If Your Car Insurance Expires, How Long Do You Have To Get New Insurance

If your car insurance is expired, you definitely do not want to wait around to get new insurance.  If you wait too long your only option might be to go through the states High Risk Insurance.

How long do I have to get new insurance?

How long you actually have to get new insurance or to either reinstate your expired policy is going to vary by insurance company.  I would say that typically most of them give you around 30 days.  At the company that I previously worked for, it was 39 days.  If your insurance had expired or canceled with your previous company and you were trying to get a new policy with us, you had 39 days from the date of cancellation to do it.  If your waiting till day 40 to come in, your OUT!

So really you don’t want to wait around.  Each company has set guidelines that they have to follow when it comes to writing new business.  If your outside of those guidelines then your only option is going to be the high risk insurance groups.  Trust me, you don’t want that option it’s very expensive!

Can’t I just lie and tell them I have current insurance?

I wouldn’t advise lying at all.  Usually the agent is going to know if your insurance is expired or not.  When you come in for a quote the insurance company is going to run a report on you.  This report gives information about you, your driving record and more.  One section on the report even includes your prior insurance history.  It will give them all your previous policy numbers, when they were started, when they canceled, what coverages you had, etc.

Sure, not all insurance companies share their information, but most of them do.  There were only a handful of companies that didn’t share their information that I can remember.  So yes, if your previous insurer is one that doesn’t share information then its possible you might sneak by.   Our policy was that if your previous insurance carrier didn’t share information then we  would require a copy of your prior proof of insurance.  The proof of  insurance is going to list the company who you had your insurance with, their contact info, and also when the policy was suppose to expire.  Just because it lists the entire six month expiration on the proof of insurance your not out of the woods.  If we suspected that someone was lying, we would simply call the prior insurance carrier to verify that their insurance was still in force, and 99% of the time, it wasn’t.  It had lapsed out for non-payment before the end of the 6 months.  So if they really want to verify that your insurance is still in force, they can.

What if I’m past the period where they will re-insure me?

If you do find out that your outside their allowed guidelines to write you a new policy, you can still get insurance.  It might not be with the company that you wanted, but you can still get it.  It’s probably going to cost you a lot more though.  You will need to get insurance with one of the High Risk insurance companies or through your state sponsored program.  In Michigan, the state sponsored program is called MAIPF or JUA by most carriers.  MAIPF stands for Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility.

When you apply for insurance through the state you don’t know up front who is going to be your servicing carrier for your policy.  There is a group of  Servicing Carriers (Insurance Companies)  and you will be placed with one of those.  You can note on your application if you have a preference of which one you would like to be with, but there is no guarantee you will get them.  In Michigan, the servicing carriers when I was working in the insurance industry were:

Allstate Insurance Company, Auto Club Insurance Association (AAA), Auto-Owners Insurance Company, Citizens Insurance Co. of America, State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Co. and Amerisure Mutual Insurance Company.

It’s possible that you could have went to one of the companies listed above and they were not able to write you a policy based on your insurance being expired past the allowed number of days or maybe you had too many points.  However, they might get assigned your “high risk” policy through the state.    The thing with the MAIFP policy is that once you get insurance with them, you must keep it  in force for a minimum of 6 months.  Once you have done this, then your eligible for a standard policy again with a regular insurance company that is not considered to be in the “high risk” pool.  If you get the policy and then let it cancel or lapse out again, your back to the same spot you were before.

So, if at all possible you want to make sure you insurance is all paid up and is in force.  Letting it lapse can end up costing you more money in the long run.  Yes, its possible to sneak through the system but there are only so many companies allowed to do business in Michigan, and most of them do share their prior insurance information with each other.   You can only sneak through so many times and then your going to be out of companies to go to.  You want a reputable company.  If you do have a claim, you will want an insurance company who can actually act on their promise!

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