Have you ever gotten so busy that you forget to make your auto insurance payment? It can happen to anyone, so it is important to know what you need to do as soon as you realize you have missed your payment. There could be some major issues if it goes unpaid for too long, so here are some things you need to know. |
Contact Your Insurer As Soon As Possible
If your auto insurance policy has lapsed, the very first thing you need to do is contact your agent. If you just forgot to pay it on time due to oversight, explain the situation and see if they will reinstate you without penalty. However, if you missed the payment because you didn't have the money (and you still don't have the money) and it will be some time before you can pay, it may be a bigger problem for you.
Some insurers will reinstate you as soon as you make your missed payment. However, there are other companies who will charge you a penalty and may even declare you a risk, causing your premium to go up. They may decide to cancel you altogether and not allow you to use their services.
Be Prepared to Reapply for Your Policy
If your company doesn't cancel your coverage, they may still make you re-apply for a new policy. This means that you will have to be approved, and you'll need to pay another deposit. You may also have to agree to a certain payment method to have your coverage reinstated. For example, they may require you to have a credit card on file or set up for automatic withdrawals from your bank account.
Make Sure You Don't Drive Until Your Policy is Reinstated
Once your policy has lapsed, you are no longer covered to drive your vehicle. This means that you are uninsured and can get into major trouble if you get caught driving the vehicle with lapsed coverage. Not only could you face substantial fines, but you are also setting yourself up for a lawsuit if you get involved in an accident. If you injure someone and you are uninsured, the injured party could sue you directly for their injuries. Even a small gap of one day between lapsed polices could result in major repercussions for you.
Letting your auto insurance go unpaid can have some major negative results. Unlike when you miss a credit card payment where you just pay a late fee, not paying your insurance premium will require more of a process to repair. Stay on top of your payments by paying it early if you can. If you can't afford your payments, see if you qualify for a better rate with your company.
When it comes to auto insurance, NJ residents can learn about their options by visiting http://www.mullerinsurance.com/auto.cfm.
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