January 10, 2022

Car Insurance Cancellations and Non-Renewals

What’s the difference between cancellations and non-renewals?

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Your car insurance policy can end in two ways: non-renewal or cancellation. You or your insurance provider can choose to not renew your policy when its term ends or cancel it midterm. Why would someone cancel or not renew a policy, and what happens after the effective date?

Cancellations and Non-Renewals

While cancellations and non-renewals have the same outcome (i.e., the end of that insurance policy), there are some key similarities and differences.

Key Similarities

  • Cancellation and non-renewal have the same end result, which is that your policy will no longer be effective.
  • If a company chooses to either cancel or not renew a policy, it is legally required to inform you within the state-mandated time period (more on this below).
  • Both customers and companies can choose to cancel or not renew policies.

Key Differences

  • There are different reasons why a company or person would cancel or not renew a policy. A company can cancel a policy midterm if the policyholder hasn’t paid their premium, while it might not renew a policy because it no longer offers that type of coverage.
  • Cancellations occur midterm, while non-renewal occurs at the policy’s expiration date.

Cancellation

  • Definition: Cancellation is when a company or person cancels their insurance policy before it ends, or midterm.
  • Reasons: A company can only cancel a policy that’s been in force for over 60 days if the insured hasn’t paid their premium, has committed fraud or misrepresentation on their application, or has a revoked or suspended driver’s license.

Non-Renewal

  • Definition: Non-renewal occurs when either the insured or the company decides not to renew a policy once it reaches its expiration date.
  • Reasons: The insured may not renew their policy if they want to switch auto insurance providers and save money, or if their car does not run. The company may not renew a policy if it has dropped coverage or no longer serves an area. Another reason a company may not renew a policy is if the insured had a DUI conviction and requires an SR-22, legal proof of insurance1.

Notice of Cancellations and Non-Renewals

Insurance companies must notify customers of cancellations and non-renewals within a certain time period, as dictated by the state.

Grace Period for Insurance Lapse: State Laws

See below for how long a company has to notify you before it cancels or doesn’t renew your policy.

State Number of days companies have to notify you of a midterm cancellation prior to the effective date Number of days companies have to notify you of a midterm cancellation for nonpayment of premium prior to the effective date Number of days companies have to notify you of non-renewal prior to the expiration date
Alabama 20 10 120
Alaska 30 20 20
Arizona 30 30 30
Arkansas 20 10 30
California 20 10 20
Colorado 45 10 30
Connecticut 45 15 for nonpayment of the first premium, 10 days for nonpayment of any premium after the first 60
Delaware 30 15 30
District of Columbia 30 15 30
Florida 45 10 45
Georgia 30 30 30
Hawaii 30 30 30
Idaho 20 10 30
Illinois 30 10 30
Indiana 20 10 20
Iowa 30 10 30
Kansas 30 5 30
Kentucky 20 14 75
Louisiana 30 10 30
Maine 20 10 30
Maryland 45 10 45
Massachusetts 20 20 45
Michigan 30 10 20
Minnesota 59 59 60
Mississippi 30 10 30
Missouri 30 30 30
Montana 45 10 45
Nebraska 60 10 60
Nevada 30 10 30
New Hampshire 60 45 Notice not required
New Jersey 15 15 60
New Mexico 30 for cancellations due to substantial changes in risk; 15 for omission, misrepresentation, or fraud 10 30
New York 20 15 45-60
North Carolina 60 15 60
North Dakota 20 10 30
Ohio 30 10 30
Oklahoma 10 10 20
Oregon 30 10 30
Pennsylvania 30 15 30
Rhode Island 30 30 60
South Carolina 15 15 15
South Dakota 20 20 60
Tennessee 20 10 30
Texas 10 10 30
Utah 30 10 30
Vermont 45 15 45
Virginia 45 15 45
Washington 20 10 45
West Virginia 30 30 45
Wisconsin 10 10 60
Wyoming 45 10 45

NOTE

Rather than simply stop paying your premium, you should contact your insurance provider directly if you want to cancel.

