Can my auto insurance policies overlap?

You can have two auto insurance policies overlap if you're in the middle of switching providers and didn't manage the effective dates of the two policies.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 8, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • It is possible for two car insurance policies to overlap if you are in the middle of switching auto insurance providers and did not properly manage the effective dates of the two policies
  • Even if you have a temporary overlap in auto insurance coverage, this does not mean that you are allowed to file the same claim against the two companies in the hopes of recovering twice
  • Instead of waiting for one auto insurance policy to lapse, it is a much better decision to affirmatively cancel the policy with the provider
  • You may be able to arrange to backdate the cancellation of one of your insurance policies if you can provide the insurer with evidence that you have obtained a new insurance provider since that specific date
  • A major reason why you would want to avoid overlapping auto insurance coverages is because it can delay the resolution of your claims

Having overlapping car insurance policies is not really a good thing.

Overlapping means that you did not coordinate the effective dates of your policies when switching car insurance providers.

Overlapping policies could also mean that you combined auto insurance policies with someone else in your household, such as a spouse, and did not cancel your previous coverage soon enough.

You do not want to have overlapping car insurance policies because it puts you at risk for having a claim denied by the insurers.

If you are on the hunt for the best auto insurance rates, start comparison shopping today with our FREE online quote tool!

Reasons Why You May Have Overlapping Car Insurance Policies

Having overlapping car insurance policies does not necessarily mean that someone purchased two car insurance policies at once to have all the coverage they need.

Changing to a New Auto Insurance Provider

When you change your auto insurance company, you will have a new policy in place.

If you do not affirmatively cancel your previous policy, it will still be in effect until that auto insurance company receives notice that you are covered by a new provider.

Combining Auto Insurance Policies with Another Driver

It is usually a good idea for married couples to use the same insurance provider because you could save some money by having multiple cars on the same policy.

If you and your spouse decide to combine policies, whoever adds onto the policy needs to make sure that he or she cancels the previous coverage.

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Know the Effective Dates of Your Auto Insurance Policy

If you are making changes to your current auto insurance policy, you need to be certain of the effective dates of your policy.

If your new insurance policy kicks in while the one that you want to cancel is still effective, then you will have overlapping car insurance policies until you notify the insurance company of the need for cancellation.

Another important consideration is that you do not want to have any period of time pass between canceling your previous insurance policy and having the new one become effective.

If you have an accident in that time frame, then you would not have any coverage at all because there would not technically be any auto insurance policy in effect for you.

Not having insurance at all is an even greater concern than having two overlapping car insurance policies.


Making Sure that You Have All the Coverage You Need

Rather than having overlapping car insurance policies, the best way to get all of the car insurance coverage that you need is to get the right policy for you.

Having overlapping car insurance policies does not mean that you necessarily have more coverage than you would if you selected the most appropriate policy.

The best way to start with this is to find out what your current coverage situation is and see if you need to supplement it by either raising the limits of your existing car insurance policy or adding supplemental coverages so that you are protected in more scenarios.

Once you determine what types of coverages you are interested in, you should begin comparing prices for different auto insurance companies online.

When you compare rates, you are mostly making sure that you do not get hit with a higher premium than you need to pay for your auto insurance coverage.

If you find out that you are able to get the same coverage or even more coverage from another company for a lower price than what you are paying right now, this is a very good reason for you to consider switching companies.

In addition, you might be unhappy with the general service you are receiving from your current provider, which is another good reason to see if you can get the same coverage for less money somewhere else.

Stay in Touch with Your Insurance Provider

Even though it might sound like a good thing to have overlapping car insurance coverage at first, it can actually end up being a logistical headache for you if you have a claim filed.

It would pose a problem if you had to file a claim and the two insurance companies involved became aware that you have overlapping coverage.

To avoid this scenario, make sure that you contact the auto insurance provider that you no longer wish to work with and give the company notice that your coverage needs to stop on the same date that your new policy will become effective.

If you are looking for better auto insurance coverage and rates, start comparison shopping by entering your ZIP code below!

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