When your car insurance is canceled, the first thing you should do is call your current insurance company. If your policy has only expired for a couple of days, they may be able to reinstate it. If your insurer requires you to take out a new policy, you should compare prices to find the best rate. On your own, it can be difficult to know what to do if Geico denied your car accident claim.
A personal injury law firm can help you appeal the insurer's decision. If the reason your claim was denied was bad faith insurance practices, the lawyer representing you can also help you hold the insurance company accountable. The options available will depend on how long you spend without paying your car insurance bill, your insurance company's policies, and your state's laws. This means that your insurance history will show a lapse in coverage, which may mean higher insurance rates in the future.
As soon as you realize that you probably haven't paid or have already stopped paying for car insurance, call your insurance company to let them know that you're aware of the situation and ask them what you can do next. To keep your car insurance policy in force, you must pay your car insurance premium on a monthly, semi-annual, or annual basis. But if you haven't made your car insurance payments for too long and you've let your car insurance policy expire, the process is more complicated than simply catching up on late payments. When your car insurance policy is canceled, the cancellation usually stays on your record for five years or more.
It's essential that you contact your insurer as soon as you realize that you're behind on your insurance payments. In some states, letting your insurance expire also cancels your registration immediately or a few weeks after your insurance expires. It's illegal to drive without insurance in almost every state, so once your insurance is canceled, you won't be able to drive. If you pay your car insurance a couple of days late, you're most likely still in the grace period.
Unfortunately, your rates are likely to increase, as car insurance companies charge more to drivers whose insurance was canceled due to non-payment. Your car insurance policy won't change, it will have the same coverage limits and the same policy period. After that, your insurance will officially expire and you will no longer be able to drive your car legally. Kara McGinley was a senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she specialized in homeowners and renters insurance.
When you have insurance again, contact your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to update your insurance information and confirm that your registration and driver's license are still valid. It's even possible that your old insurer doesn't offer you any insurance, in which case you'll have to use another company, such as a non-standard insurer.