Can I Dispute a Notice of Non-Renewal?

You can dispute a non-renewal notice. First, contact your insurance company’s consumer affairs department. If that doesn’t work, contact your state’s insurance department using the information below.

State Mailing address Number Website
Alabama 201 Monroe St., Suite 502

Montgomery, AL 36104

334-269-3550 http://www.aldoi.gov
Alaska 550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 1560

Anchorage, AK 99501-3567

907-269-7900 https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/ins/
Arizona 100 N. 15th Ave., Suite 261

Phoenix, AZ 85007-2630

602-364-3100 https://insurance.az.gov/
Arkansas 1 Commerce Way

Little Rock, AR 72202

501-371-2600 https://insurance.arkansas.gov/
California 300 S. Spring St., South Tower

Los Angeles, CA 90013

800-927-4357 http://www.insurance.ca.gov
Colorado 1560 Broadway, Suite 850

Denver, CO 80202

303-894-7499 https://doi.colorado.gov/
Connecticut 153 Market St., 7th floor

Hartford, CT 06103

860-297-3900 https://portal.ct.gov/cid
Delaware 1351 W. North St., Suite 101

Dover, DE 19904

302-674-7300 https://insurance.delaware.gov/
District of Columbia 1050 First Street, NE, 801

Washington DC 20002

202-727-8000 http://www.disb.dc.gov
Florida Larson Building, 200 E. Gaines St.,

Room 101A

Tallahassee, FL 32399-0301

850-413-3140 http://www.floir.com
Georgia 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive West Tower, Suite 702

Atlanta, GA 30334

404-656-2070 https://oci.georgia.gov/
Hawaii P.O. Box 3614

Honolulu, HI 96811

808-586-2790 http://cca.hawaii.gov/ins/
Idaho 700 W. State St., 3rd floor

Boise, ID 83720-0043

208-334-4250 http://www.doi.idaho.gov/
Illinois 320 W. Washington St.

Springfield, IL 62767-0001

217-782-4515 https://insurance.illinois.gov/
Indiana 311 W. Washington St., Suite 300

Indianapolis, IN 46204-2787

317-232-2385 http://www.in.gov/idoi
Iowa 1963 Bell Ave., Suite 100

Des Moines, IA 50315

515-654-6600 https://iid.iowa.gov/
Kansas 1300 SW Arrowhead Road

Topeka, KS 66604-4073

785-296-3071 https://insurance.kansas.gov/
Kentucky 500 Mero St. 2 SE 11

Frankfort, KY 40601

502-564-3630 https://insurance.ky.gov
Louisiana 1702 N. Third St.

Baton Rouge, LA 70802

225-342-5423 http://www.ldi.la.gov
Maine 34 State House Station

Augusta, ME 04333-0034

207-624-8475 https://www.maine.gov/pfr/insurance/
Maryland 200 St. Paul Place, Suite 2700

Baltimore, MD 21202

410-468-2090 http://www.mdinsurance.state.md.us
Massachusetts 1000 Washington St., Suite 810

Boston, MA 02118

617-521-7794 https://www.mass.gov/orgs/division-of-insurance
Michigan 530 W. Allegan St.

Lansing, MI 48933

517-284-8800 https://www.michigan.gov/difs/
Minnesota 85 7th Place East, Suite 500

St. Paul, MN 55101

651-296-4026 https://mn.gov/commerce/industries/insurance/
Mississippi 1001 Woolfolk State Office Building, 501 N. West St.

Jackson, MS 39201

601-359-3569 http://www.mid.state.ms.us
Missouri 301 W. High St., P.O. Box 690

Jefferson City, MO 65102-0690

573-751-4126 https://insurance.mo.gov/
Montana 840 Helena Ave., Suite 270

Helena, MT 59601

406-444-2040 https://csimt.gov/
Nebraska Terminal Building, 941 O St., Suite 400

Lincoln, NE 68508-3639

402-471-2201 https://doi.nebraska.gov/
Nevada 1818 E. College Parkway, Suite 103

Carson City, NV 89706

775-687-0700 https://doi.nv.gov/
New Hampshire 21 S. Fruit St., Suite 14

Concord, NH 03301-7317

603-271-2261 https://www.nh.gov/insurance/
New Jersey 20 W. State St., P.O. Box 325

Trenton, NJ 08625

609-292-5360 https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/index.html
New Mexico 1120 Paseo de Peralta, Suite 428

Santa Fe, NM 87501

855-427-5674 https://www.osi.state.nm.us/
New York 25 Beaver St.

