How to Cancel Your Car Insurance (2024)

You should contact your insurance company to cancel an auto insurance policy, but be sure to secure new coverage before you cancel the old policy.

Nick Dauk
Written byNick Dauk
Nick Dauk
Nick Dauk
  • 6+ years writing about insurance, travel, and personal finances

  • Contributor to brands like Credible

In addition to insurance, Nick specializes in writing about business, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and travel. He’s been featured in myriad web publications, including Fox Business.

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Sara Getman
Edited bySara Getman
Sara Getman
Sara GetmanAssociate Editor

Sara Getman is an Associate Editor at Insurify and has been with the company since 2022. Prior to joining Insurify, Sara completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature at Simmons University in Boston. At Simmons, she was the Editor-in-Chief for Sidelines Magazine (a literary and art publication), and wrote creative non-fiction.

Outside of work, Sara is an avid reader, and loves rock climbing, yoga and crocheting.

Daniel Roccato
Reviewed byDaniel Roccato
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Daniel RoccatoAdvisor
  • 30+ years in financial services

  • Clinical Professor of Finance, University of San Diego

Dan is a well-recognized and widely quoted financial services expert, regularly appearing in a variety of national and local media as a subject matter expert.

Updated May 28, 2024

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Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from May 28, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

You can easily cancel your car insurance policy, though each insurer may require different steps to cancel a policy. Some insurers allow you to cancel your policy online, but most typically ask you to speak to an agent on the phone or in person to complete the cancellation process.

You usually need to confirm your information, verify your cancellation date, and complete any necessary paperwork to cancel. You may face associated fees if you cancel, such as an early termination fee or a percentage of the remaining premium. You should always avoid a lapse between coverages to prevent potential rate increases with your future insurer.

Before you cancel your current policy, it’s a good idea to compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies to find a replacement policy that works for you.

Quick Facts
  • To cancel your auto insurance, you often need to provide your car insurance company with a written notice of cancellation.

  • You can cancel your car insurance at any time.

  • Fees and penalties for early policy cancellation vary by company.

When to cancel your car insurance

You may want to cancel your car insurance for various reasons, but it can be confusing to know the right time to cancel. Some common reasons to cancel your insurance include:

  • You’re no longer driving. If you move to a walkable city, are a student who lives on campus, or work from home and no longer commute to the office, you may choose to sell your car and cancel your insurance. Just remember that you’d still need insurance if you drive a friend’s car or want to get a rental car.

  • You’ve joined someone else’s policy. You may want to cancel your insurance if you can save money by joining someone else’s policy. Teen and young adult drivers can save money if they join their parents’ policy. Spouses can also save money if they enroll in a policy together.

  • You’re switching companies. You may want to switch insurance companies if you can find cheaper rates or get better coverage for your budget. If you’re switching, you need to secure coverage from your new insurer before canceling your old one so you don’t have a lapse in coverage.

When not to cancel your car insurance

Canceling your coverage isn’t always the right idea. If you find yourself thinking about canceling your coverage for these reasons, you may need to reconsider:

  • You want to cut costs. Insurance is expensive, but most states require you to buy it if you have a car and drive. If you get into an at-fault accident without insurance, you’ll be financially and legally responsible, and could end up paying more than you would have if you had insurance.

  • You don’t need coverage for a short time. Maybe your car broke down and you’re starting to search for a new one. Or you’re going on a trip for a month or two and won’t be driving. You should still keep your coverage even if you won’t be driving for a period of time. Instead of canceling, call your insurer and see if you can pause your coverage.

  • You haven’t secured a new policy. Changing your insurance is a good reason to cancel your old policy. But to avoid a lapse in coverage, you shouldn’t cancel your old insurance until you’ve secured and signed your new policy.

How to cancel your car insurance

Canceling your car insurance is a process that typically requires more than just the click of a button online. Instead, you need to follow a series of easy, though important, steps to make sure you provide your insurer with all the necessary information to formally end your policy.

1. Review your insurer’s cancellation policy

Although you can find general information on your insurer’s website, review your policy and read any fine print that may mention how you can cancel your policy. This information may also tell you if you’ll need to pay any cancellation fees or if the insurer will give you a partial refund.

You need to provide your policy number and other details when canceling, so you should gather and review this information as your first step.

2. Decide on a new car insurance policy

You should compare new car insurance quotes prior to canceling your policy to avoid a coverage lapse — a period of time when you have no insurance coverage. All states except New Hampshire legally require a licensed driver to carry some form of minimum liability insurance that covers expenses resulting from damages you cause in an at-fault accident at all times.

Important Information

If you drive while you have a lapse in coverage, insurers may consider you a high-risk driver because you’re technically driving uninsured, even if you have a clean record. When you do find coverage again, you’ll likely experience higher rates because of this.

