Is it a bad idea to delay payments for auto insurance?

It is a bad idea to delay payments for auto insurance.. Failing to pay your insurance bills on time and have disastrous results. You could lose your coverage or even your car if you lease it. Prevent missed payments by enrolling in automatic deposits or by shopping online to find a policy that best suits your needs and your budget.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and ...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Jun 27, 2022

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Can't-Miss Facts

  • Missing insurance payments can result in higher rates or even in policy cancellation
  • If your insurance rates are too high, shopping online is a great way to find affordable insurance
  • Insurance companies typically offer a 10-20 day grace period for clients to make any missed payments

If you don’t have affordable auto insurance, is it bad to delay payments for auto insurance? It certainly is. Delaying your payments can result in quite a lot of negative outcomes, and you should never delay your payments if you can help it.

Of course, if you think your automobile insurance is too expensive, you can always shop online for quotes. But is it bad to delay payments for auto insurance for auto insurance quotes too?

The answer is yes because if you miss payments on your current policy other insurance companies will count you as a higher risk and won’t be too eager to offer you lower rates.

Don’t wait to find affordable auto insurance. Before learning more about if it is bad to delay payments for auto insurance, enter your ZIP code into our free tool to get free insurance quotes from companies near you.

What happens if drivers pay their insurance late?

Now you may be asking yourself, “What happens if I pay my auto insurance late?” If something, like a late paycheck or unexpected bills, were to keep you from making your payments on time, there are a few different things that could happen next.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed after all, so it’s in your best interest to review what could happen if you were to miss making a payment on time. Let’s take a look at what could happen in such a scenario:

  • A reminder to make your payment would be sent out
  • A missed payment could result in a lack of coverage
  • Your premiums could rise after you make a payment to reinstate your policy
  • You could be hounded by a collection agency if the bill remains unpaid
  • If you’re leasing your vehicle, you could lose it

Now, according to auto insurance cancellation laws, if you have not paid your bill, an insurance company is well within its rights to cancel your policy even if it is in the middle of its term.

But as you can see, failing to make regular payments can cost you not only your insurance but your vehicle as well if you lease it or have a lien on it. This could have dire consequences if you need your car to get to and from work.

If you are a day or two late on your payment, there’s no need to worry though as all insurance companies have a grace period that allows you some time to make your payment.

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What is an auto insurance lapse grace period?

If you were to ask an auto insurance company, “Is it bad to delay payments for auto insurance?” They would most likely say, “Yes,” but don’t worry. Your insurance company will not cancel your coverage if your payment is a day or two late.

Typically, insurance companies provide a grace period of 10 to 20 days so you can send in your payment before anything drastic happens. Your insurance company will also contact you via a letter or a phone that you have missed a payment.

How can drivers avoid missing payments?

If you’re worried about delayed payments for auto insurance, then buy auto insurance that allows you to set up automatic deposits. That way your payment will be made on time every month, and you can rest easy knowing that your coverage is still intact.

This is one of the best ways to avoid missing payments and is great for drivers who are forgetful or who simply get overwhelmed when the bills come in every month.

How can drivers afford auto insurance?

You may be grimacing at the sight of your insurance bill every month, but reviewing your policy may reveal that you are missing out on discounts that you could apply to your policy.

Most major insurance companies offer a wide range of discounts that can reduce your rates by as much as 30%. The next time you review your policy, peruse this list to make sure every discount your qualify for is being applied to your policy:

Auto Insurance Discounts Available by Company and Discount Amount
Discounts21st Century Discount AmountAAA Discount AmountAllstate Discount AmountAmerican Family Discount AmountAmeriprise Discount AmountAmica Discount AmountCountry Financial Discount AmountEsurance Discount AmountFarmers Discount AmountGeico Discount AmountLiberty Mutual Discount AmountMetLife Discount AmountNationwide Discount AmountProgressive Discount AmountSafe Auto Discount AmountSafeco Discount AmountState Farm Discount AmountThe General Discount AmountThe Hanover Discount AmountThe Hartford Discount AmountTravelers Discount AmountUSAA Discount Amount
Adaptive Cruise Control and/or Headlights----------5%--------3%--
Anti-lock Brakes--10%-3%5%-5%-5%5%5%5%-5%-5%8%5%3%--
Anti-Theft--10%-3%25%10%25%-25%20% off of comprehensive portion of policy.10% -- this discount factors in features such as VIN etching and vehicle recovery;
one anti-theft discount applies.
25%; combined with vehicle recovery discount.---15% discount off of comprehensive coverage; higher discount with "engine cut-off."8%; one total anti-theft discount applies; if vehicle recovery, a higher discount applies.5%3%--
Claim Free--35%----25%-26% for going five years without an accident.Awarded "accident free" on account for lower rating.20% if claim/violation free:
"Superior Driver"
3+ yrs=12%
5+ yrs 20%
save $50 each claim-free year up to $250 (off deductible).
10%-10% if you go six months without filing a claim;
one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
20% "Safeco Safety Rewards" if you have no at-fault accidents in the last 36 months,
no more than 1 point on your license, and
no DUI in the last ten years; one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
15%; must have State Farm for at least three consecutive years without an accident.-15%-23%; must be accident and violation free to get the "Safe Driver" discount listed below;
must be accident and violation free to qualify:
23% - 5 years
10% - 3 years;
one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
12%; "Premier Driver Discount"
4%-12%, depending on driving record;
12% is for being accident and violation free for five years; one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
Not available in HI.
Continuous Coverage-----3%-------No gaps or cancellations;
discount depends on how long you have been consistently insured.
10% for going six or more months with no more than a 30-day coverage gap.7% if you have been with Safeco or previous provider for one year or longer; five or more years gets you the highest discount.--10%; discount applies at each renewal.-15%-
Daytime Running Lights--2%------1%5%5%5%-5%---5%3%--
Defensive Driver5%-10%10%-5%5%10%--10%7%5%10%10%5%5%8%5%10%10%3%
Distant Student--35%---------10%--15%--5%3%7%-
Driver's Ed--10%--5%10%---10%10%-10%10%5%15%8%5%3%8%3%
Driving Device/App--20%40%---25%--30%15%40%20%-30%50%--10%30%5%
Early Signing--10%---10%10%---15%8%--8%----10%12%
Electronic Stability Control--2%--5%----5%-----------
Emergency Deployment---------25%------------
Engaged Couple------10%---------------
Family Legacy-----5%---------------10%
Family Plan------25%-----25%------5%--
Farm Vehicle--10%-------------------
Fast 5-------5%--------------
Federal Employee---------8%10%-----------
Forward Collision Warning-----8%----5%--------3%--
Full Payment--10%--4%-10%--$5---5%15%-8%15%20%7.5%-
Further Education-------15%--10%-15%---------
Good Credit------------"Financial Stability"
gets you a lower rate. You must also have stable residence.
Good Student--20%--10%25%10%-15%22.5%15%10%-10%15%25%8%5%3%8%3%
Green Vehicle--10%-----5%-10%--------3%10%-
Lane Departure Warning-------------Safety features get automatic discounts applied when VIN entered in system. --------
Low Mileage-----10%-15%-------20%30%-----
Military Garaging---------------------15%
Multiple Drivers-------------------5%--
Multiple Policies--10%--15%25%--10%20%10%10%12%-15%17%15%10%20%13%-
Multiple Vehicles-----15%15%--25%10%-20%10%15%15%20%15%5%5%8%-
New Address----------5%-----------
New Customer/New Plan-----------10%--10%-------
New Graduate----------5%-----------
Newer Vehicle--30%---10%---------40%--3%10%12%
Newly Licensed----------5%-----------
Occasional Operator---------------------Discount based on operator's individual driving record.
On Time Payments--5%-----------------15%-
Online Shopper-------11%-----7%--------
Paperless Documents- -10%--2%------5%$50-`-------
Paperless/Auto Billing-5%--2%-----25%$30-$410%$28%2%$53%3%
Passive Restraint--30%30%3%30%-33%-40%-5%20%-5%2%40%8%5%3%--
Recent Retiree----------4%--------3%--
Roadside Assistance-------5%--------------
Safe Driver--45%--15%-40%15%-12%35%31%10%20%15%---23%12%
Seat Belt Use---------15%------------
Senior Driver--10%--------10%-----5%5%---
Stable Residence-------------------5%--
Students and Alumni-------15%--10%-7%---------
Switching Provider-------5%--10%10%--10%--5%5%---
Utility Vehicle--15%-------------------
Vehicle Recovery--10%-5%10%-25%-25%35%10%25%---5%8%-3%--
VIN Etching----------5%10%----------
Young Driver------10%--------------$75
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If your policy is too expensive even with discounts, you can always research other types of policies like pay-per-mile insurance. If you drive less than 10,000 miles per year on average, this could be a great policy for you as you would only pay for much you drive.

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Delaying Payments for Auto Insurance: What You Need to Know

If you need lower auto insurance rates, is it bad to delay payments for auto insurance?

Delaying payments for your auto insurance may give you momentary monetary relief, but in the long run, failing to pay your insurance bill could result in the cancellation of your policy or even the loss of your vehicle.

Setting up an automatic deposit for your insurance bills or purchasing a policy that best suits your budgets are two great strategies to combat missed payments.

Now that you know more about if it is bad to delay payments for auto insurance, enter your ZIP code so you can receive free insurance quotes today and find the best policy for you.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

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