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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Here's what you should know..:

  • If you do not know when your car insurance policy ends, you need to take steps to find out, like contacting your agent or looking for recent bills
  • Most car insurance policies last either six or 12 months
  • You must have car insurance in order to drive your vehicle legally
  • If your car insurance policy is set to expire or has already expired, you can use a comparison tool to find a new policy

If you’ve had your car insurance for a few months, you may be wondering when your policy expires and what happens after it expires. The good news is that your current insurance company will notify you prior to the end of your policy. The letter will tell you whether or not your policy is set to renew. If your car insurance is not set to renew, you can quickly find another policy by using a comparison tool.

Check out car insurance policies from local providers with our FREE search tool above!

Car Insurance Policy Lengths


Car insurance policy lengths vary greatly between companies and specific insurance policies. They can last anywhere from one day to one year. The typical car insurance policy lasts either six or 12 months with six months being the more common of the two.

When you first purchase your policy, the information sheets containing your policy details should list the beginning and end dates for your policy. If they do not, you will need to either log onto your online account or call your current insurance agent to find out the start and end dates of your policy. This would also be a good time to make sure your policy is valid.

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Non-Renewal Notices and Expired Policies

If you are told that your car insurance has expired or received a letter of non-renewal, you will need to find another car insurance policy immediately. The reasons are fairly simple.

You cannot drive legally without car insurance, and failure to locate and purchase a new car insurance prior to your old one expiring can result in an auto insurance lapse.

Reasons for Non-Renewals and Expiration


Failure to pay car insurance premiums is the number one reason car insurance companies refuse to renew policies and cancel policies. Even if you pay all of your back premiums and the associated fees before your insurance policy is canceled, your car insurance company may still refuse to issue you a new policy. If your auto insurance carrier does offer to renew your policy after several missed payments, you may find yourself paying dramatically higher premiums.

Other reasons car insurance companies fail to renew policies include:

  • DUI or OWI violations
  • Suspended drivers license
  • Traffic or moving violations
  • Getting into too many car accidents
  • Filing too many claims
  • Failing to keep your information up-to-date
  • Moving to a state your insurance company doesn’t cover

Searching for a Car Car Insurance Policy


To prevent a lapse in your insurance coverage, you should take steps to find and purchase a new policy. You can expedite the process by using a comparison tool. Car insurance comparison tools take your information and car insurance needs and compare them against the available policies in the system.

Once several matches have been made, the results will be returned to you so that you can read through them. You should narrow your selection down to one or two policies, then make a final decision, and purchase the best policy for your driving habits.

If you do not know the date when your most recent auto insurance policy expires, you should do everything within your power to locate that information. This could mean logging into your online auto insurance account, calling your current insurance agent or looking for your last car insurance bill. You can also check your bank account for recent car insurance debits.

If you find out that your car insurance has expired or lapsed, you must purchase a new insurance policy and make sure that it is valid before the next time you drive your car. A car insurance comparison tool can help simplify the process by showing you various car insurance policies and allowing you to purchase a policy via the online portal.

Car insurance policy about to expire? Maybe it’s time for a change. Check out online quotes from the best car insurance companies using our free tool below!