What Happens if Your Auto Insurance Payment Is Late?
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What to Do if Your Car Insurance Payment Is Late: Steps to Maintain Coverage

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Finding out you’ve missed an auto insurance payment can cause your heart to sink. After all, the consequences of not having adequate insurance coverage are serious. While most people strive to pay their bills on time, mistakes can happen. Knowing what steps to take if you miss an auto insurance payment helps you restore or maintain your coverage. The professionals from Altra Insurance Services, the premier providers of car insurance San Diego drivers trust for reliable, high-quality service, explain what to do if you make a late payment on your auto insurance.

Find Out if Your Insurance Company Offers a Grace Period

Most insurance policies include a grace period that allows for common mistakes to occur without causing a major problem. It’s possible for a check to be late or to experience an illness or other stressful event that causes someone to miss a payment. Usually, grace periods last anywhere from one to several weeks, and it helps to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to find out what to do before the policy gets canceled.

Recognize the Consequences of Having Auto Insurance Lapse

If you fail to make a payment before the grace period ends, you could face several consequences. If you have a vehicle collision during this lapse, you could be on the hook for all of the property damage and personal injury costs for the other party if you’re at fault. 

There are also consequences that can result simply from having a lapse in coverage, such as receiving a ticket or being unable to register your vehicle until you get a new policy. Some insurance companies may also penalize you for having a lapse by rejecting your application for coverage or charging higher rates.

Reinstate Your Current Insurance or Get a New Policy

Going even a single day without active insurance coverage could leave you dealing with years of financial damage. If your insurance is canceled, reach out to reinstate your current policy. In many cases, insurance companies are willing to restore the policy once you make up the payment and any associated late fees. You have a better chance of this happening if the missed payment is a rare occurrence or there’s a good reason for it happening. If the insurance company doesn’t reinstate your policy, you may need to begin looking for a provider that will accept your application with a less-than-perfect record.

Identify & Rectify the Cause of the Late Payment

Once you’ve handled your immediate need for consistent auto insurance coverage, you’ll be ready to figure out how to avoid this happening again. If you missed a payment due to financial hardship, you might need to work with your insurance agent to find ways to make your policy more affordable. For instance, you might be able to get a discount for safe driving or for bundling policies. If you just forgot to pay, setting up automatic payments can give you peace of mind. Avoiding missed payments in the future safeguards your financial security and helps you establish reliability with your insurance company.

If you need affordable, reliable car insurance, look no further than the trustworthy pros at Altra Insurance Services. We can take care of a variety of your insurance needs, including motorcycle, homeowners, and business insurance. Give us a call today to find out more about our high-quality insurance products and impeccable service.

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