It isn't impossible to obtain car insurance after a policy has been cancelled, but it can be costly. Since car insurance is required in every state, you will be in violation of state law if you drive a registered vehicle on public roads without insurance. A cancelled insurance policy isn't the end of the world, as long as you take the cancellation notice seriously and obtain replacement coverage before the policy expires.
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Differentiate between a cancellation and a lapse in coverage. There is a difference between having a cancelled policy and a lapse. A cancellation is not necessarily a violation of state law, a lapse in coverage is. A lapse means that a registered vehicle was operated on public roads without insurance. If a cancelled policy is not replaced within the allotted time, then a coverage lapse can occur.
Rectify the reason for cancellation, if possible. If your policy was cancelled for non payment, then pay the outstanding amount owed to have the policy reinstated. If it was cancelled for underwriting reasons, such as too many moving violations or too many accidents, take a safe-driver class to help reduce the risk. Your auto insurance history follows you and becomes the basis for underwriting your future auto insurance policies.
Seek a new auto insurance company. It may be difficult to find a standard auto insurance company that is willing to insure your car. Depending on the reason for your prior cancellation, you might have to seek coverage from the Assigned Risk Pool. The Assigned Risk Pool is a collection of insurance companies mandated by the state to provide insurance for hard-to-insure drivers. Visit your state's Department of Insurance to find the listing of Assigned Risk Insurance Companies in your area.
Tell the truth on your car insurance application. As mentioned earlier, your auto insurance history follows you. It's easy for an underwriter to determine if you are stretching the truth on your application. Lying on an insurance application gives the insurance company the right to void your coverage. If the insurance company had already paid a claim and later voids your coverage, you will have to reimburse the company for claims paid. Voided coverage can potentially be worse than having a cancelled policy.
Expect to pay more for car insurance coverage, especially if your policy is underwritten through the Assigned Risk Pool.
Tips and warnings
- If you receive notice from an insurance company threatening to cancel your car insurance policy, take it seriously. Contact your insurance underwriter to negotiate coverage reinstatement.
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