What to do if you have an insurance lapse
Call your previous insurance company and find out how long you’ve been without coverage. If you recently missed a payment, there’s a chance your insurance hasn’t been cancelled yet.
See if your policy can be reinstated
If your policy was cancelled, find out if it can be reinstated. That means you’ll maintain continuous insurance with the policy you had previously. When reinstating, you’ll pay the past due balance, and you’ll be covered without any lapse.
If your policy can’t be reinstated, get a new one
You’ll then want to get a new policy right away. Starting a new policy may be more expensive, but you need to be insured before you drive. Many companies, including Progressive, can start your coverage right away.
Current Progressive customers
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Get a car insurance quote and get covered right away.
Insurance lapse grace period
Your policy won’t be cancelled immediately because you miss a payment. Insurance companies are required by state law to provide notice before cancelling your policy. Depending on the state, you’ll usually have between 10 and 20 days. Your company will notify you by mail or email before cancelling your coverage.
See more on the grace period when purchasing a new vehicle.
Consequences of an insurance lapse
Not having insurance: If your auto insurance expires or cancels, your biggest concern is not having coverage. That means if you cause an accident and hurt someone else or damage their car, you’ll have to pay completely out of pocket. Same goes for damage to your car. Also, if your insurance lapsed and the policy can’t be reinstated, you won’t be able to backdate coverage to cover an accident that happened in the past. Getting into an accident without car insurance could be an enormous and life-changing expense. The other driver could take legal action, which could cost you all of your money and even future wages.
Getting into an accident without car insurance could be an enormous and life-changing expense.
License suspension or fine: In some situations, the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state will be notified that you are without insurance. They can then suspend your license or fine you. You may also be required to carry an SR-22 for several years, which is an added expense on your next auto policy.
Rate increase: Even one day without coverage can result in a higher insurance rate, depending on the circumstances. The cost of starting a new policy is usually costlier than staying continuously insured. At Progressive, you may not be eligible for our Continuous Insurance Discount if you have gone more than one month without insurance.
Repossession: Your vehicle could be repossessed by your lending or leasing company. Most lenders require full coverage insurance on the vehicle, as part of the terms of the loan or lease.
What if I no longer need car insurance?
If you’re not driving, you obviously won’t need auto insurance. Perhaps you’ll be traveling out of the country, biking, or just bumming rides off friends. Keep in mind, that if you get behind the wheel again, you’ll likely pay an increased rate. That’s because insurance companies may consider you a riskier driver than those who keep active policies.
Insurance lapse for military personnel
At Progressive, you’ll still get our Continuous Insurance Discount if you were deployed overseas and had a gap in insurance.