Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

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Topic Author
workingovertime
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Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by workingovertime »

Our auto insurance expires next week. We're changing to a different company.

Will it become any problem if I just don't pay for the current auto insurance rather than calling and cancelling? Their line takes forever and I can't find an option to cancel online. Just don't want something to come back and bite me.
runner3081
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by runner3081 »

I would personally put the time in and wait on hold.

Or, send a fax or certified letter with tracking.
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JAZZISCOOL
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

runner3081 wrote: Tue May 12, 2020 7:19 pm I would personally put the time in and wait on hold.

Or, send a fax or certified letter with tracking.
+1

Or does their website have a CHAT or email customer service function?
Poorman
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by Poorman »

workingovertime wrote: Tue May 12, 2020 6:24 pm Our auto insurance expires next week. We're changing to a different company.

Will it become any problem if I just don't pay for the current auto insurance rather than calling and cancelling? Their line takes forever and I can't find an option to cancel online. Just don't want something to come back and bite me.
Just use a bluetooth. Do your dishes, pay bills, clean house, yard work, surf the internet. Yeah, being on hold is so difficult these days.
Topic Author
workingovertime
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by workingovertime »

Poorman wrote: Tue May 12, 2020 7:28 pm
workingovertime wrote: Tue May 12, 2020 6:24 pm Our auto insurance expires next week. We're changing to a different company.

Will it become any problem if I just don't pay for the current auto insurance rather than calling and cancelling? Their line takes forever and I can't find an option to cancel online. Just don't want something to come back and bite me.
Just use a bluetooth. Do your dishes, pay bills, clean house, yard work, surf the internet. Yeah, being on hold is so difficult these days.
Some people are actually busy. Lol. Maybe like work during business hours and some people have school afterward and a family?
Not saying I can't be on hold, but sure is inconvenient being on hold for a long time during work, dinner, or something.

With all that said, I'll probably end up calling at some time anyways to be safe because I don't want something to come back and bite me later.
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by UpperNwGuy »

workingovertime wrote: Tue May 12, 2020 7:40 pm Some people are actually busy. Lol. Maybe like work during business hours and some people have school afterward and a family?
Not saying I can't be on hold, but sure is inconvenient being on hold for a long time during work, dinner, or something.
You can do this! Set your mind to it. Dig deep and find that grit and determination that is necessary to succeed. You can overcome the long hold times.
Jags4186
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by Jags4186 »

Just make sure you have your new insurance in place and then your old policy will be cancelled for non-payment. No need to call and announce to them you're leaving.

When switching companies I have the new policy paid in full and in effect the day before the old one lapses.
Topic Author
workingovertime
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by workingovertime »

UpperNwGuy wrote: Tue May 12, 2020 7:42 pm
workingovertime wrote: Tue May 12, 2020 7:40 pm Some people are actually busy. Lol. Maybe like work during business hours and some people have school afterward and a family?
Not saying I can't be on hold, but sure is inconvenient being on hold for a long time during work, dinner, or something.
You can do this! Set your mind to it. Dig deep and find that grit and determination that is necessary to succeed. You can overcome the long hold times.
My thought was if not paying to renew did exactly the same thing as cancelling, then why bother to take time to cancel. Not necessarily that I'm complaining about being on hold. If I have to stay on hold, then I do it but why do it if I don't have to.
oldfatguy
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by oldfatguy »

You don't need to cancel anything. Your policy will expire, and you will have coverage with a different company.
Topic Author
workingovertime
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by workingovertime »

Jags4186 wrote: Tue May 12, 2020 7:44 pm Just make sure you have your new insurance in place and then your old policy will be cancelled for non-payment. No need to call and announce to them you're leaving.

When switching companies I have the new policy paid in full and in effect the day before the old one lapses.
Ok, that's kind of what I wanted to do but wanted to be extra cautious by asking since I've never just not renewed by non-payment. I couldn't think of a way this could somehow go south but who knows. Maybe someone here has done the same before.
stingray5688
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by stingray5688 »

Maybe not paying and letting coverage expire is a fast way of getting them to call you :twisted:
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RudyS
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by RudyS »

Will old company send a notice to DMV that coverage ended? Would that matter? Can (or will) new company take care of notice to old company?

Regarding the bluetooth idea, I don't have that, but put my phone on speaker so I can hear it while doing something (even as trivial as playing on the computer) while waiting.
adamthesmythe
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by adamthesmythe »

Write on the bill "I am canceling this policy" and mail it in.
marcopolo
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by marcopolo »

I just e-mailed my agent last time i had to do this.
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Colorado13
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by Colorado13 »

I agree with marcopolo. Send an email to the existing agent; by doing so you have documentation that you gave notice.
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galawdawg
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by galawdawg »

If you simply don't pay the bill and your soon to be former insurance company notifies your state DMV that they cancelled for non-payment, then your vehicle registration/tags and/or driver's license may be suspended or cancelled, depending on your state laws.

