Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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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. 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

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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If you have let your old auto insurance policy expire and you are worried about getting a new policy, don’t be.

You can easily get a new policy from any insurance company, even the company that carried your expired policy, under certain circumstances.

The question is: why did you let your insurance policy expire in the first place?

Read on to learn why you shouldn’t let your insurance policy expire and what you can expect if your policy has expired and you are ready to purchase a new one.

Then once you have completed reading through this article why not enter your zip code above to begin comparing free auto insurance rates to see how much money you might be able to save?

Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Insurance Policy Expire

If you have already let your auto insurance policy expire and are wondering what is going to happen when you purchase a new one then skip this section and start at “What to Expect Once Your Policy Has Expired”. If, however, you are thinking about letting your policy expire because you think you can’t afford your auto insurance and you will go without it for a couple of months, you need to rethink this right now. The cost of an accident or the fines that you can get from your state if you are caught without the required insurance can cost you a lot more than your monthly premiums.

The consequences of not having insurance vary from state to state. Some charge thousands of dollars in fines while others suspend your license and registration. A few states actually put people in jail for driving without auto insurance.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the national average cost of an auto accident is $27,000. This is taking into account the total cost of all accidents divided by actual accidents; a fender bender isn’t going to cost $27K. The question is can you guarantee that you aren’t going to have an accident? Unless you aren’t driving at all, there are no guarantees. Accidents happen.

You can get new auto insurance right now – just enter your zip code to compare quotes!

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When it is OK to Let an Auto Insurance Policy Expire

There are times when it is okay to allow your old policy to expire. The first reason is if you have had an accident and you haven’t replaced your vehicle; in this case there is no reason to continue to carry insurance.

Some states allow you to stop carrying insurance on any vehicle that cannot be driven, for example if you are restoring a vehicle or your vehicle is going to be in the shop for an extended period of time. You need to check your state laws regarding unused vehicles because some states require any registered vehicle to be insured, regardless of whether it is road worthy. If your vehicle isn’t drivable, you can turn in your license plates to avoid paying insurance on your vehicle until it is ready to be driven again.

What to Expect Once Your Policy Has Expired

First of all, don’t assume that your DMV or vehicle registration office won’t learn of your lapse in insurance. Most states now have an automated system in place to learn about insurance lapses. When you don’t sign a new policy for your vehicle, your insurance company informs your state of that fact. With automated systems, you could receive a notice for you to provide proof of insurance within 10 days of your actual lapse.

The amount of time that you have to respond to a state request to provide proof of insurance varies. Some states will give you a little as ten days while others give you as much as 30 days. No state gives you a longer amount of time to provide proof of insurance. You will also be given the option to turn in your license plates as proof that your vehicle is no longer being driven.

If you don’t provide proof of insurance in the allotted time, then your driver’s license and registration can be suspended. You will receive notice of this occurrence in the mail, but in most cases, you won’t get a visit from the police or anything like that. If, however, you are out driving and a police office runs your plates and finds you driving on a suspended license and registration you can go to jail and your vehicle will be impounded. Once your vehicle is impounded you will be required to pay the impound fees; this can vary between $15 to $80 a day, depending on where you live.

Re-Establishing an Auto Insurance Policy After Your Old One has Expired

Once your policy has expired, it is pretty easy to get a new policy. As mentioned at the beginning, in most cases you can even get a policy from the company that you used initially. The exception is if you have let your policy lapse more than a couple of times. In other words, a company doesn’t want to do business with you if you tend to let a policy lapse every time you hit a financial bump in the road.

If you have a habit of letting your policies lapse then you can expect to pay more for your insurance, even if you are switching to a new company. Many companies require that you provide proof of your former auto insurance to prove that you were with the insurance company for a specific period of time or they will have you sign forms so that they can request the information from another company. The longer you stay with the same insurance company the more stable you will appear to your new insurance company and the less you will pay for your auto insurance.

People who switch companies a couple of times a year will pay more for their insurance as well, even if there is no lapse between policies. Companies want your business, but more importantly they want long-term business and if you show that you can be a loyal company, they will be happy to give you a break on the cost of your premiums.

Getting the best rate for your insurance policy is going to require you to get quotes from more than one company. In fact, in order to ensure that you get the best rates, you need to get quotes from several companies. Now, we know that companies like Progressive offer their own comparison quote tool; the problem with using their quote tool is that they only compare rates between the top four companies, this is fairly limiting.

When you use a third party auto insurance quote tool, you will get quotes from more companies. This gives you more options and a wider range of rates to choose from.

Using any quote tool is easy too. They allow you to view quotes from several companies side by side. If you see one that appeals to you, you click on the link and you will be taken to that insurer’s website to start the application process. It is important that you answer the questions accurately so that you get an accurate quote from the insurance companies (one of the questions will be how long you were with your last insurance company).

To get the very best rates getting a quote first is very important. Why not give it a try right now?