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What to Do When Your Car Insurance Drops You (July 2022)

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Charlie Mitchell

By: Charlie Mitchell

Edited by Jackie Cohen

Last Updated June 15, 2022

Why you can trust Insurify

Insurify partners with top insurance companies and is a licensed agent in all 50 states. However, the insurance experts writing our content operate independently of our partners. Check out reviews from over 3,000 satisfied customers, how we make money, our data methodology, and our editorial standards.

Did your insurance company issue you a cancellation or nonrenewal notice? First of all, don’t panic. You’ll find another insurance policy pronto or work it out with your current insurance company. There are a number of ways you can get “dropped” by your insurance company, and it’s not the end of the world.

But more likely than not, you’ll have to start shopping for auto insurance. If you use Insurify’s car insurance quote-comparison tool to help you find an amazing deal, you might come out with better rates and coverage than before your policy cancellation–there’s an opportunity in every crisis.

Quick Facts

  • Car insurance companies issue cancellation and nonrenewal notices for a number of reasons, but the most common is nonpayment.
  • Your car insurance company has to give you advance warning to find new insurance coverage, so don’t panic and don’t drive without auto insurance coverage.
  • To get back on your feet, start comparing auto insurance quotes, and you’ll find a policy in no time.

Cancellation or Nonrenewal Notices

My car insurance dropped me. What should I do?

If you’ve received a cancellation or nonrenewal notice from your car insurance company, don’t panic. Contact the company to see if it was a mistake. Then, compare quotes for a new car insurance policy.

If your insurance company gets in touch with a nonrenewal or policy cancellation notice but you don’t have any insight as to why you’ll want to call to speak with a representative to figure out the reason you’re being dropped. Here are the common reasons for both.

See More: Best Car Insurance Companies

Common Reasons for Policy Cancellations

According to the Insurance Information Institute, after your policy is in effect for 60 days, there are only three reasons that insurance companies can cancel your policy. They are:

Unpaid insurance premiums: Nonpayment is among the most common reasons for policy cancellation. It’s also the most easily fixed, provided you respond in a reasonable time frame and the car insurance company wants you back.

A revoked driver’s license: If your state DMV hands you a license suspension, you’ll be in enough trouble for an auto insurance company to consider a policy cancellation, and most state laws permit them to do so if they see fit.

Falsities on your insurance application: Some state laws permit insurance companies to drop customers who have not been truthful on their insurance applications, such as lying about where their car is parked.

If your insurance provider cancels your policy before the 60-day time frame and it’s not due to one of the above reasons, it’s probably similar to a nonrenewal. But because you haven’t been insured for 60 days, the insurance provider decided to cancel your policy rather than wait out the policy term.

See More: Car Insurance Quotes

Common Reasons for Nonrenewals

You’ve filed a number of insurance claims in rapid succession: Multiple at-fault accidents and other car accidents that produce costly insurance claims might put you over the threshold for the level of risk that car insurance companies want to take on. This is legal for car insurance companies to do at the end of your policy term.

Your driving record or credit score just took a big hit: If in the course of your policy term, you accrue moving violations like a DUI or DWI and/or traffic violations and other tickets that sully your driving history, many insurance providers will charge you higher rates, but some will decide you’re too high-risk to insure and opt for a nonrenewal.

Something beyond your control: Perhaps your insurance company is just discontinuing insurance coverage in a given area or reducing policyholders of a certain type. You just might be a casualty of a pivot in business strategy. It stinks, but you hopefully won’t have much trouble finding cheap car insurance on your next round.

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Never Let Your Coverage Lapse

When you get a policy cancellation, you are likely to be considered a high-risk driver, and those drivers pay higher rates. Whatever you do, don’t make things more difficult for yourself by waiting until your policy lapses to secure auto insurance. You can get super-high insurance premiums for a lapse in coverage alone, so do whatever you can to avoid it.

If you have to go without insurance coverage, don’t drive until you obtain a new car insurance policy.

State laws require insurance companies to give you plenty of time to find new insurance before dropping your insurance coverage. Make sure you understand when your last day of coverage is, and try not to go without coverage. But if you must endure a gap in your auto insurance, stop driving.