Now one would hope that because your new insurance is effective and you don't actually have a lapse in coverage you wouldn't need to be concerned with the above, but is that a risk you want to take? Would you rather take the time now to notify your current carrier that you are not renewing your coverage or risk having to take the time later to deal with the bureaucracy of your state DMV to get your registration, tags and/or driver's license reinstated?

Plus, I'm sure the telephone hold times are much, much shorter and the representatives much more courteous, efficient and helpful at your state DMV than your insurance carrier... :shock: :wink:

Oh...and don't forget, if your state DMV cancels your registration, tags or driver's license when you simply stop paying your current carrier...no driving until you get the mess sorted out.

As others have suggested, if you are unwilling to wait on hold, you can also try email, snail mail, online chat or a call to your local agent, if you have one.
Nowizard
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by Nowizard »

Who are you calling to cancel? I can't imagine having to hold for more than a few seconds, generally not at all, when calling our agent. If calling the national office, that might be a different matter. If an agent, that would be reason enough to switch. An option would be to call after hours to your agent and leave a voice mail if holding is the issue.

Tim
crefwatch
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by crefwatch »

Many states (and some insurance companies) have instituted non-cancel rules for one or more months during the pandemic. You cannot assume that the insurance will simply "expire". It will be very hard to argue that you should not "pay" for a month or more of insurance you "had" even though you didn't "want" it.

While I suppose your inquiry is a legitimate exploration of a complex topic, as a consumer issue, it seems like irresponsible behavior. Nobody likes insurance companies. But that doesn't justify sloppy bookkeeping. What if they send a report to your credit bureau record?

They are a regulated industry. You state could possibly have rules about non-cancellation or guaranteed-renewability of (paid) policies. Buyers have responsibilities too.
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BrandonBogle
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by BrandonBogle »

At this time, I would recommend calling or getting them a message (email, secure chat, fax, etc.). Fax may honestly be the fastest and easiest and you can use a free online fax service to send in a one page letter to notify them of cancellation.

The reason I say this is that right now, auto carriers are not cancelling policies for non-payment as part of their Coronavirus response. With you being an existing customer, they may consider your policy still in force and eventually come for payment. Sucks to have a time waste, but IMO, worth getting it out of the way now.
pshonore
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by pshonore »

If you're talking about the renewal policy, then call or write and cancel it. Otherwise they may keep billing you and will eventually cancel for non-pay, and may bill you for premium through the cancel date. That will get messy.
afan
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by afan »

I would worry about the effect on credit rating as well.
Many financial institutions severely limit what can be done by email. They may want more proof that the message they receive is from you.

Drop them a letter. Send back the bill with a notice that you are cancelling.
The Postal Service still exists.
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marcwd
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by marcwd »

There’s unnecessary hand-wringing over this. In my state, the only obligation is to maintain some minimum level of insurance. When I switch carriers, the new carrier notifies both the RMV and the old carrier. If there’s any refund due from the old carrier, it’s paid out. That’s it.
inverter
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by inverter »

workingovertime wrote: Tue May 12, 2020 7:40 pm
Poorman wrote: Tue May 12, 2020 7:28 pm
workingovertime wrote: Tue May 12, 2020 6:24 pm Our auto insurance expires next week. We're changing to a different company.

Will it become any problem if I just don't pay for the current auto insurance rather than calling and cancelling? Their line takes forever and I can't find an option to cancel online. Just don't want something to come back and bite me.
Just use a bluetooth. Do your dishes, pay bills, clean house, yard work, surf the internet. Yeah, being on hold is so difficult these days.
Some people are actually busy. Lol. Maybe like work during business hours and some people have school afterward and a family?
Not saying I can't be on hold, but sure is inconvenient being on hold for a long time during work, dinner, or something.

