How to Cancel Your Car Insurance (2022)

Mallory Profeta
Written by
Mallory Profeta
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Written by
Mallory Profeta
Insurance Writer
Mal Profeta is a writer, editor, educator, and public health advocate. They serve as the communications director of an NIH-funded clinical and translational science research center that focuses on addressing health disparities in Appalachia. A former Fulbright recipient, they hold a bachelor's degree from Transylvania University and a master's from New York University.
Jackie Cohen
Edited by
Jackie Cohen
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Edited by
Jackie Cohen
Editorial Manager
Jackie Cohen is an editorial manager at Insurify specializing in property & casualty insurance educational content. She has years of experience analyzing insurance trends and helping consumers better understand their insurance coverage to make informed decisions about their finances.Jackie's work has been cited in USA Today, The Balance, and The Washington Times.
Amber Benka
Reviewed by
Amber Benka
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Reviewed by
Amber Benka
Licensed Insurance Agent
Amber Benka is a licensed insurance agent specializing in auto, home, commercial, life, and health insurance.

Updated August 15, 2022

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Why you can trust Insurify

Insurify is America's highest-rated insurance comparison platform. We partner with the nation's top insurance companies and are licensed as an agent in all 50 states. However, the insurance experts writing our content operate independently of our partners, and you can learn more about how we make money by viewing our advertising disclosures. Also check out reviews from over 3,000 satisfied customers, our data methodology, and our editorial standards.

If you’ve decided it’s time to leave your car insurance company, canceling your old policy is easy, but there are a few details you should take note of. For example, you actually need to cancel your policy, not just stop paying. Also, some companies have cancellation fees, and if you don’t want higher premiums on your new policy, you need to avoid a lapse in coverage.

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Quick Facts

  • Canceling your car insurance is pretty easy, often just needing a call to the company.

  • If you’re switching companies because of a “better” premium, make sure you’re not losing important coverage in the process.

  • It’s important to avoid a lapse in coverage on your vehicle because it could cause your future rates to spike.

How do I know if I should cancel my car insurance?

How do I cancel my car insurance?

Canceling a car insurance policy is a relatively simple process. Just be sure to secure new coverage prior to your old policy expires.

If you’re moving to a new state, getting a new car, or selling your vehicle without plans for further driving, it might make sense to cancel your current auto insurance policy.

Another reason to cancel is the allure of a better insurance rate. It makes sense to shop around for car insurance every year. But be careful not to fall for lower insurance premiums at the expense of coverage quality. Consider not just the premiums but also the deductibles, coverage limits, and other details—you want to compare apples to apples.

If you’re canceling because you’re selling your vehicle and plan to be carless, you might want to consider a nonowner policy that will protect you when renting or borrowing a car. Similarly, if you’re storing or parking your car long-term while you’re away, it might make sense to maintain coverage on the vehicle for any potential damage and to avoid a lapse in insurance.

See More: Cheap Car Insurance

What do I need to do before canceling my car insurance?

First of all, if you’re planning to cancel because you want to switch to a new insurance company, make sure you have your new insurance lined up before canceling your old policy. This will ensure there’s no lapse in coverage on your vehicle, which would leave you paying higher rates.

If and when you decide to cancel, check the details of your current policy for information, instructions, required notice periods, and possible fees. Some companies have no fee, while others charge either a flat rate or a “short rate,” which is a percentage of your premium. Then, gather your plan details (driver’s license and policy number) and proceed to the step below.

See More: Compare Car Insurance

How do I cancel my plan?

A common misconception is that you can cancel your car insurance policy simply through nonpayment. In reality, this could leave you with unpaid insurance bills that end up going to collections and damaging your credit score.

The best way to terminate your coverage is to submit a cancellation request to your insurance company. Double-check the details of your policy, but here are the four main ways to do so:

  1. By phone: Call up your insurance provider and tell them you want to cancel. For larger insurers, you can usually find contact information through the app.

