Have you received a letter in the mail lately notifying you that your auto insurance has dropped you? If so, you might be a pretty big shock, or is it?! It often feels as though it comes out of the left-field, leaving you scrambling to figure out what to do, and likely you saw it coming or not. So let’s discuss some of the issues and tips to help support you, so you can recover as quickly as possible! Because, as we all know, if you have a car, you are required to insure it in the State of Texas.
What causes an insurance carrier to drop you (your car insurance)?
There are many things that can cause your auto insurance carrier to drop you. The most common reasons include your insurance company shutting down in your geographical location, committing insurance fraud, and refusing or neglecting (forgetting) to pay your insurance premiums. One other thing to remember is that being cancelled is different than not being offered a car insurance renewal.
Cancellation vs. non-renewal
Cancellation is very different than a non-renewal. Cancellation means that your insurance carrier is actively and deliberately dropping your insurance policy for a specific reason, and there is a possibility that you can be covered again, by them. A non-renewal means that your current policy is being discontinued, and you will be required to switch to a new kind of policy with your existing company or to another carrier all together. So, clearly, you will need to know which is your concern.
Regardless of the reason for your getting dropped, there is a more pressing problem that you now have to face: what do you do?
What to do if your car insurance policy was dropped
It’s never good news to hear this because it often means finding a new policy is going to be harder and more expensive. However, it is absolutely possible. Just get smart and careful about your approach to doing so.
Don’t drive once your existing insurance policy ends
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is to continue to drive after their policy ends because they are “looking for a new one, and it’ll be fine.” However, driving without insurance is not fine and can carry heavy penalties that will follow you, including jail time.
Once your policy ends, do not drive your car. Park it and ask for lifts from friends, take public transport, or pick up the phone and call around. You can be insured right over the phone, almost instantly.
Start your research by getting quotes
You’ll need to get accurate quotes for the kind of policy that you’re looking for. They may ask you if you’ve been dropped from your provider and then ask the reason why. Answer truthfully and use the answer provided in your formal notice from the insurance carrier.
You’ll find that the quotes may vary from carrier to carrier and company to company, so get several and then be sure to compare apples to apples. For example, if you have 300/150 coverage for $1500, and get coverage for $1000, be sure if was for that save 300/150 coverage. Also, make sure that you prepare yourself for the idea that the quotes might be higher than you’d expect since you’ve been dropped, for whatever reason.
Talk to your insurance agent
Even if you are feeling frustrated with the need to have to shop around for a new policy, one of your best allies is your insurance agent! Honestly, this should have been your first call as they can help you to find different coverage with the same carrier or suggest different providers (if they are captive) or help you find a new car insurance policy with the carriers they represent. And, what’s even better, they can give you tips on looking for the best rates, if you insist on looking elsewhere. They are not your enemy, despite the assumption otherwise in many cases.
Getting dropped from your insurance policy is never fun, but there’s no reason that it has to be an endpoint for your car-related life, either. Hopefully this has helped to get back up and going again.
Again, contact your Farmer’s Agent, Paula Smith Insurance, at (281)488-8880 with any questions you may have, whether you got a cancellation letter from us or another carrier. We would be happy to help you.