Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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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 Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 7, 2020

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Summary States
Summary DetailsFrom Experts...
At-fault determination and how it affects your insurance rates is dependent on state lawNolo
Claims free discounts can mean up to 35% off your insurance ratesAllstate
If you cancel your claim, your insurance may not increase (though this depends on how your policy is written)Hensley Legal
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You’ve recently been in an accident or had some other issue occur in which your vehicle was damaged. You’ve filed a claim, but decided you’d rather pay out-of-pocket instead. Is it possible to cancel an auto insurance claim after filing it? If you do choose to cancel the claim after filing it, what does that do to your rates? Will the claim still be on your record?

In this article we’ll answer all your questions about withdrawing an insurance claim. Ready to start comparing auto insurance rates? Take a minute to start your search for the best auto insurance rates by entering your ZIP code.

Table of Contents

Canceling an Auto Insurance Claim

Can you cancel an auto accident claim? Do different companies have rules against this? For example, can you cancel an insurance claim with Progressive? Read through the next few sections to find the answers to these and other questions related to canceling an auto insurance claim.

Can I cancel my auto insurance claim?

Most, if not all, auto insurance companies will allow you to cancel an insurance claim you filed (if someone else filed a claim against you, you won’t be able to cancel it).

In general, auto insurance companies are happy to cancel a claim because that is less money that they have to pay out for your policy.

Insurance companies, like Progressive and others, require you to report any claims to them, whether or not you are at fault. This applies both when you need to file a claim and when someone else files a claim against you. To learn more about filing a claim, watch this video.

Once you’ve filed a claim, however, you can typically cancel that claim at any time and for any reason. Learning exactly how to cancel an auto insurance claim, which we’ll discuss in a later section, should speed up the overall process for you.

Can I cancel my auto accident claim?

You’ve been in an accident and filed a claim for damages and/or injuries.  Can you cancel a car accident claim? If the claim is for damage to your vehicle and you are not at fault, there will be no issue in canceling the claim.

But what about if you’re at-fault? Nolo explains that exactly how at-fault accidents are handled depends on your state’s fault laws. But regardless of the state laws regarding fault, fault determination, and which insurance company (yours or the other driver’s) pays for damages, you can only cancel claims you filed. So if you’re at-fault in an accident and the other driver(s) file a claim against you, you’ll be required to follow the full process and you won’t be able to cancel.

But how is fault determined? Auto insurance companies determine fault through thoroughly investigating an accident. In order to ensure you’re protected (whether you’re at-fault or not), it’s important for you to gather as much evidence at the scene of the accident as possible, including:

  • Insurance information for all involved parties
  • Contact information for all involved parties
  • Vehicle information for all involved parties
  • Photos of the accident scene

Watch this video to learn more about what to do if you’re in a car accident.

Gathering evidence can help determine how the claim is processed and the amount of the payout. Knowing how much you may or may not receive on a claim you filed can help you determine whether or not it is worth canceling the claim.

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Can I cancel an insurance claim under investigation?

If you’ve filed a claim and decide you want to withdraw, it is actually easier to do so while the claim is still under investigation, because nothing has been decided yet and no money has changed hands.

However, because the insurance claim investigation process can be quite involved (insurance companies want to be completely certain of exactly what happened and the estimated cost of repairs before they make a payout determination), it’s better to cancel sooner rather than later.

How do I cancel an auto insurance claim?

Once you’ve decided to cancel your auto insurance claim, the first step is to give your insurance company a call. You can call your insurance agent, or, if you’ve been assigned a claims representative, you can speak with them about canceling the claim.

As a business, the bottom line is the primary focus for auto insurance companies. When you are canceling your auto insurance claim, the company does not have to pay that money. So if you choose to cancel, they will not force you to take their check.

Your insurance representatives may even get bonuses for being under a certain amount for insurance claims on a monthly or yearly basis.

However, even if you’ve already received a check, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s too late to cancel (as long as you haven’t cashed or deposited the check). Call the insurance company; you should still be able to cancel the claim and send the check back.

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Claims Cancellation and Auto Insurance Rates

So you’ve had an incident with your vehicle, filed a claim, and now decided to cancel. You know you can cancel, but should you? What are some reasons you might want to cancel a claim? What happens when you withdraw an insurance claim? Does it stay on your record? Does it affect your insurance rates? Keep reading to find out.