If you’re caught driving without an insurance policy, you could very well lose your driver's license, and if companies weren’t considering you high-risk to begin with, then they definitely will after that. You may be fined and jailed, and the DMV might take away your registration if you’re pulled over and found to be driving uninsured.

See More: Cheap Car Insurance

Make Things Right ASAP

If you can come up with the money to pay your car insurance premiums within a certain time, you might be able to reverse your insurance cancellation and get your auto insurance back with the same provider. This is typically the easiest way to deal with a problem like this.

Underwriting laws are designed to prevent insurance companies from terminating policies without adequate notice or sufficient reason, but even if your insurance provider isn’t breaking the law, you can appeal to your state insurance department for help.

But remember: if there’s tension like this between you and your insurance company, perhaps it’s not the best car insurance you can get. High-risk drivers can also benefit from insurance policies that are designed to serve them.

Comparison Shop

Generally, when you receive a notice of cancellation, insurance companies will place you in a high-risk category and charge you higher premiums. So as you begin a new insurance application to obtain your new policy, it’s more important than ever to shop for all the insurance quotes you can find. There’s a match out there for you, even if this one didn’t work out.

See More: Best and Worst Sites to Compare Car Insurance

How to Keep Your Insurance Premiums Low After Your Policy Cancellation

You might experience higher rates after a nonrenewal or policy cancellation. To keep your car insurance rates manageable, the best thing you can do for yourself is usually to continue to try to be a safe driver. If you have full coverage, take a higher deductible. And make sure you’ve scoured the market for the cheap car insurance you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Ask your insurance agent. If you were dropped for nonpayment, you can typically get your auto insurance policy reinstated after paying your bill. If your car insurance company gives you an unsatisfactory reason for your policy cancellation or nonrenewal, you might be able to work with your state department of insurance to file an appeal and get your policy reinstated.

  • State laws dictate a specific time frame that you’re entitled to for the insurance company to notify you before your coverage actually ends. For nonpayment, this tends to be 10 days, but in other situations, it could be 30 or even 45 days. So breathe. Things will be okay, and you’ll have some time to work things out for yourself.

  • Nonrenewals happen when your insurance company decides not to insure you in the next policy period. When this happens, you’ll have more notice, and it may be related to your driving history. Policy cancellations are more abrupt and tend to occur in the first 60 days of coverage during what’s called an underwriting period. They tend to be issued for fraud and nonpayment.

  • If you’re getting hit with higher rates than you’re used to because of a policy cancellation or nonrenewal, the experience can be really deflating. Even when it’s car insurance, being rejected hurts! Finding cheap car insurance again depends on how wide you cast your net. So start looking for quotes, and let Insurify take care of the tough work for you.

Compare Car Insurance Quotes Instantly

  • Personalized quotes in 5 minutes or less
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  • The car insurance quotes displayed are based on an analysis of Insurify’s database of over 40 million quotes from 500 ZIP codes nationwide. To obtain representative rates, Insurify’s data science team performs frequent comprehensive analyses of the factors car insurance providers weigh to calculate rates including driver demographics, driving record, credit score, desired coverage level, and more.

    Insurify’s analysis also incorporates the Insurify Composite Score (ICS) assigned to each insurance provider. The ICS is a proprietary rating that weighs multiple factors reflecting the quality, reliability, and health of an insurance company. Ratings used to calculate the ICS include Financial Strength Ratings from A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch; J.D. Power ratings; Consumer Reports customer satisfaction surveys and customer complaints; mobile app reviews; and user-generated company reviews. 

    With the above insights and ranking methods, Insurify is able to offer car insurance shoppers insight into how various insurance providers compare to one another in terms of both cost and quality. Note, actual quotes will vary based on unique attributes including the policyholder’s driver history and their garaging address.

Charlie Mitchell
Charlie Mitchell
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Insurance Writer

Charlie Mitchell is a journalist, researcher, and writer specializing in personal finance subjects. He holds a degree from Middlebury College. His work can be found in Vox, Mother Jones, The New Republic, and other publications. Charlie uses his expertise in home, renters, and auto insurance subjects to help inform people to make better financial decisions. Connect with Charlie on LinkedIn.

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