A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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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, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: May 6, 2022

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Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

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Important facts to know...

  • For your car insurance to be active, this means that you have paid your insurance premiums as required
  • Each insurance policy has a period term with a start or end date. Checking vehicle insurance history and documentation can help you stay informed of the key dates.
  • As long as it is before the end date listed on your proof of insurance card or other policy documents, then your car insurance is still active
  • In the event that you cannot access any of your car insurance policy documents, you can call your insurance agent or the main number of the car insurance company from which you last purchased coverage to check on your status
  • It may help to check your email for policy information because you may have signed up for electronic billing statements or have been sent electronic notices from your car insurance provider

Maintaining active car insurance is essential in complying with all state laws as a driver.

The penalties for not complying with this can be steep, but it is not difficult at all to find out whether your auto insurance policy is active or if you need to immediately seek out car insurance coverage. Knowing what is good car insurance coverage and what isn’t can save you money in the future.

Comparison shop for car insurance today to get as much savings as possible.

How do you verify your car insurance policy?

This is probably the most readily available source of information about the active dates for your car insurance coverage, because you are supposed to have this card with you when you are driving.

Many people keep this card in their wallets or in the glove box of their cars. You receive a new proof of insurance card for each policy term from your car insurance provider.

Along with the policy dates, your proof of insurance card will also have the name of your insurance company and probably your insurance agent. There may be a main phone number for the insurance provider listed on the card.

If you cannot tell whether you have the latest version of your car, try calling either of those numbers. The best place to start is with your individual insurance agent.

However, your local agent’s office may not be open on a weekend, so you may want to call the main insurance company’s number to see if they can check their records and update you with whether your insurance status is showing as active.

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Are there other ways to check your insurance status?

If you can’t figure out your insurance status based on your card there are numerous other ways to check including:

What do you do if you don’t have active insurance?

If you are surprised to find out that your auto insurance status is not active, you do not need to panic.

Is is important, however, to move quickly to get your auto insurance either reinstated with your previous auto insurance provider or started with a new auto insurance company.

The first thing you should find out is the reason why your insurance is no longer active. If your insurance simply was not renewed with your previous auto insurance provider because you did not pay the premium for the new term yet, then that is an easy fix.

Simply make arrangements to get your payment caught up and have your auto insurance reinstated.

It’s a different matter if your auto insurance company chose not to renew your policy because of one of the following:

  • Too many accidents
  • Traffic tickets
  • Claims filed under your previous policy

You will need to get started with tracking down an auto policy from another provider.

Do not drive your vehicle if you do not have active automobile insurance. If you get into an accident, or you’re pulled over by a law enforcement officer, and you don’t have insurance, you could face serious penalties, including:

  • Fines
  • Driver license suspension
  • License plate and vehicle registration suspension
  • Higher insurance premium due to coverage lapse
  • High-risk driver designation

If you are designated a high-risk driver, you may have to buy your insurance from a special company, and your monthly premium for coverage will skyrocket. This situation is often called SR-22 insurance.

If your current insurance plan is in danger of being canceled for non-payment, contact your insurer as soon as possible and discuss your options. They will often work with you to establish a payment plan, so you can keep your coverage.

How do you get auto insurance coverage after your policy has been canceled or not renewed?

It is not impossible to find the auto insurance you need after your current policy has been canceled. It will take a bit of homework and patience, because it is always easier to switch an active auto insurance policy if you are already insured.

You can start the process of getting another form of car insurance coverage by requesting online quotes from different auto insurance providers who are registered to provide insurance in your state.

When you search for quotes online, you are often able to put in your specific zip code, which will narrow your choices down to those available in your area.

If the reason that your previous auto insurance coverage was dropped was because you did not have a great driving record, then you may want to brace yourself to having to pay a bit more for auto insurance than the lowest rate available.

Other insurance companies will interpret your poor driving record to mean that you are more likely to get into an accident or have to file a claim later on. This means they will want to charge you more for insurance.

Just because you may not get the same price for auto insurance as a driver who has never been in an accident does not mean that there are no ways that you can reduce the overall amount that you pay for auto insurance coverage.

It does mean that you will have to be a little more resourceful in shopping around for quotes for your premium.

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What is basic auto liability insurance?

If you are just finding out that your auto insurance policy is not active right now, then the most important thing for you to lock down is a liability policy, which consists of bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage.

Liability insurance coverage is required by states because it pays out to another driver if you are found to be responsible for damage in an auto accident.

After you have secured a liability policy, then it is time to start thinking about what other types of coverage are appropriate for you, such as comprehensive or collision coverage.

With optional coverages, you are protecting your own vehicle in the event that it is damaged by you or another driver.

Even if you are trying to pay the lowest price possible for auto insurance, you do not want to go through the process without at least considering the additional coverage options that could save you a lot of money in the future.

Oftentimes, the price increase for one of these optional policies is a lot lower than you might think at first.

How can I check if my car insurance is active? The Bottom Line

Knowing that you have an active car insurance policy will give you peace of mind that you will not be getting a ticket for failure to have proper insurance if you are pulled over.

You can call your auto insurance company or your local insurance agent to find out the exact status of your car insurance coverage. If it is not active, you need to act quickly to secure auto insurance coverage.

When you’re shopping around for coverage, make sure to get insurance quotes from multiple companies.

Enter your zip code in our free rate comparison tool below to see how much you could save on car insurance.