Drivers need car insurance, that’s the bottom line. The State of Georgia, as a result, requires most motorists to carry protection. Nevertheless, it’s your job to keep that policy active. Car insurance functions like a contract between you and your insurer. If you don’t uphold your end of the deal, the insurance company often has a right to cancel your coverage. Why does this happen? What penalties can you expect as a result?
Every driver needs to keep their car insurance active. If you don’t, you could face penalties. To keep your policy active, you need to know why it could lapse in the first place. Policies can void for several common reasons. The results could all prove harmful to the driver.
Lapse 1: Lack of Payment
You don’t get insurance for free. When you enroll in a policy, you agree to pay an insurance company to provide that coverage. The bill you pay is your monthly premium, and this will vary from driver to driver.
Drivers pay their premiums at different intervals. Some pay monthly, others quarterly and others annually. Still, the point is to make the payment on time. If you fail to pay your policy, your insurer will likely have grounds to cancel your coverage. Though they’ll likely give you ample notice, if you don’t heed that warning, you can expect your coverage to end.
Ask your insurance agent what options they offer to help make premium payment easier. Some companies allow automatic deductions from your bank account. Almost all allow you to pay online. Even if you tie a string around your finger to remember, make sure you send your payment in before the due date.
Lapse 2: Failure to Renew
No car insurance policy lasts forever. Making policies temporary is one way to guarantee that you always have the right limits. Therefore, you’ll need to periodically renew your coverage.
The most common renewal term for drivers to choose is an annual period. If this is you, you’ll only have to re-enroll in coverage once a year. Still, not everyone follows this calendar. Some drivers renew every six months, while others renew month to month.
Work with your auto insurance agent to determine the timeframe that’s best for you. Then, make sure you know when the policy expires. You’ll have to renew your coverage before the deadline, or else it will go away. That will immediately put you at risk. Always call your insurer a few weeks before the deadline to make sure they know you want to renew.
In most cases, your insurer will notify you when this deadline approaches. That way, you’ll have ample time to act. Indeed, some insurers allow customers to set up automatic renewals. You’ll likely receive confirmation that the policy will renew, and that you don’t have to take other action.
Lapse 3: Too Risky to Insure
All car insurance comes based on risk. This risk is how likely you are to file a claim on your policy. Those who have higher risks often pay higher prices for coverage. Factors that determine risk might include your driving record and the value of your car.
Some insurance companies simply find certain drivers too risky to insure. So, some might no longer be able to support themselves and you. For example, if you’ve made many claims on your policy, the company might sustain too much of a loss by covering you. Therefore, they might have a right to cancel your coverage.
Though insurers can cancel your coverage, they often must notify you beforehand. This will give you ample time to look for a new policy, so you never have to driver uninsured. Still, make it a goal to be a safe driver. That's your priority as a vehicle operator.
The Penalties of Going Without Coverage
Since Georgia requires auto insurance, driving without it can come with multiple penalties. These might include
- Increased insurance premiums: Going without coverage will signal to many insurers that you aren’t reliable. In other words, you’re a high risk. Therefore, insurers might have a right to increase your policy costs to make up for this added risk.
- Driving charges: You might face ticketing, license suspension or fees from the state because of a policy lapse. These will increase based on the number of offenses you have. The most severe penalty is jail time.
- SR-22 certificates: This is a form that verifies for the state that you have active car insurance. As a result, the state might require you to carry it as a penalty. You have to get the form from your insurance agency. The SR-22 usually lasts for a couple of years, and you cannot let your coverage lapse during this period. Getting the SR-22 might lead to higher insurance costs, so don’t let it happen to you.
It’s your duty as a citizen to carry appropriate auto insurance. Even so, it’s also a personal benefit, because it can keep you secure when you most need it. Talk to your insurance agent at 877-997-2478 about the best way to make your policy airtight. You can worry less about it every lapsing without your knowledge.
Also Read: Your Credit Score and How It Affects Your Insurance Rates