December 16, 2010

What To Do If An Auto Insurance Premium Is Missed Or Defaulted

If you miss an auto insurance policy premium or your payment defaults, you have several options to retain or reinstate your insurance coverage. A missed premium payment does not necessarily mean that insurance coverage lapses. Many times, a policy holder can continue coverage uninterrupted, despite being behind on payments.

If a premium payment was only recently missed or if the payment only recently defaulted, you most likely will not have your policy canceled. Many insurance companies provide a one or two week period in which a defaulted or missed payment can be resubmitted with no penalty to the policy holder. More often than not, this grace-period does not include a penalty charge. To take advantage of this, immediately contact your insurance provider when you realize the mistake. Notifying your insurance company will let them know that you are aware of the problem and mark your account that you have been in contact and promised that another payment will soon arrive. Sometimes, you may even be able to resubmit your payment over the phone.

If, however, the missed premium payment was missed or defaulted several weeks ago, you may find that your policy has lapsed. In this case, inquire into whether the insurance company will allow you to reinstate your policy if you immediately make any overdue payments. You may also have to potentially pay late charges and a reinstatement charge. This option is usually offered as long as you contact your auto insurance policy provider within one month of the problems with your payment. Some insurance companies may also require you to pre-pay several months to protect themselves from your missing another payment.

If your premium payment was due long ago, your insurance company most likely dropped your coverage. In this situation you will need to find a new insurance company. This means that you will need to search for a company that offers the policy coverage you need at an affordable premium cost. Many websites allow users to receive multiple quotes simultaneously. The key to searching for a new policy is to not detail why your previous coverage was dropped. If an insurance company learns that you failed to make a premium payment, they may raise the cost of your premium or require you to pay for multiple months in advance.

You may possibly be able to sign a new contract with your old insurance provider. However, this option may be more expensive than other companies charge simply because they will know why your previous policy was canceled. In this situation, try to negotiate coverage, referring to your previous history as a customer and, if applicable, your impeccable payment history other than the one missed payment.