New York, NY 10004

212-480-6400 https://www.dfs.ny.gov/
North Carolina 1201 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-1201

855-408-1212 https://www.ncdoi.gov/
North Dakota State Capitol, 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 401, 5th floor

Bismarck, ND 58505-0320

701-328-2440 https://www.insurance.nd.gov/
Ohio 50 W. Town St., 3rd floor, Suite 300

Columbus, OH 43215-1067

614-644-2658 https://insurance.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odi
Oklahoma 400 NE 50th St.

Oklahoma City, OK 73105

405-521-2828 https://www.oid.ok.gov/
Oregon P.O. Box 14480

Salem, OR 97309-0405

503-947-7980 https://dfr.oregon.gov/Pages/index.aspx
Pennsylvania 1326 Strawberry Square

Harrisburg, PA 17120

717-787-2317 https://www.insurance.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx
Rhode Island 1511 Pontiac Ave.

Cranston, RI 02920

401-462-9500 https://dbr.ri.gov/divisions/insurance/
South Carolina 1201 Main St., Suite 1000

Columbia, SC 29201

803-737-6160 https://doi.sc.gov/
South Dakota 445 E. Capitol Ave.

Pierre, SD 57501-3185

605-773-4104 https://dor.sd.gov/
Tennessee 500 James Robertson Parkway, Suite 660

Nashville, TN 37243-0565

615-741-2241 https://www.tn.gov/commerce/insurance-division.html
Texas 333 Guadalupe St.

Austin, TX 78701

512-676-6000 https://www.tdi.texas.gov/
Utah 4315 S. 2700 W., Suite 2300

Taylorsville, UT 84114-6901

801-957-9200 https://insurance.utah.gov/
Vermont 89 Main St., Drawer 20

Montpelier, VT 05620-3101

802-828-3301 https://dfr.vermont.gov/industry/insurance
Virginia 1300 E. Main St., Tyler Building

Richmond, VA 23219

804-371-9741 https://www.scc.virginia.gov/
Washington Insurance Building, P.O. Box 40255

Olympia, WA 98504-0255

360-725-7100 http://www.insurance.wa.gov
West Virginia West Virginia Lottery Building, 900 Pennsylvania Ave.

Charleston, WV 25302

304-558-3386 http://www.wvinsurance.gov
Wisconsin 125 S. Webster St.

Madison, WI 53703-3474

608-266-3585 https://oci.wi.gov/Pages/Homepage.aspx
Wyoming Herschler Building, 106 E. 6th Ave.

Cheyenne, WY 82002

307-777-740 http://insurance.state.wy.us

What to Do After Your Car Insurance Is Canceled or Not Renewed

If you’re still driving but your car insurance policy has been canceled or not renewed, you’ll need to find a new auto insurance provider. However, if you have an SR-22 or a lapse in coverage, meaning you’re a high-risk driver with poor driving history, finding cheap auto insurance could be more difficult, particularly for the former. Learn how to find cheap auto insurance coverage, whether you have an SR-22 or a suspended license.

If You Have an SR-22

If you got an SR-22 for a DUI, you’ll need the best auto insurance for DUIs. However, not every company accepts SR-22s. Here are some that do:

Shop around and compare quotes from multiple providers to find the best rates.

What if My Coverage Is Denied?

If your coverage is denied, don’t drive without insurance, as you could face financial and legal penalties in every state except Virginia and New Hampshire, which don’t require auto insurance.  See below for the penalties in your state for driving without insurance.