Why would I want to cancel my auto insurance claim?

There are a surprising number of reason it may actually be to your benefit to cancel a claim, rather than taking the payout. Some of these reasons can include:

  • You can’t afford to pay your auto insurance deductible
  • Your deductible amount is close to the estimated cost of repairs
  • You don’t want your insurance rates to increase
  • You realize it will be easier and/or cheaper to make your own repairs
  • You don’t want to lose your claims-free discount

In general, the primary reason you may wish to cancel your auto insurance claim is to prevent your rates from increasing; we’ll discuss this in more detail later. 

However, insurance exists for the purposes of repairing your vehicle when accidents happen. Do not hesitate to file a claim if the damage on your vehicle is substantial. If your car incurs thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, it will make more financial sense to go forward with the claim. The potential increase in your rates will not be enough to justify the cancellation.

What happens when I withdraw an auto insurance claim?

If you withdraw an auto insurance claim, you won’t receive any kind of payout from your insurance company. Additionally, even though you withdrew the claim, it will still show up on your record with the company, but be listed as a zero-dollar or withdrawn claim.

So what does the mean for your insurance rates? In this next section we’ll consider how claims and withdrawn claims can affect your insurance rates.

Will my insurance rates go up if I cancel an auto insurance claim?

If you file a claim, your insurance rates could go up. Why? Because the insurance company now has to pay out on your policy. This may result in a readjustment of your rates, because by filing claim, you’ve increased your risk profile with your insurer. Any insurance record that includes claims can mean an increase in rates over a clean driving record.

In addition, if you previously had a claims free or safe driver discount, you’ll most likely no longer be eligible for those discounts. If you take a look at this table, you’ll see that losing either of these discounts can have a significant affect on your rates.

Available Claims Free and Safe Driver Discounts by Insurance Company
Insurance CompanyOffers Claims Free DiscountMaximum Claims Free Discount PercentageSafe DriverMaximum Safe Driver Discount Percentage
21st Centuryxx
AAAxx
Allstatex35%x45%
American Familyxx
Ameriprisexx
Amicaxx15%
Country Financialx
Esurancex25%x40%
Farmersxx
Geicox26%x15%
Liberty Mutualx
MetLifex20%x12%
Nationwidex10%x35%
Progressivexx31%
Safe Autox10%x10%
Safecox20%x20%
State Farmx15%x15%
The Generalxx
The Hanoverx15%
The Hartfordxx
Travelersx23%x23%
USAAx12%x12%
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If you cancel or withdraw your claim, as we noted earlier, while it will still show up on your record, it will be listed as withdrawn or a zero-dollar claim. And for purposes of the bottom line numbers and effectively managing your auto insurance policy, having a zero-dollar claim will benefit you greatly.

If the insurance company has a customer that they have never had to pay a claim for, that customer is entirely profit to the insurance company and the customer will count toward decreasing a company’s loss ratio.

Ultimately this means if you cancel or withdraw your insurance claim, there should not be any rate increase on your policy (though this does depend on how your policy is written, so speak to your insurance agent to find out the specifics in your case). And if there is, you can consider finding another provider.

If you shop around for a new auto insurance provider, when they pull your record, they will see that the only claim you have with your previous insurance company was a zero-dollar claim, which means you’ll be a lower risk insured.

Insurance companies take a risk-based analysis approach when determining your auto insurance rates, so the lower risk you present, the lower your rates will be.

While the auto insurance claim will still show up on your driving record, it is going to show as $0 paid out by the insurance company and shouldn’t negatively affect your search for affordable auto insurance in the future. And if the only claim on your record is one in which the insurance company paid out $0 on your behalf, you should not expect a rates increase as a result (though again, the terms of your policy can affect this).

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Can I cancel my auto insurance with an open claim?

Your vehicle has been damaged in some way and you file a claim. But after you’ve filed the claim and before it has been resolved, you decide to change insurers. Can you cancel your current policy while your claim is still open? Surprisingly, the answer is yes.

Even if you have an open claim, you can cancel your policy and switch providers. However, the claims process will be continued under your old policy and insurer, rather than being passed on to your new insurer.

Once the claim is resolved and the payout (if the insurance company finds your claim reasonable) is completed, any future, unrelated claims will be handled through your new insurance company policy.

