Whether you’re moving to a new state, selling your car or switching auto insurance companies, there may come a time when you need to cancel your personal car insurance.
To help simplify the process, here’s everything you need to know about canceling your auto insurance policy.
When Can I Cancel My Car Insurance Policy?
When you purchase car insurance, most policies provide coverage for a period of six months to a year. But just because your auto policy has an end date doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to cancel. As a policyholder, you can request to cancel your car insurance at any time – for any reason.
That said, here’s a brief word of caution: If you plan to continue driving, don’t forget to purchase a new auto insurance policy before canceling your existing one. In almost every state, drivers are legally required to have car insurance in place when driving. In addition to breaking the law, canceling your car insurance too soon can result in a lapse of coverage. Not only does this leave you unprotected in the event of an accident, but it can also result in higher auto insurance rates.
Do I Have to Pay a Cancellation Fee When I Cancel My Car Insurance?
If you’re an Erie Insurance customer, you will not be charged a cancellation fee if you decide to cancel your auto insurance policy. However, every insurance company has different guidelines regarding cancellations – and some may charge an added fee. To find out if your policy is subject to an early cancellation fee, call your auto insurance company, read your policy documents or talk to your local insurance agent.
Reasons to Cancel Your Car Insurance
If you need to make changes to your car insurance coverage, such as increasing coverage levels or adding a new vehicle, there’s no need to cancel your policy altogether. In those instances, your local ERIE agent can just modify your existing policy and inform you of any premium changes.
However, there are a few reasons why you may need to cancel your car insurance policy. They include:
- Selling your car. As long as you plan to own and drive at least one car, then adding and removing vehicles doesn’t require a policy cancellation. But if you sell your only car and plan to stop driving, then you can cancel your auto insurance.
- Moving to a different state. If you’re moving to a new home or apartment in the same state, there’s no reason to cancel your car insurance. But an out-of-state move will require you to cancel your existing car insurance and purchase an auto policy in your new home state. That’s because every state has its own unique set of insurance coverage requirements and regulations.
Keep in mind that buying a new car insurance policy doesn’t mean you have to switch insurance companies. For example, Erie Insurance offers auto policies in 12 states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin) and the District of Columbia. So if you’re moving to a state where we sell car insurance, you can remain an ERIE customer after your move. That means you’ll have access to the same great coverage – and all those ERIE Xtras you’ve come to know and love.
- Switching insurance companies. Whether shopping for electronics, furniture or a new car, we all love getting the most bang for our buck. The same is true for auto insurance. Sometimes, finding a cheaper car insurance policy may entice you to switch insurance companies in the middle of a policy period. In that case, you’ll want to cancel your current policy after buying a new one.
Before making the switch, it’s always a good idea to call your insurance agent. Your local ERIE agent can tell you about available car insurance discounts or other changes that could help lower your rates.
Should I Cancel My Car Insurance if I Stop Driving?
It’s not uncommon to encounter a circumstance where you need to stop driving for a time, like after an injury or during an extended period of travel. When you won’t be driving your vehicle, it may be tempting to save some money by dropping auto insurance. However, removing your auto insurance can leave your car vulnerable in the event of a fire, theft or other damage that would be covered by comprehensive insurance.
For this reason, it’s best to keep some level of auto insurance as long as you still own a car. This will allow you to protect your vehicle, while avoiding a lapse in insurance coverage on your record (this can make insurance more expensive when you decide to insure the vehicle again).
Fortunately, your ERIE auto policy comes with your very own local insurance agent who can help you understand your options and select the amount of coverage that works for you.
How Do I Cancel My Car Insurance Policy?
If you need to cancel an auto insurance policy from ERIE, follow these steps:
- Call your ERIE agent. To request a policy cancellation, you’ll need to contact your local ERIE agent directly. Your agent’s contact information is always listed on your ERIE policy documents. You can also find your agent’s phone number on our website at erieinsurance.com/find-an-insurance-agent.
- Provide your cancellation date. After letting your ERIE agent know you’d like to cancel your auto insurance, they’ll ask for the cancellation date. The cancellation date is the day you’d like your policy to end, which also represents the last day you’ll have auto coverage from that insurance company.
Again, remember that if you plan to continue driving, you should never cancel an existing auto policy before a new policy goes into effect. Doing so could result in a lapse of coverage, which could increase your auto insurance rates and leave you unprotected in the event of an accident.
Depending on your insurance company, you may be asked to sign a document confirming your cancellation request or provide the request in writing. After the request is processed, you should receive confirmation from the insurance company acknowledging your cancellation.
- Receive your refund (if applicable). When canceling your auto insurance policy, you may receive a refund for your unused insurance premiums. Most commonly, drivers will get a refund for their auto policy when they choose to pay their annual premium upfront in one lump sum (this is often done to get an additional auto insurance discount). But if you pay for your car insurance in monthly installments, you could still be eligible for a small refund, depending on when you cancel or change your policy.
If you’re entitled to a refund, your agent can explain the refund options and let you know exactly how much you’ll be getting back. For more information, read our blog post: Can You Get a Refund on Car Insurance?
It’s Easy to Switch and Save With ERIE
Cheap auto insurance doesn’t have to mean poor protection and service. At Erie Insurance, we offer affordable car insurance with plenty of opportunities to reduce and avoid increases to your car insurance costs while maintaining quality coverage. All from an insurer that’s recognized for customer service and financial stability.
ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York). The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.
The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time.
Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions.
The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states. ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York. ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York. ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York.
Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.
Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.