How do I check when my car insurance is due?

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Auto insurance policies renew either once every six months or once every year
  • When the policy is up for renewal, the company will review information on the policy and assess risk to calculate new premiums based on the company’s most current rate filing
  • If you pay your premiums in full, your next payment won’t be due until your renewal date
  • The amount of money that you must pay is dependent on your risk class and how much you are billed for the new policy term
  • If you set up an installment payment plan, you can request that your payments be due every month or every quarter
  • If you have a grace period, your coverage will stay active for up to 30 days after the payment due date has passed

When you buy auto insurance, your insurance carrier will bill you in advance for the coverage that it provides. As long as you pay your premiums on time, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your coverage protects you.

Unfortunately, paying a few days late could end up in a policy termination.

When you first buy auto insurance, it’s easy to keep track of when your premium payments are due. After you’ve been with a carrier for several terms, you can easily start to confuse due dates and expiration dates.

If you’re not sure of when your car insurance is due, here’s what you need to know.

Start comparison shopping today to make sure you have the right coverage at the right price. Enter your zip code in our FREE tool to get started!

Understanding Your Car Insurance Contract

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Auto insurance policies are sold in terms. The term is how long the contract is valid after you sign up for insurance and you select an effective date.

In most states, you’re free to buy either a six-month policy or a 12-month policy. The longer the policy term, the longer the rates are locked in.

When your term comes up for expiration, your insurance company will underwrite your policy and determine how much your renewal premiums will be.

Companies can either decide to extend a renewal offer or set the policy up for non-renewal.

Either way, you will receive a notice in the mail between 30 and 45 days in advance explaining the company’s decision.

Paying Your Policy in Full

When you apply for insurance for the first time with a carrier, you can pay your premiums in full and you won’t have a payment until the end of the term.

The only exception is if your premiums change after the application has been underwritten and issued. If you’re misquoted, you will receive a bill for the balance due.

Setting Up a Payment Installment Plan

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In the past, insurance companies only accepted full payments. Now, most companies offer their customers the option to set up a payment plan so that they can pay a portion of the premiums instead of the entire balance.

If you set up a payment plan, you need to keep up with your due dates so that your policy doesn’t cancel for non-payment.

There are a few different options to choose from if you’re setting up a payment plan. It’s important to choose the option that you can afford, but don’t forget to ask about installment fees. If the carrier charges a high fee, try to keep the installments to a minimum.

Common alternatives to paying in full include:

  • Semi-annual – Pay every six months on an annual policy
  • Quarterly – Pay once every three months
  • Monthly – Pay an installment on the same day each month (manual payments or EFT payments)
  • Five Pay Plan – Pay two months down and then five monthly installments

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What happens if you miss a payment?

If you don’t know when your payment is due and you miss a payment, your coverage will be terminated for non-payment. If the policy cancels and you have a loss, the insurance company won’t pay for the claim.

If you want to reinstate the policy, you have to pay what’s due plus a fee. There will still be a gap in coverage that you must account for with the state.

Is there a grace period for your car insurance payment?

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Many car insurance policies offer grace periods. A grace period is the amount of time that you have to pay your premiums after the due date without your coverage being terminated.

Before you rely on a grace period, you need to find out how many days you have to make a payment. Most grace periods are between one day and 30 days.

Check your last premium invoice to see when your payment is due. If you’ve paid in full, check your ID cards to see when your term expires.

If you’re not happy with your premiums, consider shopping around. To compare premiums, use our FREE online rate tool and request instant quotes today. Enter your zip code now to get started!

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