The Bottom Line for Canceling Auto Insurance Claims

If you’ve filed a claim and later decide you want to cancel it, you can do so. If you decide to cancel your claim, the sooner you do so in the claims process, the better.

Reasons for canceling a claim include realizing that your deductible is about the same as the cost of repairs, not wanting your insurance rates to increase, or deciding to complete any repairs yourself.

If you cancel a claim, it should not affect your insurance rates, though it will still show up on your record as either a zero-dollar claim or as withdrawn.

Speak to your insurance agent to find out the specific terms of your policy, in the event you cancel a claim. If you decide you’d like to switch insurance providers, shopping around gives you the opportunity to always have the best rates available for your personal situation.

FAQs

Still have questions? Read through these frequently asked questions to learn more.

Can I cancel a home insurance claim?

Similar to canceling an auto insurance claim, the answer is yes. You should be able to cancel a home insurance claim, particularly if no payout has been made.

Can I cancel an Asurion claim?

If you have phone, mobile, or other technology insurance through Asurion, you can file claims for the loss or damage of any of your insured devices. If you file a claim in error (for example, you thought you lost your phone, filed a claim, and then later found your phone), you may be able to cancel your claim.

The first step is to call Asurion. Make sure you have your claim ID on-hand. You can speak to an Asurion representative about the possibility of canceling your claim. Ultimately, however, the ability to cancel will depend on the terms of your policy and how quickly you reach out to cancel your claim (sooner is better).

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Is there a statute of limitations on filing or canceling a claim?

Every state sets the statute of limitations (essentially a time frame) on filing claims. This means that from the date of the incident, you have a set amount of time in which you can file a claim. If you don’t file within that time frame, you lose your right to do so. For example, California’s statue of limitations for filing claims is two years for personal injury and three years for property damage.

Take a look at this table to see what the statue of limitations is in your state.

Statute of Limitations for Filing an Insurance Claim by State
StatePersonal Injury Statute of Limitations for Filing an Insurance ClaimProperty Damage Statute of Limitations for Filing an Insurance Claim
Alabama2 years2 years
Alaska2 years6 years
Arizona2 years2 years
Arkansas3 years3 years
California2 years3 years
Colorado3 years3 years
Connecticut2 years3 years
Delaware2 years2 years
Florida4 years4 years
Georgia2 years4 years
Hawaii2 years2 years
Idaho2 years3 years
Illinois2-3 years5 years
Indiana2 years2 years
Iowa2 years5 years
Kansas1 year2 years
Kentucky1 year2 years
Louisiana1 year1 year
Maine6 years6 years
Maryland3 years3 years
Massachusetts3 years3 years
Michigan3 years3 years
Minnesota2 years6 years
Mississippi3 years3 years
Missouri5 years5 years
Montana3 years2 years
Nebraska4 years4 years
Nevada2 years3 years
New Hampshire3 years3 years
New Jersey2 years6 years
New Mexico3 years4 years
New York3 years3 years
North Carolina3 years3 years
North Dakota6 years6 years
Ohio2 years2 years
Oklahoma2 years2 years
Oregon2 years6 years
Pennsylvania2 years2 years
Rhode Island3 years10 years
South Carolina3 years3 years
South Dakota3 years6 years
Tennessee1 year3 years
Texas2 years2 years
Utah4 years3 years
Vermont3 years3 years
Virginia2 years5 years
Washington3 years3 years
Washington D.C.3 years3 years
West Virginia2 years2 years
Wisconsin3 years3 years
Wyoming4 years4 years
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If you file a claim within the statute of limitations set by your state, and then you choose to cancel the claim, can can do so at any time, though as we’ve already noted, earlier in the process is better.

What is a loss ratio?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners defines loss ratio as, “the percentage of incurred losses to incurred premiums.”

Essentially a loss ratio is an indicator of how many claims an insurance company pays out, in comparison to the total number of premiums they collect. A healthy loss ratio is typically greater than 40 percent and lower than 75 percent.

if the loss ratio is below 40 percent, the insurance company is not paying out on enough of the claims that are filed, while if the loss ratio is greater than 75 percent, they are paying out on too many claims. If the loss ratio is above 75 percent for more than one or two years in a row, it may mean the insurance company will increase rates to compensate.

Always think twice before canceling an insurance claim! Before you go, take a moment to search for the best auto insurance quotes now by entering your ZIP code below!