Can I Renew Car Insurance After It Expires?

Every auto insurance policy has an expiration date and it runs out at a particular time (usually midnight) unless it is renewed. Some motorists may miss the deadline and still be able to renew their policies at a later date, depending on how long after they contacted their providers. It is important to note that it is usually down to their insurers’ discretion in most cases because states usually don’t specify any grace period for renewals.

Most companies send notices as early as a month before the deadline that is probably considered to be sufficient to make your mind about the renewal. A policy is dead when its term ends. Therefore, trying to reinstate it is different from missing a payment on an active policy and having a grace period before it is cancelled. Most states regulate the latter but not the former.

Many motorists set up automatic renewal of their vehicle insurance so that their provider can collect the premiums from their accounts on due dates. People can still miss the deadline because somehow the mandate got cancelled or they didn’t have enough money on their accounts.

Then, it is easier to argue that this was a case of missed payment because the policyholder has already given consent to carry on the coverage beyond the expiry. Also, companies would often send a notification if they couldn’t collect the pre-arranged payment at the time of renewal for the same reason.

Most companies wouldn’t mind allowing the expired renewal quote to stand several days after and can continue the policy as if it continued as usual. They would often offer a new quote and policy after longer periods. Then, motorists can either carry on with the previous provider or get new quotes and buy a fresh automobile insurance coverage from a different company.

The major concern for vehicle insurers is that some motorists may not be acting in good faith. They may decide to renew their policies after they already had an accident. That is why often companies either would issue a new policy or start it from the time the original policy expired on the condition that motorists cannot claim for anything happened between the two dates.

It is essential to renew policies as soon as possible and ideally not more than 30 days because motorists get discounts for keeping a continuous coverage and any lapse breaks this continuity. Usually after 30 days a lapse is visible on the record and companies would apply higher rates for such applicants. That is why it is important to check that your car insurance policy continues without a break even if it means you keep a minimum coverage.

After a while without coverage, motorists lose their accumulated history which allows them to get good driver automobile insurance discounts of as much as 20%. Usually after a year or two, they have to start all over as if they have zero accident-free years. Often companies still count their previous clean history of returning customers (or new ones) even after a while. The time limit for losing accident free discount depends on companies. For example, many auto insurers are happy to extend such courtesy to military personnel returning from duty.

Therefore, motorists should try to avoid these two issues. In some cases, it may be worth paying backdated premiums for the period they missed and cannot make a claim so that they can avoid a lapse in the policy and keep their clean claim history because they would save more by doing so. Some companies will allow initiating the renewal from the date the old policy expired but they won’t pay for any accidents that happened in between those periods.

If your previous vehicle insurer is playing hardball in reinstating the policy as it was before the expiry, you may be served better with finding new quotes and companies. Many providers wouldn’t count anything less than 30 days as a lapse in coverage and still offer you the full discounts you qualify for.