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.
Start with Checking Your Proof of Insurance Card
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 most recent 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.
What to Do if Your Car Insurance Status is Not Active
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The first thing you should find out is the reason for why your insurance is no longer active. If your insurance simply did not renew 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 another form of auto insurance from another provider.
Seeking Out 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 little bit of homework and patience because it is always easier to switch your auto insurance if you are already insured and showing with an active status.
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 do not have a great driving record, then you may want to brace yourself to have 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 not 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.
Starting with the Basic Auto Liability Policy
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.
This is the type of coverage that 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 coverages 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 coverages that could save you a lot of money in the future.
Often times, the price increase for one of these optional policies is a lot lower than you might think at first.
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.