Grace Period for Car Insurance

A car insurance grace period allows you late car insurance payments in urgent situations. The average car insurance grace period gives you 10 days to pay before your policy is canceled.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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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®

UPDATED: May 22, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • There is no grace period regarding how long you can go after buying a new car without insurance
  • The grace period refers to how long you can go without consequences for missing a payment
  • In today’s age of technology, there is no excuse for not having car insurance coverage

A grace period is a certain time frame during which you do not get penalized with extra fees for missing the payment’s due date.

Today you can purchase car insurance 24/7, which means that there is no excuse for you not having coverage when you purchase a new vehicle.

Most car insurance companies allow you to purchase your new policy online. Those that don’t generally have someone on call any time of the day or night.

By entering your ZIP code now, you can get your own FREE car insurance quotes!

What is the grace period of an insurance policy?

Every insurance company handles missed payments differently. However, every insurance company is required to send you a notice of cancellation before they cancel your car insurance.

How long do you have to pay your car insurance after the due date?

In most cases, this notice must give you 10 days to pay.

If you have a long-term relationship with the car insurance company, it is possible that they will work with you if you can’t make a payment.

Some insurance companies will split the payment into several smaller ones, adding them to your future payments. Others will simply give you an extra week or two.

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What should I do if I can’t manage my current car insurance payment?


If you can’t manage your current car insurance payments, there are two things that you should do:

  • Call your insurance company and see what they can do to lower your rates
  • Gather car insurance quotes to compare from several different companies

You may see the commercials for getting free car insurance quotes and think they are a joke, but the truth is that they can really save you money.

If you don’t already have the minimum legal coverage, consider this option.

Having the lowest possible coverage is better than to not carrying any insurance at all.

If you are in an accident and you don’t have insurance, many state laws allow for the other insurance company to refuse to pay for your damages, even if you aren’t at fault for the accident.

Some states are so strict that if you drive without insurance and cause an accident, you will be taken to jail!

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Are there other ways to lower my insurance rate?

While it isn’t ideal, if you have the lowest amount of car insurance, your state allows and you still can’t afford your premiums, then you should consider one of these options:

  • Find a  different car that costs less to insure
  • Raise your deductible until your premiums are affordable
  • Consider refusing young drivers from driving your car
  • Talk to your insurance agent and ask them why your rate is high
  • If you don’t drive a lot, see if your insurance company offers a low mileage discounts

You should also make sure that you are getting all of the discounts that you qualify for.

If you have multiple policies with a company, then you should get a discount for that.

If you have a college degree or are married, you should get discounts for that. If you don’t, it’s time to switch companies!

What happens after I receive a car insurance policy cancellation notice?


When a car insurance provider decides to cancel a policyholder’s car insurance policy, they will send that policyholder a notice in the mail.

This notice will inform the policyholder of why their car insurance policy is being canceled and how long they have until they will no longer be insured.

If it is possible for the policyholder to keep their car insurance policy with this car insurance provider, they must make a payment within this grace period.

If they are unable to rectify the situation with their car insurance provider, they have that amount of time to find a new car insurance provider before they will be driving without coverage.

If the policyholder does decide to go to a different car insurance provider for coverage it is important for them to remember to cancel their other car insurance policy.

The policyholder is usually entitled to some type of refund if they leave their car insurance provider before their policy has expired.

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What are the effects of having my policy canceled by my car insurance provider?

Having a car insurance policy canceled by the car insurance provider can affect a policyholder in many ways.

One is that the previous cancellation can make it hard for the policyholder to find a new car insurance policy at a good rate.

When the new car insurance provider sees that another company had issues with the policyholder, they will be considered a higher risk to insure and that will most likely make their car insurance rates go up.

 Enter your ZIP code now to get your FREE car insurance quotes today!



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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

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