State Fine for the first offense Other penalties
Alabama $500 Registration suspension
Alaska $500 License suspension
Arizona $500 License and registration suspension
Arkansas $50 Registration suspension
California $100 None
Colorado $500 License suspension
Connecticut $100 License and registration suspension
Delaware $1,500 License suspension
District of Columbia $150 License suspension
Florida $150 License suspension
Georgia $200 License and registration suspension
Hawaii $500 License suspension
Idaho $75 None
Illinois $500 License suspension
Indiana $250 License suspension
Iowa $250 None
Kansas $300 License and registration suspension
Kentucky $500 Registration suspension
Louisiana $500 None
Maine $100 License and registration suspension
Maryland $1,000 None
Massachusetts $500 License and registration suspension
Michigan $200 License suspension
Minnesota $200 License and registration suspension
Mississippi $500 License suspension
Missouri $20 License suspension
Montana $250 No other penalties
Nebraska $100 License suspension
Nevada $250 License suspension
New Hampshire $125 License and registration suspension
New Jersey $300 License suspension
New Mexico $300 License and registration suspension
New York $150 License and registration suspension
North Carolina $50 License suspension
North Dakota $300 License suspension
Ohio $100 License suspension
Oklahoma $250 License suspension
Oregon $130 License and registration suspension
Pennsylvania $300 License and registration suspension
Rhode Island $100 License and registration suspension
South Carolina $550 License suspension
South Dakota $100 License suspension
Tennessee $300 License suspension
Texas $175 None
Utah $400 License suspension
Vermont $250 License suspension
Virginia $600 License suspension
Washington $550 None
West Virginia $200 License suspension
Wisconsin $500 None
Wyoming $250 License suspension2

Can I Cancel My Car Insurance After 60 Days?

While car insurance companies can’t cancel your car insurance after the first 60 days except for specific reasons like fraud, you can cancel your car insurance at any time. However, you may face cancellation fees, and you may not be able to get your premiums refunded if you paid in advance.

TIP

Ask your insurance agent or broker about the cancellation policy, including fees and refunds.

To cancel your car insurance, you may need to give proper notice, such as 30 days before your policy ends.

Recap

If you don’t commit fraud, get your license taken away, or stop paying your premiums, your policy should stay active. Even if you want to switch auto insurance, it’s better to have two policies running concurrently than a lapse in coverage, which could lead to higher auto insurance costs in the future.

FAQ

Learn more about car insurance cancellations and car insurance non-renewal in our answers to these frequently asked questions.

Is not renewing insurance the same thing as canceling?

Not renewing insurance is not the same thing as canceling. Cancellation occurs midterm, while non-renewal occurs at the end of the term. There are also differences in why someone would cancel versus not renew a policy for a motor vehicle.

Reasons for non-renewal aren’t bound by law, unlike reasons for cancellation on the insurance provider’s part. An auto insurance company can only cancel policies after the first 60 days in cases of fraud or misrepresentation on the original insurance application, nonpayment, or a license suspension or revocation.

What happens if my car insurance is canceled due to nonpayment?

If your car insurance is canceled due to nonpayment, you’ll need to find alternative insurance in order to drive legally. Every state except New Hampshire and Virginia requires auto insurance, so make sure you reach your new policy’s effective date before you drive your car.

What happens if I don’t renew my insurance policy?

If you don’t renew your insurance policy, your coverage will stop on the expiration date, meaning you won’t be able to get an insurance claim anymore. In every state but Virginia and New Hampshire, you’ll need to pay for a new policy if you want to keep driving.

What is an insurance non-renewal notice?

An insurance non-renewal notice is a letter stating that your insurance provider is choosing not to renew your policy. Legally, companies have to notify customers of non-renewal within a certain time period, which varies by state.

Citations

  1. What’s the difference between auto policy cancellation and nonrenewal? III. (2022).
    https://www.iii.org/article/whats-the-difference-between-auto-policy-cancellation-and-nonrenewal

  2. Penalties for Driving without Auto Insurance by State. CFA. (2014).
    https://consumerfed.org/pdfs/140310_penaltiesfordrivingwithoutautoinsurance_cfa.pdf