  2. In person: Speak to an insurance agent at a local office.

  3. Mail: Your policy documents should contain instructions on how to submit a written cancellation request.

  4. Assistance from your new insurer: Sometimes, the provider of your new coverage can contact your old insurer to arrange the policy cancellation.

No matter which route you take, you’ll receive a cancellation notice, which you should keep for your records.

Instructions for Canceling with 5 Major Companies

GEICO

  • Process: Call 1 (800) 841-1587, and say “cancel insurance policy” when prompted.

  • Fees: None

Nationwide

  • Process: Contact your local agent, or call 1 (877) 669-6877.

  • Fees: None. You will receive a prorated refund for any unused portion of your policy.

Liberty Mutual

  • Process: Call 1 (800) 290-8711.

  • Fees: Vary by state. When you call their 800 number, an agent will assist you with all the details.

Mercury

  • Process: Contact your local agent directly, or call 1 (800) 503-3724.

  • Fees: You may be charged 10 percent of your remaining premium for early termination.

National General

  • Process: You can cancel online by emailing memberservices@nhicadmin.com.

  • Fees: You may be charged a $50 cancellation fee.

See More: Best Car Insurance Companies

Can I cancel at any time?

Technically, yes, but check your plan details to avoid fees, and make sure to have a new plan in place before canceling your old one. A lapse in coverage can indicate to future insurers that you’re risky to insure, which means your rates will go up.

See More: Car Insurance Quotes

Canceling Is Easy—Just Check the Fine Print

There’s no need to stress about canceling your car insurance. It’s usually quick and painless. But if you still have a car, make sure to have your new insurance plan in place before canceling your old one. And even if you’re going carless or putting your vehicle in storage, it might make sense to have some sort of basic coverage for if you borrow or rent a car or if yours is damaged.

Consider comparing car insurance quotes before canceling your existing policy. Since gaps in coverage can affect insurance rates, it’s best to secure a new policy before canceling your old one.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Not necessarily. Most companies give you a grace period of up to 20 days after your due date before canceling your plan (check your policy for exact details on your grace period). But it might be helpful to set up autopay so that you never go beyond the grace period and find yourself unintentionally uninsured.

  • Most companies will refund the unused portion of your premiums, but check the details of your specific plan for an exact answer.

  • All but two states require a minimum level of car insurance, so in nearly the whole country, driving without insurance is illegal. And no matter the local laws, driving uninsured leaves you at huge financial risk. You need coverage even if you drive your vehicle only occasionally, in which case you should consider a pay-per-mile plan.

  • Regardless of your personal details, you’ll find lower rates if you keep your driving history clean and your credit score up. Another easy way to save is to bundle auto with other insurance products, such as homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or life insurance. You can also compare quotes with Insurify to find a great policy at a great rate.

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  • Data scientists at Insurify analyzed over 40 million auto insurance rates across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how their car insurance premiums are priced by companies.

Mallory Profeta
Written by
Mallory Profeta

Insurance Writer

Mal Profeta is a writer, editor, educator, and public health advocate. They serve as the communications director of an NIH-funded clinical and translational science research center that focuses on addressing health disparities in Appalachia. A former Fulbright recipient, they hold a bachelor's degree from Transylvania University and a master's from New York University.

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Jackie Cohen
Edited by
Jackie Cohen
Linkedin

Editorial Manager

Photo of an Insurify author
Edited by
Jackie Cohen
Editorial Manager
Jackie Cohen is an editorial manager at Insurify specializing in property & casualty insurance educational content. She has years of experience analyzing insurance trends and helping consumers better understand their insurance coverage to make informed decisions about their finances.Jackie's work has been cited in USA Today, The Balance, and The Washington Times.
Amber Benka
Reviewed by
Amber Benka

Licensed Insurance Agent

Icon of a woman
Reviewed by
Amber Benka
Licensed Insurance Agent
Amber Benka is a licensed insurance agent specializing in auto, home, commercial, life, and health insurance.