Most policies come with automatic renewal in place today. If you do not want to renew because you do not need insurance or you are switching you need to let your provider know in time. Also, many people may think that they do not need insurance if they do not drive their automobiles. This is not true as auto owners are legally required to keep minimum liability insurance to remain legal.
For a car to be exempt from insurance it should be off the road and in private property. Also, they should get an off the road certificate from DMV. Otherwise, they will keep writing to the owner and probably send fines when there is no response. Keep this in mind if you are going away for some time and planning not to keep insurance coverage. Furthermore, it may be beneficial to keep some sort of coverage as many companies wipe away your good driver discounts when there is a policy lapse for several months.
When Would Your Policy Expire?
If it is not renewing automatically car insurance policies would normally expire a minute past midnight of the last day on the documents. In other words, the moment the day is over your policy ends as well. There may be a grace period offered by companies and it could be as much as 7 days. But this is totally up to them and they decide to accept or deny any claims within this period. If the policy is renewed within such a grace period it may be considered as never lapsed.
What Happens If the Premium Is Late?
You should contact your insurer as soon as you realize you missed the premium or you will miss. Once the premium is missed it is entirely up to the insurer to accept any claim occurring in the meantime. Even though companies may offer a grace period it may mainly serve as a means to avoid lapsed coverage and claims can be dealt with on discretion of the company. Grace period is only days and unlikely to exceed a week.
Some companies may just continue as usual the moment the premium is received. Others may charge a late fee and also, they may cancel any monthly payment agreement and demand full payment to continue. Communicating with the company in advance and telling them when they should expect the next payment would help.
How Does Renewal Quotes Work?
Usually, insurers would send a renewal notice with the premium quote between 2 to 4 weeks to renewal date. Nonetheless, policyholders should note the renewal date. It is totally up to the policyholders to make sure their policy is renewed on the day or they find alternative coverage. They cannot blame the company for not sending the renewal note or the post office for failing to deliver the notice.
Policyholders can start getting renewal quotes about a month in advance. Some quotes would be valid for 30 days. Also, some companies may offer slight discounts if policyholders confirm the renewal of the coverage well before the renewal date.
Are Claims Required to Be Submitted Within Certain Times?
Yes, and this is usually confirmed in the policy documents. The severity of the claim increases its urgency. If you are involved in a large accident with considerable property damages and injuries you should inform your insurer immediately. Companies would want to follow up the accident and inspect the injuries and damages as early as possible to keep their losses under control.
It may be alright to get a few quotes and think about making a claim or not when the damages are minor and no other parties involved. This would be only a few days still and your insurer would not be pleased to get a claim for a damage that happened a month ago.