited for not having the required auto insurance coverage.

If you cannot find your auto insurance expiration date in your auto insurance policy documents, try calling the auto insurance company directly or your state department of motor vehicles.

Before your policy runs out, start comparison shopping by entering your zip code above!

Information on Your Car Insurance Coverage

The first place you should look for any information that you need about your auto insurance policy is in your policy documents.

They will be able to tell you the end date of your auto insurance policy, which is important because if you have an auto accident after that date, your auto insurance company will not have to cover any of the damages.

If you cannot find your auto insurance policy documents, then you can call your auto insurance company directly to ask any questions about your auto insurance policy.

Because it is a requirement that all registered drivers maintain basic auto insurance coverage, many states have a verification system in place that requires the auto insurance company to submit coverage information on each registered driver.

The state department of motor vehicles will at least be able to tell you the name of your auto insurance company and possibly the end date of your policy term.

You can verify that information on file for you with your auto insurance company.

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When Your Car Insurance Policy Terminates Early

As the insured driver, you have the option to cancel your auto insurance coverage at any time by contacting your auto insurance company.

Make sure that you retain a record of the date that you canceled your auto insurance for your records so that you do not continue to be charged for your auto insurance premium after that date.

Remember that if you do choose to cancel your current auto insurance coverage and still plan to drive or own a vehicle, then you must find another auto insurance company to provide you coverage.

You can face serious penalties for failing to do so, including the loss or suspension of your driver’s license and vehicle registration. There are also very expensive fines for this offense under state laws.

If you do not make your premium payments for your auto insurance, the auto insurance company make go ahead and cancel your policy.

If you are at the end of your auto insurance policy term, they could also choose not to renew your auto insurance for another term.

If the auto insurance company decides to do either of these things, they are required to give you notice in advance. 

If you are searching for a way to maintain the required auto insurance in your state without paying a high premium, one of the best things you can do is shop around for multiple auto insurance quotes.

Be sure to ask about what additional discounts could apply to you so that you do not have to pay more than what you absolutely need to.

What to Do If Your Car Insurance Coverage is Canceled

If you have records that you paid the premiums for your auto insurance coverage during your policy term and your auto insurance company is stating your coverage has been canceled, you may want to contact your state department of insurance to file a formal complaint.

Keep records of all of your communications.

Also, if your auto insurance coverage is canceled without notice and any unused remaining portion of your auto insurance premium is not refunded to you, contact your state department of insurance.

If you have a claim during this time and the auto insurance company refuses to provide coverage, you may also want to seek out the assistance of an attorney so that you do not end up paying out of pocket for the damages.

In sum, knowing the effective dates of your auto insurance policy is very important so that you are not driving without having coverage.

If you are caught driving without auto insurance, you could face fines. In addition, you want to make sure you are covered for an auto accident any time that you are driving your car.

Enter your zip code into our FREE comparison to get started!

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