Grace Period in Car Insurance & Its Importance

What is a car insurance lapse grace period?

Your car insurance policy won’t be cancelled immediately because you miss a payment. Auto insurance companies are required by state law to provide notice before cancelling your policy. Depending on the state, you’ll usually have between 10 and 20 days. Your company will notify you by mail or email before cancelling your coverage.

What happens if you miss a car insurance payment by a few days?

Auto insurance companies typically offer a grace period for missed car insurance payments, so a payment that’s a few days late shouldn’t pose a problem. Make your payment as soon as possible, as the car insurance grace period can vary depending on your insurer. When you sign up for Progressive’s automatic payment option, you’ll earn a discount on auto insurance and avoid missing a future payment.

Learn about grace periods for purchasing a new vehicle.


What Can Happen If You Don’t Renew Your Policy On Time

Here are some of the reasons for not renewing the policy on time.

  • The insurance company will not be liable to provide any cover or accept any claim if you do not renew your policy on time.
  • It is mandatory to keep your active car insurance policy with you while driving so not renewing the policy can put you in legal trouble as well.
  • You can lose your No Claim Bonus that you might have earned for not raising a claim in your previous years if you do not renew the policy after the expiry date within the grace period.
  • If the insurance policy expires then the insurance company will again send an inspector to renew the policy.
  • You will be liable to pay for the third-party liability out of pocket if you do not renew the policy on time.

What to Do if You Cant Afford Your Car Insurance

If you cannot afford your car insurance, then you have a few options to consider:

  • The first option is for you to increase your deductible until your premiums are low enough for you to afford them.
  • The second option is for you to sell your car and buy one that you can afford to insure. If you are paying money to a lender and have to carry comprehensive and collision insurance, you are increasing your rates considerably.
  • Many states offer state-funded car insurance options. They aren’t the most affordable option in every case, but you should consider looking into this option.
  • The last option is for you to stop driving and take other forms of transportation. This may seem like an unlikely option, but if you have a bike, can take the bus, or can even walk to work, then you should consider this as an alternative

Of course, if you are paying a lot for your car insurance, then you need to compare prices with other car insurance companies to ensure that you aren’t paying more than you should.

You can compare car insurance quotes for FREE right now by entering your ZIP code below!



How Does a Grace Period Work?

If your policy provides a grace period, you will continue to have coverage for the stated time frame after your due date. If you don’t make your payment during the grace period, your insurance policy will lapse, and your provider will cancel your coverage.

There is no standard grace period. Insurance companies set this time frame, which can range from 24 hours to 30 days. In most cases, if you miss your payment due date, the company will send a notice of cancellation. It will state the date by which you need to make your payment to keep your policy in place.

The best thing to do if you can’t pay your insurance premium is to call your company. The customer service department might set up a payment plan, allow you to make partial payments, or put you on automatic withdrawal so you never forget to make a payment.

What To Do If The Insurance Expires

There are certain things that you will have to keep in mind in case your insurance policy expires.

  • Contact your insurer and tell them about the expiration of your policy. You can contact them through the website, call, or email.
  • Do not drive your car until your car insurance is renewed otherwise you might attract legal actions against you.
  • You can review your insurance plan and check if you want to change your plan or add on some riders.

Car Inspection

Some insurance companies may conduct an inspection of the vehicle if the renewal is not made within the grace period. But many insurance companies offer relaxation from such stipulation. However, it is mandatory to carry out an inspection of the vehicle if the insurance renewal is not done within ninety days of the date of expiry.

What Are The Dangers Of Letting Your Auto Insurance Lapse?

If your coverage lapses due to missed payment or a delay after you purchase a new car, how long can you be without car insurance? It’s important to stay off the roads until you can pay your balance or set up a plan. Penalties for not having liability coverage increase the longer you’ve driven without it.

Getting into an accident can cost tens of thousands of dollars for you and the other person involved if you do not have active auto insurance in place. In addition to these large expenses, there are also legal consequences for driving without insurance based on state laws.

Depending on where the accident occurred, you could face:

  1. Fines
  2. License points
  3. License and registration suspension
  4. Vehicle impounding
  5. Jail time
  6. Restrictions on car insurance in the future

Many companies offer same-day or next-day car insurance, so be sure you have a plan in place and proof of insurance before you get behind the wheel of a car.

What Should You Do If You Miss A Car Insurance Payment?

Let’s say things aren’t quite lining up this month, and you know you’ll be two to three days behind on your payment. We recommend starting with these two steps:

  1. Look at your policy for specifications on missed payments.
  2. Check state laws on car insurance grace periods on the local Department of Motor Vehicles website.