Find the coverage you need for the best price available, and make the effective date of that policy with your new insurer before the final day of your current policy. Remember, make sure you have your new insurance in force before you cancel your existing policy.

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3. Contact your current insurance company

Once you purchase a new policy to replace the old one, you need to contact your current insurance company or your agent.

Most insurers have a phone number you can call to start the cancellation process, though some may offer additional options like completing an online form, chatting with a virtual agent, or initiating the process via text or mobile app.

4. Provide written notice of cancellation

You need to provide a written cancellation notice when ending your policy prior to its term limit. Your policy documents should provide directions for how to submit a written notice of cancellation by mail.

If you’d rather submit this information digitally, speak with an agent of the insurance company and ask them to explain all your options for formally submitting a written notice of cancellation.

5. Confirm cancellation

At the end of the process, don’t assume your old insurer cancelled your policy if you haven’t confirmed the cancellation with the auto insurance company or your independent agent.

A few circumstances can delay your policy termination. You may face delays if you haven’t completed all required forms or if you owe money for prior unpaid premiums or cancellation fees. Ask the insurer to provide you with written proof of cancellation to officially confirm.

How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?

How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?

What to know about car insurance cancellation fees

You can legally cancel your car insurance policy at any time for any reason. Depending on the state you live in and your current insurer, you may face car insurance cancellation fees.

When it comes to canceling a policy, the industry doesn’t have standard fees established. Any fees depend on insurer discretion and the limitations of state law. Connecticut, for example, doesn’t have any laws preventing an insurer from assessing a cancellation fee. The state also doesn’t require insurers to disclose these cancellation fees to a policyholder.[1]

Cancellation charges may include a flat-rate cancellation fee or a decrease in the reimbursement amount for a prepaid premium. For instance, an insurer with a 90% pro rata fee keeps 10% of what you initially paid. A short-rate fee allows the insurance company to recoup the costs associated with writing the policy you terminated early.[2]

Identifying fees prior to signing a policy can help you prevent excess expenses later on. Before you commit to a policy, ask your agent to outline any cancellation fees or other similar payments you’d need to cover if you terminate the policy early.

As you submit a notice of cancellation, ask your current insurer if it can reduce or lower the amount charged. You could also ask your new insurer if it has any one-time fees that it can waive to offset the cost of switching insurers.

Keep in Mind

If you bundled your car and home or renters insurance to get a bundling discount, be sure to ask your insurance company how canceling your car insurance will affect your premium on the bundled policy.

Will you get a refund if you cancel your car insurance?

Every company has different cancelation policies, but insurers will generally give you a refund for any remaining time you have on your policy at the point of cancellation. For example, if you paid in full for 12 months of coverage and cancel at eight months, you should be refunded the last four months of your policy. But any setup fees that a company may have required when you signed are typically not part of the refund.

When choosing a new company, ask your agent what their cancellation policy is, and factor that into your decision-making.

Common reasons to cancel car insurance

An auto insurer may cancel your policy for a number of reasons, but you can also opt to cancel your policy at any time and for any reason prior to the end of your policy term.

Drivers may cancel a car insurance policy for one or more of the following reasons:[3]

  • Cheaper premium rate: A highly saturated auto insurance market means you can typically find other insurers offering lower rates or more discounts than your current insurer.

  • Different coverage options: Not all insurers offer the same coverage options. If you need a specific type of optional auto insurance coverage, like rideshare coverage or gap insurance, you may need to switch insurers.

  • Problems with customer service: Whether it’s communicating with the insurance company or receiving claims payment, If you’re having difficulties with customer service — in regular communication or claims filing — you may want to get a policy with an insurer that has higher customer satisfaction ratings.

  • You no longer own the vehicle: If you sold your vehicle, you don’t need to maintain coverage on it. But be sure not to cancel your policy until you’ve legally transferred the vehicle title to the new owner.

Do’s and don’ts of canceling car insurance

If you’ve made the choice to cancel your car insurance, make sure you’re carrying out this decision in the most responsible way. Consider these do’s and don’ts when canceling your policy.

Do...

  • Review your policy details.

  • Consider whether changing your policy is a better option.

  • Make sure you receive confirmation of policy cancellation.

  • Secure a new policy before canceling.

Don’t...

  • Stop paying your premium.

  • Assume all insurers offer the same rates or coverages.

  • Forget to complete all steps your insurer requires for terminating a policy.

  • Let your policy lapse.

How much other drivers pay

Drivers using Insurify have found quotes as cheap as $43/mo for liability only and $76/mo for full coverage.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 28, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from May 28, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on May 28, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from May 28, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

What to do if your insurance company cancels your policy

An insurance company can end your policy via cancellation or non-renewal. Cancellation occurs if you fail to pay your premium, commit fraud on your application, or face driver’s license suspension or revocation.[4]

If your insurer cancels your policy, call the company immediately to ask for the reason for cancellation and determine if you qualify for reinstatement.

