D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Sep 9, 2021

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Just the Basics

  • If you pay your car insurance late there’s a chance your policy will lapse and you will no longer be covered
  • Until your payment is processed, you may be charged a late fee each day that it’s outstanding
  • Many insurance companies give you a car insurance lapse grace period before canceling your policy due to non-payment

Car insurance is a must for both you and your vehicle’s safety and security. Sometimes though, it’s not possible to pay your car insurance on time.

Unless your annual premium is paid in full upfront, you must make monthly insurance payments by the agreed-upon due date to ensure your coverage continues.

Is it bad to delay payments for car insurance? This car insurance guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Before you do, there’s a better way to buy affordable car insurance no matter your circumstances. You can find car insurance quotes near you right now by entering your ZIP code in our free tool above?

What happens if I pay my car insurance late?

Your insurer may cancel your policy if you quit paying premiums entirely. The best course of action is always to pay your insurance bill on time to prevent any gaps in your car insurance coverage, as these can result in higher rates the next time you try to buy car insurance.

Do I get a grace period if my car insurance lapses?

If you’re late on your payments right now, don’t panic just yet. You will most likely receive an email or a letter if your insurance is canceled.

Most providers have a car insurance lapse grace period before canceling your policy due to non-payment. This is around two weeks, but the length of time you have will depend on your state and your insurance provider.

Things happen, so states have car insurance cancellation laws that govern when and how an insurer can cancel your policy. For many states though, a lack of payment is a valid reason for an insurance company to cancel your policy even before its expiration date.

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Is it bad to delay payments for car insurance?

It’s best to not get canceled at all since it will go on your record and increase your future premiums. You should never allow car insurance coverage to lapse. One technique you can use if you want to cancel your current policy is to buy a new one before it’s too late.

Checking car insurance quotes from top companies in your area is easy if you use our free tool. Simply enter your ZIP code below and you’ll get personalized car insurance rates right away.