With all that said, I'll probably end up calling at some time anyways to be safe because I don't want something to come back and bite me later.
I asked a USAA rep one time if I could just not pay, and they said that you got reported to the DMV for non-payment and your license/registration were suspended. I would take the time and call in!
pshonore
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by pshonore »

marcwd wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 10:08 am There’s unnecessary hand-wringing over this. In my state, the only obligation is to maintain some minimum level of insurance. When I switch carriers, the new carrier notifies both the RMV and the old carrier. If there’s any refund due from the old carrier, it’s paid out. That’s it.
That may be true in Taxachusetts. However, regulations vary by state.
marcwd
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by marcwd »

pshonore wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 10:27 am
marcwd wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 10:08 am There’s unnecessary hand-wringing over this. In my state, the only obligation is to maintain some minimum level of insurance. When I switch carriers, the new carrier notifies both the RMV and the old carrier. If there’s any refund due from the old carrier, it’s paid out. That’s it.
That may be true in Taxachusetts. However, regulations vary by state.
Sure and the OP can simply inquire from the new carrier at the time of buying the coverage what the procedures are and follow them.
Last edited by marcwd on Wed May 13, 2020 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ValuationsMatter
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by ValuationsMatter »

If customer service is that bad, review you contract. Cancellation notice should be spelled out for you and will probably provide a mailing address if that's even necessary. Proper mailed correspondence is always the way to go when thinking legally.
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celia
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by celia »

Do not ‘cancel’ or let the old insuance ‘expire’. They need to know you ‘changed carriers’ (and likely need to see proof), or your lack of insurance would be reported to the state’s DMV ( or whatever your state calls it).
TropikThunder
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by TropikThunder »

marcwd wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 10:08 am There’s unnecessary hand-wringing over this. In my state, the only obligation is to maintain some minimum level of insurance. When I switch carriers, the new carrier notifies both the RMV and the old carrier. If there’s any refund due from the old carrier, it’s paid out. That’s it.
Why do you assume it’s the same process in OP’s state?
TropikThunder
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by TropikThunder »

galawdawg wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 7:49 am Oh...and don't forget, if your state DMV cancels your registration, tags or driver's license when you simply stop paying your current carrier...no driving until you get the mess sorted out.
Meaning your new carrier won’t pay a claim during this period since your license will have been suspended. There’s also a greater than zero chance the new carrier cancels you when the find out about the suspension.
marcwd
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by marcwd »

TropikThunder wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 12:42 pm
galawdawg wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 7:49 am Oh...and don't forget, if your state DMV cancels your registration, tags or driver's license when you simply stop paying your current carrier...no driving until you get the mess sorted out.
Meaning your new carrier won’t pay a claim during this period since your license will have been suspended. There’s also a greater than zero chance the new carrier cancels you when the find out about the suspension.
The only critical element in all of of this is to maintain a continuous coverage. You don’t drop one carrier before securing another. That’s not only common sense, but I expect generally a state requirement (where insurance is compulsory) in order that you remain a licensed driver.
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by Mr. Rumples »

As noted above, if this is done electronically, there should not be an issue if your current policy expires and the new policy picks up and there is no lapse of coverage. In VA, this is all done electrically; the old insurance will notify DMV and the new company will too.

In VA, the statute, Code of Virginia § 46.2-706.1, requires insurance companies authorized or licensed to do business in Virginia to furnish liability insurance information to DMV electronically. This information is required when insurance policies are canceled, new policies are written and when there are additions to existing polices for motor vehicles registered in Virginia.

This doesn't always work. My father was caught in the middle of a catch 22 on this years ago, and it took an official hearing to resolve in his favor. There was such a backup in hearings (in VA, DMV conducts semi-judicial hearings on stuff like this), while he was waiting for almost a year, they reinstated his driving privilege and put his fines and so forth on hold. It turned out his insurance company messed up.
Topic Author
workingovertime
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by workingovertime »

With everything here, sounds like I would save a bunch of potential headaches by cancelling it rather than just not paying.

Time saved versus potential issue doesn't seem worth it so I've decided to just take the time and call. Thanks!!
ballons
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Re: Not paying auto insurance rather than cancelling

Post by ballons »

marcwd wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 12:56 pm
TropikThunder wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 12:42 pm
galawdawg wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 7:49 am Oh...and don't forget, if your state DMV cancels your registration, tags or driver's license when you simply stop paying your current carrier...no driving until you get the mess sorted out.
Meaning your new carrier won’t pay a claim during this period since your license will have been suspended. There’s also a greater than zero chance the new carrier cancels you when the find out about the suspension.
The only critical element in all of of this is to maintain a continuous coverage. You don’t drop one carrier before securing another. That’s not only common sense, but I expect generally a state requirement (where insurance is compulsory) in order that you remain a licensed driver.
Agreed. Way too many people that think the DMV works like a well-oiled machine keeping an up to the minute database of insurance. Most states only query this database when you get/renew license and/or tags and that is it. The handful that are proactive only care if you have valid current insurance; they don't care if your old policy was never canceled.

I would still call and tell them you will not be renewing / switching. You at least get to know if they will drop prices to retain you.
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