Can I Get My Canceled Auto Insurance Policy Reinstated at the Same Rates as Before the Cancellation?

Written by James Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

Auto insurance policies can be cancelled for several reasons. If you've been convicted of a serious vehicular crime like drunk driving or reckless driving, it's possible that you've been "dropped" from coverage by your insurance carrier. Although insurance companies are required to provide coverage for high-risk drivers, they aren't technically prohibited from dropping such drivers from coverage.

Once a high-risk driver has been dropped from coverage, he or she becomes part of his or her state's "insurance risk pool." Each insurance company that does business in a given state is required to cover some of the drivers in its risk pool. Once a high-risk driver has obtained the proper post-conviction documentation, he or she will be able to secure insurance coverage from one of these companies. If you've been dropped from your insurance policy as a result of an impaired-driving conviction, you won't be able to reinstate your policy at its pre-cancellation rates. In fact, you should expect to pay a "risk premium" of at least 50 percent of the former cost of your policy.

It's more common for insurance companies to drop policyholders who can no longer afford their policies. Under these circumstances, providers are under no legal obligation to reinstate the delinquent policies. If you've been dropped from your policy due to an inability to pay, you may be able to reinstate it at its pre-cancellation rates. However, your ability to do so will depend upon several factors.

First, your insurance carrier may require you to cover the delinquent balance on your account. Since this will probably amount to at least two monthly premium payments, you'll need to write a check for several hundred dollars to your carrier. Once you send in your payment, it may take several days for your coverage to resume. You'll receive an e-mail or letter that confirms that your account is in good standing.

Secondly, your insurance carrier might refuse to reinstate your policy under certain circumstances. If your coverage has been dormant for more than three or four months, your provider could charge a "non-payment premium" on top of your delinquent balance. If you can't pay this special premium, you might not be able to receive coverage at your previous rates.

Finally, your insurance carrier will run a fresh driving-history check before agreeing to reinstate your coverage. If you've been involved in an accident or received a traffic citation since your policy's cancellation, you'll be forced to pay higher rates after its reinstatement.

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