Though it’s important to pay your premium as quickly as possible, check how your grace period works to ease your worries about insurance lapses. Call your lender to alert them of the delay and confirm your findings if you are concerned.

If your car insurance does lapse, call your company as soon as possible to figure out how to reinstate your plan or buy a new plan.

You can also reassess your current policy limits. If full coverage is too expensive, you may be able to get by on minimum coverage to save some money for a while.

What is the duration of the grace period in car insurance?

The grace period for car insurance renewal is typically from 15 to 30 days, depending on the terms and conditions mentioned in the policy. While you can renew the car insurance after the grace period, you may have to pay the penalty or late fee apart from losing benefits such as NCB.

Consequences of not renewing the insurance policy

As per The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, driving a car on Indian roads without Third-party Insurance Policy is illegal. Here is what happens if your insurance policy expires.

  • No cover and claim: No cover means you cannot raise any claims. In case of damages to your car, ACKO is not liable to compensate for the loss.

  • Legal trouble: Driving your uninsured car will invite fines or penalties by the traffic police. A repeat offense will invite harsher penalties or even a jail term.

  • Loss of NCB: The discount you earn for not raising claims during the period will automatically stand canceled if you do not renew it within 90 days from the expiry date.

  • Scope for inspection: Since the policy has expired, your car may have to be inspected before ACKO can consider the policy for renewal.

  • No third-party cover: In case of an accident where a third party is involved, you have to bear all the expenses.

Penalties for Not Paying Car Insurance  

You may face penalties for late payments made before the final grace period deadline. Late payments usually result in a late fee, and you could also see higher premiums when it comes time to renew your policy. 

If you don’t pay your premium within your grace period, it is considered a nonpayment of your premium. This means that your policy can be canceled by your insurance company, leading to a lapse in coverage. 

An insurance lapse is no joke. Not only are you legally required to carry insurance on a vehicle you’re driving, but you also put yourself at risk when you drive with a lapsed insurance policy. Not only will you be responsible for any costs following a car accident, but you could face other legal consequences for driving uninsured

Do Car Insurance Companies Have Grade Periods for Auto Insurance?

Most car insurance companies provide a grace period for premium payments. The typical time frame for a car insurance grace period is 10 days from the original payment due date, but this can vary depending on the insurer. Some companies offer up to 30 days, while others might not have a grace period. Make sure you know the terms of your policy.

Car insurance lapse for military personnel

At Progressive, you’ll still get our Continuous Insurance Discount if you had a gap in insurance because you were deployed overseas.

Grace Period After the Car Insurance Expires

There is no grace period after insurance expires under law. It all depends on the insurance companies. The grace period for the insurance plan may vary from 3 days to 30 days as per the terms and conditions of the policy issued by the insurance company. The customer must check about the car insurance grace period at the time of buying the insurance policy.

Are There Penalties?

You may have to pay a late fee if you miss your due date and file your payment during the grace period. Your insurance company might charge you higher premiums when you renew if you frequently miss your due dates.

Your insurance coverage may be canceled for non-payment if you don’t pay during the grace period. Lapsed coverage can lead to a variety of problems, including paying out of pocket if you have a loss or accident. Other insurance companies may refuse to cover you, depending on their underwriting guidelines. You might face a rate increase when you apply for a new policy.

Losing coverage can become expensive quickly. You wouldn't just be responsible for covering the cost of any damage yourself if you let coverage lapse on your homeowner's policy. Your insurer could refuse to insure the home until repairs are complete. Your only choice could be an expensive policy for high-risk properties if your mortgage requires proof of insurance.

Lapsed coverage often means you have to take another medical exam before you can be approved for a new policy in the case of life insurance. This puts you at risk of being refused coverage or being forced to pay higher premiums if your health has changed.

Penalties for Affordable Care Act Health Insurance

Your grace period is still in effect even if you pay subsequent premiums on time if you have Marketplace health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. If you have a 90-day grace period and don't pay your August health insurance premium, and then you pay for September and October but still don't pay for August, your coverage would end at the end of October.

You would retroactively lose your coverage back to the last day of August. You could be required to pay back any payments that your health insurer made in September and October.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you pay your car insurance a couple of days late, you will most likely still be in the grace period. However, you will probably be charged a late payment fee. If your payment is later than the grace period allows, your insurance can lapse.

The grace period for late payments before your policy lapses varies by insurer and by state. The grace period is typically anywhere between one and 30 days. It is very important to know the grace period for your policy and to contact your insurer if you expect to make a late payment.

When your auto insurance is canceled, the first thing you should do is call your current insurer. If your policy has only lapsed for a couple days, it’s possible they can reinstate it. If your insurer requires you to get a new policy, you should shop around to search for the best rate. To learn more, check out our article on how a lapse in car insurance coverage affects rates .