Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • Auto insurance companies are allowed to determine the length of the term during which they will provide you auto insurance coverage
  • Most car insurance companies offer coverage for terms of either six months or one year
  • If you want to cancel your coverage with a company before the term officially expires, you just have to provide the company notice of your decision to cancel coverage
  • You should never go for any period of time without car insurance coverage as long as you are still driving at all
  • If you only need car insurance for a very short period of time, then you can just sign up for the shortest option from the auto insurance company and cancel when you need to

When you go to buy auto insurance, you will quickly find out that you will either be offered coverage for six months or one full year.

Currently, most major auto insurance companies operate on a six-month term because it gives them a chance to evaluate whether any changes should be made to the rate that you are paying for your policy.

There is nothing that prevents you, however, from telling the auto insurance company that you no longer want coverage after a certain period of time.

Compare prices of insurance policies today. Enter your zip code into our free rate tool above.

The Process of Canceling Your Auto Insurance Policy

It would be a big mistake to assume that the car insurance company will automatically know that you no longer want coverage just because you start paying another company or do not continue to pay your bill.

When you decide to cancel your coverage, it is up to you to notify the car insurance company of your decision so that you do not continue to receive statements or end up with a lapse in your coverage.

Depending on the process for your specific auto insurance company, you may need to provide written notice or give them a call to inform them of your decision to stop your coverage.

It is not up to the new auto insurance company that you choose to work with to follow through on canceling your current car insurance coverage.

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Why the Start Date of Your New Car Insurance Policy is Important

Before you go ahead with signing up with a new car insurance provider, you want to be absolutely certain of the start date of your new policy.

The reason that this date is so crucial is that if you notify your current insurance provider that you no longer want coverage before that date arrives, you will find yourself without auto insurance coverage.

Even if you only have a very short lapse in your car insurance coverage, this could still present a serious problem for you. There is a chance that you could cause an accident or be hit by another driver during that period when you do not have any coverage.

The new insurance company is not responsible for providing any coverage to you until the actual start date of your new policy. Your previous insurance provider will not process any claims for a date after when your policy terminated.

Thinking About Switching Auto Insurance Providers

People switch auto insurance providers all the time. In fact, this is a more frequent occurrence now more than ever because of the convenience of being able to shop around online for different rates from providers in your zip code.

Since it is so easy to find out what other providers would charge you for coverage, it just makes financial sense to switch car insurance companies if you find out that you could get the same coverage for a better rate.

Also, each auto insurance company handles discounts differently. You might find out that you qualify for a discount from one auto insurance provider that was not available to you from your current provider.

Discounts can significantly lower the price that you pay for auto insurance coverage, which is why smart drivers check in with their car insurance companies from time to time to find out if there are any new discounts that might apply to them.

Even though saving money is on the top of everyone’s list, the reputation of the auto insurance provider is equally important in choosing a provider.

It is important that you know you will not have customer service issues any time that you inquire about your policy or even need to file a claim. Some basic research before you switch car insurance providers can save you some serious aggravation down the line.

It’s Up to You

You are the owner of the car insurance policy that you sign up for, and it is up to you to cancel that policy whenever works best for you. This could include canceling your coverage before the term of your policy actually expires.

Even if the auto insurance company may not specifically offer car insurance coverage for only three months at a time, you are free to cancel your own policy after three months of coverage.

Compare car insurance today using our free rate tool below.