Every state except New Hampshire requires you to have insurance to drive, and New Hampshire requires auto insurance unless you show you have sufficient financial assets to pay for any accident you cause. However, you can have your coverage dropped for a variety of reasons, making it illegal for you to drive in almost all states (and illegal everywhere if you don't have sufficient financial assets to pay claims). Read on to find out reasons why you could have your insurance dropped.
Failure to pay premiums
The most obvious reason your car insurance can be canceled is if you fail to pay your premiums. According to esurance, your insurance company will usually attempt to contact you several times before cutting off the policy. For example, in Illinois your car insurance company must mail you a letter at least 10 days before it cancels your policy for nonpayment of premiums. To avoid missing your premiums, consider signing up for autopay if, of course, your insurance company offers it.
Your health can sometimes get in the way of your driving. If you have a condition that impairs your ability to drive safely, you could have your license revoked or restricted and your insurance canceled as well. For example, if you have epilepsy or heart attacks your insurance company - and the state that issues your driver's license - may require you to get a doctor's note saying you can safely drive. If you're trying to get a new policy and you have a medical condition, be honest with the insurance company. If you lie, you could find your policy voided and be stuck with the entire bill yourself if you get in an accident.
If your license is revoked or suspended, you can also find that your car insurance gets canceled. If you get a ticket, consider attending traffic school or trying to have the ticket amended to a non-moving violation to reduce the number of points on your driving record. In some states (Illinois) your policy could also be canceled if you have an accident record or conviction - including criminal convictions - which potentially makes you dangerous to the public if you drive.
Filing too many claims
If you file too many claims your car insurance company may determine that you represent too much risk as a driver for them to continue to insure. Unfortunately, this can happen even if you're not at fault, such as weather or theft-related claims. Typically, insurers won't cancel your policy, but they will tell you they won't renew your coverage. If your insurance company tells you they won't renew your policy, that means you're still covered through the end of your current term, but you need to start looking for a replacement policy so you can stay covered when your term ends.
Fraud or misrepresentation
Fraud might sound like a thing that you would never do, but it could cover things you didn't think were a big deal. Obviously, it covers big things like lying about an accident or saying you didn't have any prior violations on your application when in fact you were at fault in two accidents in the prior year. But, it also covers things that you might consider insignificant, like lying about how many miles you drive the car each year or (seemingly) forgetting to include a high-risk driver on your policy. Besides being grounds for your policy to be canceled, it can cost you in fines or possible jail time. You can avoid this by properly filling out your application and updating your car insurance company any time there is a change in your circumstances. For example, if you start traveling for work call your agent to increase the miles you drive each year.
- Insurance Information Institute: Compulsory Auto/Uninsured Motorists
- esureance: Why Car Insurance Policies Are Canceled
- New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance: Everything You Wanted to Know About Auto Insurance
- Illinois Department of Insurance: If Your Automobile Insurance Policy Is Canceled
- Howard Clark: 3 Things that can get You Dropped from Car Insurance
- Nolo: Driver License Suspension