In some cases, you might need to have car insurance until the very minute that it expires. That might be at the end of a month when you are looking for new insurance. Or you could have missed a payment.
No matter what your reasons are, you should know when your insurance will expire. Keep reading to find out why this is so vital.
When a Policy Might Expire
In many cases, insurance policies will end at 12:01 a.m. This means that a minute past midnight on the expiration date, the policy will expire. So, on the expiration date, you only get one minute of coverage.
If your policy expires at this time on the third of May and you get in an accident at 12:02 a.m. on May 2, you might not have coverage.
Avoiding Gaps in Coverage
It can be confusing to deal with the termination times of car insurance policies. It is easy to make mistakes, and these might cause serious consequences. Some drivers might drive on the day their policies expire without knowing that they don’t have insurance.
If you get in an accident or cause an injury on this day, then you might have to pay thousands of dollars. This is why avoiding a gap between your policies is so vital.
If you got new insurance, then make sure that this overlaps with the current one. The new plan should start on the day that the old plan expires.
So, if your old plan might expire on June 15, then this is the day that you would want the new one to start on. At 12:01 on this day, the policy will expire. If your new policy doesn’t go into effect until the 16th, then you are spending the whole day of the 15th without insurance.
If you are in doubt, try to get instant insurance online so that you keep staying covered. Or you could just stay home that day. The final day that you have to make a payment is usually the day before the policy expires.
Avoiding Common Mistakes
Many states that have car insurance verification programs have found single-day lapses in coverage since drivers don’t understand the cancellation policies. Or they might not be able to properly interpret the new ones. This is why you want to avoid some of the more common mistakes.
For example, you should not begin a new policy and cancel the old one on the same day. It is possible that you will cause the old one to end at 12:01 a.m. and not have the new one start until the next day at 12:01 a.m.
You also do not want to wait to renew your old policy or look for a new one until right before the expiration date. If this happens, then you are too late since the old one might lapse.
It is equally important not to make the renewal payment on the date of expiration. That might cause a lapse because your coverage will have expired already at 12:01 a.m. In many areas, there is no grace period on the policy payments. If you do not make this payment before 12:01 a.m., then the policy will immediately end.
The laws can vary depending on the state, but the company might be required to send you a cancellation notice. A company might still be within the law if it sends out a notice within about 10 to 15 days.
The company might mail the premium bill with the cancelation date on it and tell you that if you do not pay it by the day, the policy will be ended. Companies might do this if you have missed making a payment. You may then be asked to make this payment by a certain date.
Check with your area’s insurance department to get the specific rules about cancellation notices. See if there is any grace period for auto insurance. Many times, the cancellation notice is required to be sent to you before the policy is canceled. No matter what area you live in, the notice should tell you the date and time that the policy ends.
Many drivers have been in accidents when they are driving just a few minutes after the policy ends. Unfortunately for you, many states do not have a grace period when it comes to your insurance coverage. You could end up paying for all of the damages yourself.
Uncertainty About Insurance
Many times, car insurance policies have either a 12-month or a six-month term. But this is not the case for all of the types of car insurance plans. In some cases, companies might work differently.
Other companies can use a straightforward system of expiration dates. For example, they might give you coverage until the expiration date at 11:59 p.m. This is why talking it over with the insurance company is so important. Or look over the policy to see if you are indeed covered.
Look for the policy’s declarations page. This page has to state how long the policy is good for, the date that it expires, and the date that it goes into effect. Many times, these pages do not list a time on them. If this is the case, it is important to talk to the agent instead of making any assumptions.
Closing Thoughts About Car Insurance
Many times, policies will renew themselves automatically at the end of the term. That means that you might not have to worry about when the policy will expire. However, if you have missed one or more payments, or if you have a new policy, then the expiration date is very important.
Your insurance will usually expire at 12:01 a.m. when it expires. However, it is important to discuss this with your insurance agent to make sure that your policy isn’t different. You need to understand its terms, so you do not have a gap in your coverage.