If you can’t reinstate your coverage, you should call other insurance companies immediately to find a new policy. It’s illegal to drive without the minimum state-required insurance. And a lapse in insurance can cause other insurers to consider you a risky driver, which typically results in higher premium rates.

Canceling car insurance FAQs

Regardless of your reason for canceling your car insurance, you should know as much as possible about how and when to end your policy. Use the following information to help guide your decision.

  • Do insurers charge cancellation fees?

    It depends. Some insurers charge cancellation fees in certain states, but others don’t.

    For example, GEICO generally doesn’t charge a fee for canceling an auto insurance policy, but policyholders in North Carolina might face a short-rate premium calculation.

  • Can you cancel car insurance at any time?

    Yes. You can technically cancel your car insurance at any time and for any reason.

    You can get the lowest car insurance rates by shopping around for coverage regularly to decide if it makes sense to switch to another insurer. The best time to switch insurers is shortly before policy renewal. Some insurers may charge fees for canceling before your current auto policy ends. To avoid a lapse in coverage, you also want to make sure you have a new policy active when your original policy ends.

  • What’s the best way to cancel car insurance?

    The “best” way to cancel your car insurance depends on your current insurer’s cancellation guidelines. You can cancel your policy through your agent, over the phone, or through any other official channel that the insurer allows. Assess any fees that may apply for early policy termination, and have a new plan in place to ensure you don’t let your auto coverage lapse.

  • How do you cancel your car insurance online?

    Unfortunately, you usually can’t cancel your car insurance online.

    Options for canceling vary for each insurer. Most insurers have information on their websites that describes how to cancel a policy. If you can cancel online, you may have options to do so via a live chat with an agent or by following steps to manually cancel the policy.

  • How do you cancel an Allstate policy?

    Allstate offers multiple ways to cancel your auto insurance policy. You can call its customer service number at 1 (800) 726-6033, or you can send an email via the contact form on the website.

    You can also engage a live agent via the 24/7 chat function and cancel your policy online with help from a live agent. Or, if you’re working with an independent agent, contact them directly and ask to cancel your Allstate policy.

  • How do you cancel Progressive online?

    Unfortunately, Progressive doesn’t allow its policyholders to cancel policies online. Policyholders must call 1 (866) 416-2003 to cancel their policies.

    If an independent agent sold you a Progressive auto insurance policy, visit their website to see if they have online options for canceling your Progressive policy.

  • How do you cancel GEICO insurance?

    Canceling your car insurance policy with GEICO is easy. Although you can’t do so online, you can speak with a GEICO agent by calling 1 (800) 841-1587. When prompted, say “cancel insurance policy,” then say “auto” to get connected to an agent, who may ask for your GEICO policy number.

    If you work with an independent agent who sold you a GEICO auto insurance policy, contact them directly and ask to cancel your policy.

Sources

  1. Connecticut General Assembly. "Auto Insurance Cancellation Fee."
  2. New York State Office of General Counsel. "Short-Rate Cancellation Penalty & No-Fault Subrogation/Surcharge."
  3. Massachusetts Division of Insurance. "Massachusetts Consumer Bill of Rights for Automobile Insurance."
  4. Insurance Information Institute. "What's the difference between auto policy cancellation and nonrenewal?."
Nick Dauk
Nick Dauk

Nick Dauk is a freelance writer specializing in business, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and travel. His work has been featured in Fox Business, BBC, The Edge, Business Insider, and Bisnow. Nick is a first-generation college graduate, having majored in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Central Florida. His eclectic coursework, combined with previous managerial roles in the retail and broadcast television industries, have helped him develop an interdisciplinary approach to writing.

For nearly a decade, Nick has created content for mom-and-pop businesses and global corporations. As a travel writer, his global adventures have also been featured on Inside Hook, Houston Chronicle, Culture Trip, and Matador. When he's not traveling, Nick can be found in Orlando spending time with his wife and toddler.

Sara Getman
Edited bySara GetmanAssociate Editor
Sara Getman
Sara GetmanAssociate Editor

Sara Getman is an Associate Editor at Insurify and has been with the company since 2022. Prior to joining Insurify, Sara completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature at Simmons University in Boston. At Simmons, she was the Editor-in-Chief for Sidelines Magazine (a literary and art publication), and wrote creative non-fiction.

Outside of work, Sara is an avid reader, and loves rock climbing, yoga and crocheting.

Daniel Roccato
Reviewed byDaniel RoccatoAdvisor
Headshot of industry expert Daniel Roccato
Daniel RoccatoAdvisor
  • 30+ years in financial services

  • Clinical Professor of Finance, University of San Diego

Dan is a well-recognized and widely quoted financial services expert, regularly appearing in a variety of national and local media as a subject matter expert.

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