Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 13, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • One of the primary reasons that drivers get cancellation notices is failure to pay the premium
  • Most insurers have no interest in canceling your policy if you’re a paying customer in good standing
  • You can also cancel your own policy early voluntarily

Most people don’t spend much time thinking about their car insurance; they choose a policy, pay the bills when they arrive and trust that their policy will protect them in the event of an accident.

The prospect of a policy cancellation never occurs to them. That can make it hard to figure out the next step when your cancellation notice comes in the mail.

If you have just received a cancellation notice and looking for new car insurance, enter your zip code above in our comparison tool and you will receive FREE car insurance quotes.

Reasons for Cancellation


The first step is to determine why you received the cancellation notice in the first place.

The appropriate course of action will be different if you’ve been the victim of a computer error or fraudulent cancellation than if your insurance company is accusing you of wrongdoing.

Most insurers have no interest in canceling your policy if you’re a paying customer in good standing.

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Non-payment of Premium

One of the primary reasons that drivers get cancellation notices is failure to pay the premium. Being a little late on your payment won’t jeopardize your policy, but forgetting to pay entirely could.

If you receive this kind of cancellation notice and you use an automatic payment system, check your records to make sure the payments are still being credited.

If you missed a payment and it’s not due to a computer problem, you might still be able to get your policy back, but it will take serious negotiating and a willingness to pay what you owe immediately.

If the cancellation stands, you won’t get any of your previous payments back. If you are looking to cancel your coverage, these are the steps you need to follow.

Driving Violations


Your insurer might also cancel your policy if you are considered a high risk or an unsafe driver.

This kind of cancellation notice might arrive if you have been arrested for driving under the influence, have racked up a large number of tickets, or if you’ve repeatedly been in accidents.

If your insurer cancels your policy for these reasons, you must by law be given a transition period in which to find a new policy.

If your current policy is paid up to date, you’ll probably receive a refund for the remainder of the term.

No-refund policies are usually given only to people who already have a poor driving or payment record.

We can help you find car insurance even after you have a DUI charge.

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Voluntary Cancellation

You can also cancel your own policy early voluntarily. In most cases, this requires contacting the company in writing to stop the policy early, but not all insurers require this.

If you receive notice of voluntary cancellation but didn’t write requesting this, you may be the victim of a system error.

It’s even possible that someone in your family asked for cancellation of your policy using your name.

You’ll have to contact the insurance company immediately to find out what the situation might be.

If you’re told that the company has a letter on file, make sure a copy is sent to you so that you can find out what happened to your policy.

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Responding to Cancellation


No matter why your insurance policy was canceled, you’ll probably need to get in touch with the insurance company.

If you feel that the cancellation was unfair or due to a mistake, get your customer service representative to send you copies of all documents relating to the policy.

This includes the policy itself and its requirements, as well as your payment records and any letters pertaining to the status of your policy.

Drivers who don’t have access to a current insurance policy will have to stay off the road. The only exception to this is if your insurer has given you a transition period.

The only exception to this is if your insurer has given you a transition period.

If your cancellation turns out to be legitimate, you’ll need to seek out new auto insurance right away. You’ll also need to talk to your lender if you borrowed money to buy your car.

You may have trouble getting new insurance if your cancellation was for non-payment or poor driving. You can even have problems if you received a non-renewal notice, which is less severe than cancellation.

Most reputable insurance companies will require higher premiums and more paperwork if your last policy was canceled by the insurer.

Despite these hurdles, it’s still better to apply with a known company than to choose insurers that claim to offer discounted rates to bad drivers or people with a poor payment history.

Take the time to check out policies from different of companies instead of going with the one that seems to offer the best rates.

Enter your zip code below in our comparison tool below to compare FREE car insurance quotes.


  1. https://www.autoinsurance.org/what-happens-if-your-car-insurance-is-cancelled/
  2. https://www.directgeneral.com/learning-center/explaining-auto-insurance/high-risk-auto-insurance
  3. https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-get-your-driving-record-527249
  4. https://www.thebalance.com/can-i-cancel-car-insurance-anytime-527400
  5. https://www.thebalance.com/how-do-i-get-my-car-insurance-policy-reinstated-527405
  6. http://thelawdictionary.org/article/how-can-you-cancel-state-farm-auto-insurance/