Cancel Your Car Insurance (and Save Big)

You can cancel your car insurance by calling your insurance company or broker and following the cancellation process.
Written by Jessica Barrett
Edited by R.E. Fulton
You can usually cancel your
car insurance
policy at any time by calling your agent or broker—but be mindful of any cancellation fees and required notice periods.
  • You can cancel your insurance policy by calling your insurance company or broker and following the cancellation process.
  • Some insurers charge a fee to cancel—often around $50 or a short-rate fee.
  • Canceling your insurance policy might be a good idea if you’re
    switching insurance companies
    to get a better rate, but beware of coverage lapses that can lead to higher premiums.
  • If you’re keeping your vehicle, you’ll want to keep an active insurance policy on it.

How to cancel your car insurance policy

For most policyholders, policy cancellation takes three simple steps:
1. Call or email your current insurer or broker: Provide the insurance agent or broker with your old policy number and ask about the cancellation process.
2. Submit your cancellation request: You may need to provide 30 days' notice, and some insurance providers require you to sign a cancellation letter. Be sure to ask about cancellation fees or a “short-rate fee” unless you’re canceling just before renewal.
3. Get confirmation of your cancellation: Some insurance companies will email you a cancellation notice while others will send it via post. Confirm that the cancellation date is correct.
Need to know: A short-rate fee is usually 10% to 15% of the total premium you agreed to pay for your entire policy term. A prorated refund, on the other hand, refunds all of your unused premium. 

Cancel your car insurance if you’re switching policies—otherwise, don’t

Switching car insurance policies is a great reason to cancel:
  • You found lower rates with another auto insurance company
  • You’re being added to a partner or parent’s policy
  • You want to bundle your auto insurance with another policy—like
    homeowners insurance
But if you’re not getting a new policy and you still drive, canceling isn’t usually a good idea. 
  • If you’re moving: Even if you’re moving to a state that doesn’t require car insurance coverage (like
    New Hampshire
    ), it’s still important to have. An insurance policy protects you after an accident so that you don’t end up in financial trouble after driving uninsured.
  • If you’re storing your car: Even in storage, your car needs an insurance policy. You’ll probably want to drop
    collision coverage
    and only protect it with
    comprehensive coverage
    —but if it’s registered, it needs insurance.
  • If you’re selling your car: Consider
    non-owners insurance
    if you’re selling your vehicle but will still be driving. Maintaining a policy prevents you from having a lapse in coverage, which is especially important if you’re ultimately planning to buy a new car.

You might get a refund if you cancel your insurance policy

If you paid your car insurance premium upfront, you will probably get a refund after canceling your policy.
  • Check with your insurance company to find out how much you’re owed
  • Ask whether they are deducting a cancellation fee from your refund
If you pay your premium monthly, chances of a refund are slim. And depending on when your cancellation takes effect, you may even still owe money.

Can you cancel your auto insurance policy at any time?

Theoretically, yes—you could purchase a 6-month policy and cancel it after a week. But you need to be careful doing this.
  • If you repeatedly purchase and cancel policies—or if an insurance company thinks you are going to do this—you may be denied coverage
  • Not all insurers offer refunds if you cancel mid-term, so be sure to ask about the cancellation policy
That said, if your circumstances change and you need to cancel your policy in the middle of the term, it usually isn’t an issue.

Jerry can help you find cheap car insurance

If you’re considering canceling your current policy because it’s too expensive, let
Jerry
help.
Jerry is the AllCar™ app that helps you save big on car insurance. You’ll be able to compare insurance quotes from multiple companies without filling out long forms or dealing with sales calls—and it will only take two minutes of your time.
Jerry’s team of 100+ licensed agents can help you get your new insurance set up before you cancel with your old insurer!

FAQs

Yes—but most insurers have a grace period for missed payments. Check with your insurance agent if you expect to miss an insurance payment to avoid cancellation or nonrenewal.
If you cancel your car insurance without a new policy in place, your insurer will typically notify the DMV of your insurance lapse.
Driving without insurance
is illegal, and you’ll be subject to serious legal and financial consequences.
Canceling your car insurance won’t affect your credit score, but failure to pay your insurance bill can—and driving without insurance could land you in even more serious trouble.
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