How to Get Your Car Insurance Policy Reinstated
Getting your car insurance reinstated is typically the best route to go after your policy has been canceled. Reinstatement after missing your grace period can be tricky, though. Learn the benefits of reinstating your policy and tips to improve your chances of success.
What Is Car Insurance Reinstatement?
Reinstatement is when your policy is put back into place after it's lapsed for non-payment. A policy reinstatement comes from the same insurance carrier you were previously insured with, and it may also have the same policy number and coverage.
Car insurance reinstatements come in two different forms. With the first one, your policy lapse stays in place and your reinstatement comes with new effective dates. With the second, your policy continues as if a lapse never occurred. A reinstatement without a lapse is better because there's no time when the policy didn't cover you. If an incident occurred while your policy was lapsed, your insurance company wouldn't cover any claims from that time.
Benefits of Car Insurance Reinstatement
The main benefit of car insurance reinstatement is that it keeps your policy in force. You don't have to get insurance quotes, which can be time-consuming and a bit of a hassle. It's the simplest way to get coverage back on your vehicle.
Another benefit is continuing with the same insurance carrier you're already familiar with. You might already have their numbers saved into your phone and have an established relationship with an agent. If they're providing you with good customer service and competitive rates, it's simplest to stay with the same carrier.
Reinstating a policy without a lapse also means you're not automatically high risk. Many states require a premium increase on your car insurance if your policy has a lapse, so a reinstated policy could be the cheapest way to go.
Penalties Associated With Reinstatement
If you've been on a monthly payment plan, your insurance carrier may not want to offer it anymore. That means you may have to pay semi-annually or annually. At a minimum, you'll need to pay the premiums for the remainder of your policy period. Sometimes you can get away with paying less, but it's up to your insurance carrier.
Late fees will also need to be paid to get your policy started again. You may also be charged a surcharge (additional premiums) depending on how long you were without coverage.
Being expected to pay more when you've fallen behind for non-payment might seem unfair, but that's how many bills work. Paying late and letting your car insurance lapse costs you more overall, and it could be a lot more.
Personal budgets aren't easy to live by, and unexpected events can pop up to set even the best planner behind. Take a close look at your expenses and try to find areas you can make cuts.
Consider asking your insurance agent about what you can do to reduce the cost of insurance. For example, you might be able to increase your deductible and lower your coverage. This lowers your premium, but it also reduces your coverage, leaving you more vulnerable. If the choice is less coverage or no coverage, though, the better choice is less coverage.
If you anticipate being late with your insurance payment, contact your insurance carrier. Let them know your situation and when you'll be paying. They might be able to extend some flexibility.
Tips for Car Insurance Reinstatement
Getting your policy reinstated one time isn't a guarantee, and multiple reinstatements are even tougher. Don't expect more than two reinstatements within a three-year period.
Your chances for reinstatement are better if you have multiple policies bundled together. Combining policies gives you more negotiation power. Getting behind on your payment can happen to anyone, but don't get stuck in the trap of paying on the last day of your grace period every month. It's not a good signal to the underwriter when you request reinstatement, and if something goes wrong, there's no wiggle room.
If you're looking at a potential denial of your reinstatement request, offer to pay in full. Many times making payment in full will lock in your reinstatement chances.