Wait before you cancel your old insurance policy!
You get your insurance renewal in the mail (or email) and you notice that your premium has gone up 15% in the last 6 months. You think about it and realize that you have never actually met your agent. Or maybe you bought your policy online and you start to think about whether or not you have decent liability coverage (because hey, you didn’t really understand all that coverage stuff, so you just picked something).
You decide it may be time to shop around a little bit for your insurance.
But not today- you have stuff to do today. So you put it in your briefcase or purse knowing that you will get to it ASAP. And you don’t pay the bill because you know you are going to switch- you just don’t know who the new lucky carrier will be.
All of a sudden you realize it has been three weeks and you haven’t done anything regarding your insurance. You look at that renewal notice and realize that your coverage ended 10 days ago because you didn’t make your payment.
You panic – and then you call the first insurance agent you think of. “Help! I need auto insurance TODAY!”
The good news is- we can help you. You can purchase auto insurance and have it go effective that day.
The bad news is- that any time you let your policy lapse (you don’t have coverage) for longer than 5 days, you will raise your rate. A LOT! In fact, you likely will be sent into the “high risk” category- even if you have been a perfect driver, you’re in that sweet spot with your age (not too old and not too young), and you have good credit.
It doesn’t matter- you let your insurance coverage lapse. Longer than the five day grace period. And THAT makes you an increased risk in the eyes of the insurance company. Most insurance companies.
Why? Because you actually have been driving without insurance coverage for however long. Do you know what could happen to you if you get into an accident without insurance coverage? What if it was a bad accident and you sent someone to the hospital? Or even killed someone? In Wisconsin, if you lose a wrongful death lawsuit because you t-boned another car and killed an adult, the deceased’s family can get a judgement for $300,000. $500,000 if you kill a child.
I don’t know about you- but driving without any insurance is not an option for me. Even at my 250/500 liability limits- if I were to hit and kill an adult- I would owe $50,000 to the family. I don’t have $50,000 in savings. I would be financially devastated. Note: there are umbrella policies that cover you for these types of large liability losses- check out my blog post here.
Unfortunately, we get calls all the time from people that want an insurance quote and have let their current policy end. If it’s within the 5 day grace-period- there isn’t a surcharge for this. But after 5 days, you should expect to pay a significantly larger amount for your insurance. This goes for any kind of insurance that you actually are required to have (ie. Homeowners or condo).
The take away here? Always continue to pay your premiums on your current policy until after your new policy has been purchased and issued. We also offer a discount if you purchase your insurance policy 7 days in advance of the day you actually need it to start, which can be quite lucrative. In my office, personally, we help you cancel your old policy- unless you specifically have been wanting to tell your former agent to buzz off.
Please don’t drive without auto insurance coverage. It is really, really, really NOT a good idea.
As always, if you would like a quote on your auto insurance (or homeowners, condo, renters, motorcycle, boat, or life)- don’t hesitate to give my office a call- 262-326-4750.
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If you'd like to explore your insurance options, please visit our contact page or connect with a member of The Richards Group team at (262) 326-4750.