Published: January 6, 2022Updated: July 13, 2022

How to Reinstate Canceled Auto Insurance

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.

How to reinstate car insurance

How to Reinstate Auto Insurance

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.

Can You Reinstate a Car Insurance 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.

Reinstatement Penalties

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).

Types of Reinstatements

There are two basic types of reinstatements: lapsed and non-lapsed coverage.

  • Lapsed coverage: If your coverage has lapsed, it’ll be harder but not impossible to reinstate your policy. Talk to your agent to find out if they can reinstate your policy, but they could refuse service, requiring you to switch car insurance.
  • Non-lapsed coverage: The process will be easier if your coverage hasn’t lapsed. It’s most likely you’ll just need to make the late payment, so long as you’re within the grace period for canceling as dictated by your state (see below for details). Learn more in our auto insurance FAQs.

What Is Car Insurance Reinstatement?

Car insurance reinstatement is when your insurance provider restores your canceled policy with the same policy number and coverage.

Benefits of reinstating car insurance

Benefits of Reinstatement

There are benefits of reinstating your policy rather than starting from scratch by finding a new provider and policy.

  • Get coverage. First of all, you can restore the same coverages you had before. For full coverage, that’s property damage coverage, bodily injury coverage, collision and comprehensive coverage, and uninsured motorist coverage.
  • Avoid a lapse. Avoiding a lapse in coverage can prevent you from driving without insurance, which has legal and financial penalties in every state but New Hampshire and Virginia. Continuous coverage also leads to lower rates later on.
  • Stay with your provider. It’s convenient to stay with your current provider and not have to switch providers and compare rates.
  • Keep the same rates (usually). Most of the time, you’ll be able to keep your previous auto insurance premiums. However, this isn’t always the case. For example, with The General, your rates will go up based on the length of your lapse.
    • One month or less: 9 percent increase
    • One month to 60 days: Up to a 48 percent increase
    • Over 60 days: You probably won’t be able to reinstate your insurance.1

How Many Times Can You Reinstate a Car Insurance 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.

What if I Can’t Reinstate My Car Insurance Policy?

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.

Lapses in car insurance coverage

Lapses 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.

What Is a Car Insurance Lapse Grace Period?

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.

DID YOU KNOW?

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)
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 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 cancellation due to a substantial change in risk; 15 for misrepresentation, omission, 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

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

Consequences of Lapses in Insurance

If you drive without insurance, you’ll face consequences from both your insurance provider and your state.

  • State fines and penalties: See below for your state’s fines and penalties for driving without insurance.
State First offense fine More penalties
Alabama $500 Suspended registration
Alaska $500 Suspended license
Arizona $500 Suspended license and registration
Arkansas $50 Suspended registration
California $100 None
Colorado $500 Suspended license
Connecticut $100 Suspended license and registration
Delaware $1,500 Suspended license
District of Columbia $150 Suspended license
Florida $150 Suspended license
Georgia $200 Suspended license and registration
Hawaii $500 Suspended license
Idaho $75 None
Illinois $500 Suspended license
Indiana $250 Suspended license
Iowa $250 None
Kansas $300 Suspended license and registration
Kentucky $500 Suspended registration
Louisiana $500 None
Maine $100 Suspended license and registration
Maryland $1,000 None
Massachusetts $500 Suspended license and registration
Michigan $200 Suspended license
Minnesota $200 Suspended license and registration
Mississippi $500 Suspended license
Missouri $20 Suspended license
Montana $250 None
Nebraska $100 Suspended license
Nevada $250 Suspended license
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
Ohio $100 Suspended license
Oklahoma $250 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
Tennessee $300 Suspended license
Texas $175 None
Utah $400 Suspended license
Vermont $250 Suspended license
Virginia $600 Suspended license
Washington $550 None
West Virginia $200 Suspended license
Wisconsin $500 None
Wyoming $250 Suspended license
  • Lack of car insurance coverage: Not having car insurance means that you’ll be responsible for the other party’s property damage and bodily injury costs in an at-fault car accident. You’ll also have to pay for your own damages and injuries, all out of pocket.
  • Higher rates: When you get insurance again, your rates will typically be higher, especially if you had a long lapse in coverage.
  • Repossession of loaned or leased vehicle: If you used a car loan or car lease and let your insurance lapse, your vehicle could be repossessed.

FYI

Most loan and leasing companies require drivers to have collision and comprehensive coverage, along with the minimum coverage your state requires.3

Why Is Car Insurance So Expensive After a Lapse?

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.

Recap

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.

Citations

  1. What Happens If Your Car Insurance Lapses? The General Insurance. (2021).
    https://www.thegeneral.com/blog/what-happens-if-your-car-insurance-lapses/

  2. What happens if my car insurance lapses? Progressive. (2021).
    https://www.progressive.com/answers/car-insurance-lapse/

  3. What Happens If Your Car Insurance Lapses? The General Insurance. (2021).
    https://www.thegeneral.com/blog/what-happens-if-your-car-insurance-lapses/