Can you reinstate your car insurance even if it was canceled for nonpayment?
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Whether your auto insurance coverage has lapsed or not, your policy could be canceled if you’re late on payments, and you may or may not be able to reinstate it. Insurance companies have differing reinstatement policies for auto insurance. While some are strict and don’t allow any reinstatements after cancellations, other companies are more lax.
We’ll show you the policies of all the major companies when it comes to getting your car insurance reinstated, so you don’t have to go to the trouble of switching providers.
First, determine whether getting your car insurance reinstated is a real possibility. Depending on how much money you owe, whether you have a history of nonpayment, and how late your payment is, you may not be able to reinstate your policy.
Reinstating canceled auto insurance will require you to contact your insurance company and pay the premium that you missed. An agent will determine whether they can restore your previous policy, which will depend on your insurance history, the policies, and your insurer.
To see how some of the biggest insurers handle canceled policies, click on your company below to find out if and how you can get reinstated.
|Company||How to reinstate your insurance after nonpayment|
|21st Century||Fill out the form and send completed payment by overnight mail.|
|AARP (The Hartford)||Payment will be required when you speak to the agent. You will need to verbally verify that no losses have occurred up to and including the date of the call.|
|Allstate||Contact your agent or call 877-810-2920.|
|American Family Insurance Group (AmFam)||Make the payment and your policy will go back into effect.|
|Amica||You’ll be charged a nonrefundable cancellation fee if the agent hasn’t received a payment 30 days after the bill was due. You must pay the cancellation fee no later than 5 p.m. on the cancellation date. If you don’t make this payment, the policy will be canceled and cannot be reinstated.|
|Bristol West||Call 888-888-0080 or use the live chat feature at BristolWest.com. You may be able to get reinstated if you’re within 10 days of the cancellation, but only if you’re without a lapse. If you’re with a lapse, you have 30 days.|
|Clearcover||Pay any past-due balance, the new premium owed, and a $35 reinstatement fee. Use the live chat or call 855-444-1875.|
|Concord||You’ll be charged a $10 reinstatement fee if you haven’t had a lapse in coverage.|
|Dairyland||Call your agent; you may be able to get your policy reinstated, or you may have to reapply for a policy.|
|Direct||You’re only eligible for reinstatement if your policy has been canceled for less than 30 days, you haven’t had an accident during the cancellation period, and you’ve paid all of the owed balances as of the date you request reinstatement. Sign a no-loss statement and call 877-463-4732.|
|Esurance||You’ll have to pay a reinstatement fee and pay all of your installment fees.|
|GAINSCO||You can get your policy reinstated within 30 days unless you’ve had a lapse in coverage. If you use GAINSCOconnect.com, you have up to 7 days after the cancellation date.
By mail, you have up to 30 days and must send a no-loss statement if your policy is in good standing with all past dues collected, the policy is not already set up for nonrenewal, and you haven’t had any at-fault claims since the policy inception or prior renewal. You also can’t have any unacceptable risks or vehicles on your policy.
|Good2Go||You’ll have 30 days to reinstate the policy by paying a reinstatement fee and the past-due balance.|
|Infinity / Kemper Auto||You can get reinstated if there is no lapse in coverage, but you may need to sign a no-loss statement.|
|Root||Open the Root app and click underneath your inactive insurance card where it says “tap here to reinstate your policy.” Answer the questions and click “purchase” to be charged for your overdue balance. However, if it’s too late to reinstate, the option won’t be in the app.|
|The General||You can reinstate your insurance, but it’ll cost more depending on the length of the gap. If the gap is a month or less, you can pay about 9% more in premiums, or up to 48% more if the lapse is up to 60 days. If your lapse is over 60 days, you probably won’t be able to reinstate your insurance. Call your agent to discuss.|
As you can see in the chart above, you’ll sometimes have to pay a fee to reinstate your policy. Clearcover has the highest fee we’ve seen at $35 (and you’ll probably have to pay your past-due balances as well).
There are two basic types of reinstatements: lapsed and non-lapsed coverage.
Car insurance reinstatement is when your insurance provider restores your canceled policy with the same policy number and coverage.
There are benefits of reinstating your policy rather than starting from scratch by finding a new provider and policy.
The number of times you can reinstate your car insurance policy depends on the provider. Most companies are OK with one-time issues, and some companies will accept multiple reinstatements. It’s always worth calling your agent directly and asking.
If you can’t reinstate your car insurance policy, you will need to switch auto insurance providers. While switching providers can save you money in some cases, your rates will most likely go up in this case, as you’ve had a lapse in coverage.
A lapse in coverage is a period of time in which you don’t have an active car insurance policy. That’s a bad thing for multiple reasons, which we’ll detail below.
The good news is that each state has laws on how much time insurance companies need to give you before canceling or not renewing your policy.
Laws differ if the company is canceling your policy because of nonpayment; typically, the company can cancel your policy in about half the time of other cancellation types.
|State||Number of days insurance companies have to notify customers after a midterm cancellation (prior to the effective date)||Number of days insurance companies have to notify customers after a midterm cancellation for nonpayment of premium (prior to the effective date)||Number of days insurance companies have to notify customers of nonrenewal (prior to the expiration date)|
|Connecticut||45||15 for nonpayment of the first premium; 10 days for nonpayment of premium after the first||60|
|District of Columbia||30||15||30|
|New Hampshire||60||45||Notice not required|
|New Mexico||30 for cancellation due to a substantial change in risk; 15 for misrepresentation, omission, or fraud||10||30|
Some companies make exceptions if you’re in the military. Progressive, for example, won’t penalize you for a lapse in insurance if you were deployed overseas. In fact, you’ll receive an auto insurance discount, which is never a bad thing. Learn more about Progressive’s auto insurance policies.2
If you drive without insurance, you’ll face consequences from both your insurance provider and your state.
|State||First offense fine||More penalties|
|Arizona||$500||Suspended license and registration|
|Connecticut||$100||Suspended license and registration|
|District of Columbia||$150||Suspended license|
|Georgia||$200||Suspended license and registration|
|Kansas||$300||Suspended license and registration|
|Maine||$100||Suspended license and registration|
|Massachusetts||$500||Suspended license and registration|
|Minnesota||$200||Suspended license and registration|
|New Hampshire||$125||Suspended license and registration|
|New Jersey||$300||Suspended license|
|New Mexico||$300||Suspended license and registration|
|New York||$150||Suspended license and registration|
|North Carolina||$50||Suspended license|
|North Dakota||$300||Suspended license|
|Oregon||$130||Suspended license and registration|
|Pennsylvania||$300||Suspended license and registration|
|Rhode Island||$100||Suspended license and registration|
|South Carolina||$550||Suspended license|
|South Dakota||$100||Suspended license|
|West Virginia||$200||Suspended license|
Most loan and leasing companies require drivers to have collision and comprehensive coverage, along with the minimum coverage your state requires.3
Car insurance is so expensive after a lapse because car insurance companies will place you into a pool of high-risk drivers. Even if you’ve never had a DUI, SR22, at-fault accident, ticket, license suspension, or revocation, high risk means higher rates.
To avoid lapses in coverage and having to reinstate your auto insurance policy or switch providers, pay your bills on time. You can even get a discount for being a good payer. We recommend setting up automatic payments so you never have to worry about paying on time. And if you can’t afford your rates, talk to your agent, who may be able to help you find premiums that work for you.
What Happens If Your Car Insurance Lapses? The General Insurance. (2021).
What happens if my car insurance lapses? Progressive. (2021).
What Happens If Your Car Insurance Lapses? The General Insurance. (2021).