As an experienced driver, you may be well aware that most states require drivers to maintain a minimum amount of auto insurance, and you can face legal penalties if you are not properly insured.
You may also be aware that you need to provide proof of active coverage if you are in an accident or pulled over for a traffic violation. However, all car insurance policies have an effective date, and you may be wondering when your current policy expires.
The last thing you want is for your coverage to lapse. After all, it can be devastating to be in an accident and not have the protection of insurance coverage. You also may receive a fine, lose your license, or deal with other issues if you do not comply with state laws regarding auto insurance. You can easily learn more about your insurance coverage’s expiration date by taking a few easy steps.
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Look at Your Insurance Cards
The fastest and easiest way to learn about your policy’s expiration date is to review your insurance cards. All car insurance cards have coverage dates. You may keep your insurance cards in your vehicle’s glove compartment, in your wallet, or in another convenient location for safe keeping.
However, if you cannot locate your insurance cards, you do still have a few other options available to determine when your car insurance policy expires.
Call Your Provider
Another easy way to learn about your insurance policy’s expiration date is to contact your auto insurance provider directly. Calling the customer service number or your agent’s office during normal business hours can provide you with the information you need.
However, if you need more immediate results and cannot wait until normal business hours to get the information you seek, you do have another option to consider.
Look Up the Expiration Date Online
Many drivers have established online access to their car insurance policy account. For example, you may log into your provider’s website to pay your premium or to file a claim.
By logging into your account online, you may be able to check your policy’s expiration date or even print out new insurance cards if needed at any time of day or note. Note that you should have these cards in your possession at all times when operating your vehicle to prove coverage when necessary.
Remember That Many Policies Automatically Renew
Most auto insurance policies will renew automatically, so your insurance company may mail or email you new insurance cards when the renewal date approaches. You simply need to store these new cards safely in your vehicle or wallet.
The provider typically will let you know if your policy will not automatically renew for any reasons or if your premium amount is changing at the renewal date.
Many drivers who have been involved in a car accident and who have filed a claim will notice that their premium increases at renewal. However, your premium can also increase even if you did not file a claim. For example, it may also increase because of these factors:
- Theft and collision statistics in your zip code
- Moving violations on your driving history
- General increase in rates by the provider across the board
It can be stressful to deal with an unexpected car insurance rate increase, but keep in mind that you do have some options available to lower your rate. For example, to lower your insurance premium rate, you may:
- Raise your deductible
- Adjust your coverage types or limits
- Try to qualify for a discount, such as by taking a driver’s education or safety course
- Purchase a vehicle that is more affordable to insure
- Move to an area with lower insurance rates
Take Time to Shop for New Quotes
Another way to save money on auto insurance rates is to shop for new coverage. It is wise to compare auto insurance quotes every six months to avoid paying more than necessary for your coverage, and online quotes are fast and easy to obtain.
The first step to take if you want to get insurance quotes is to find a few reputable providers. Check the A.M. Best website to determine which providers are financially sound, and read online reviews to confirm their solid reputation with customers.
You also need to determine the level and type of coverage you want to purchase. For example, while liability insurance is a minimum requirement, many drivers opt for a collision or comprehensive policy to enjoy additional protection from their coverage.
Then, you can request quotes online, or you can ask an insurance broker to obtain quotes for you. Auto insurance rates and discounts vary from provider to provider, so this exercise can yield tremendous savings.
Remember that maintaining a good driving record and keeping your credit scores high can also help you to qualify for lower rates in the future.
Whether your car insurance policy has already expired or it will expire soon, it makes sense to shop around for a better deal on coverage. After all, nobody wants to pay more for their coverage than necessary. After you review your policy’s expiration date, spend a few hours comparing quotes to locate the best coverage available.
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