Does Car Insurance Automatically Renew?

Car insurance typically renews automatically. You can make a payment to continue your current coverage—but shopping around can help you find a lower rate.
Written by Jaya Anandjit
Edited by Jessica Barrett
Auto insurance
policies usually renew automatically, which means you only need to make a payment to continue your current coverage at an updated rate—but you might find a better offer by shopping around first. 

Car insurance renews automatically

Your car insurance policy will automatically renew when it reaches the end of its 6- or 12-month term. 
As part of the renewal process, your provider will send you a
car insurance renewal
notice by mail or email, which will include the following: 
  • Your new policy rate
  • Your new insurance cards
  • Your updated policy declaration page
After you receive your renewal notice, you’ll have a few things to consider:
  • You can choose to accept your updated car insurance rate, which will likely be higher due to insurance market forces
  • You can compare
    car insurance quotes
    to find a lower rate from a different insurance provider
  • If you find a lower rate, you can set up your new policy and decline your car insurance renewal
  • If you decide to go with your current provider, you should assess your coverage and look for discounts to bring your rate down
To activate your upcoming policy term after receiving your renewal notice, you will need to fulfill your first or full-term payment. Depending on your provider, you may be able to pay online, through a mobile app, by phone, in-person, or by mail.

Shop around before your car insurance auto-renews

The insurance industry is no stranger to inflated car repair prices, higher car part costs, and increased medical expenses, which increase the cost for an insurer to provide coverage to each policyholder.
Driving record & insurance history
Notches on your driving history, like traffic violations or at-fault accidents, can raise your premiums. A history of claims can also lead to a rate increase. 
Personal factors
If you moved to a different ZIP code, your credit score decreased, or you added a driver or vehicle to your policy, your rates may increase.
Although you may receive a higher premium from your current insurance company, it’s possible that there are lower rates out there. Comparison shopping can help you uncover the lowest available rate for your driver profile, and the Jerry app is a great way to view quotes from multiple insurers in one place. 
app screenshot
In the
app, you can build a driver profile, view quotes from various auto insurance providers, and start your new policy with a better rate.
Quotes will range based on driving profile.
If you find a more affordable car insurance rate, you can decline your renewal after you set up your cheaper policy.

How to decline a car insurance renewal

If you have automatic payments set up, you will need to contact your insurance provider to decline your policy renewal before your payment due date. Without notifying your company or insurance agent, your car insurance policy will renew via auto-pay—and then you’ll need to go through the formal process of canceling your insurance. 
If you don’t have auto-pay set up, you should still let your insurer know that you won’t be renewing your policy. Here’s how to decline coverage: 
  • Buy a new policy: Set up your new car insurance coverage to avoid a coverage lapse when you decline your renewal.
  • Call your current insurer: Contact your provider before your policy expiration date to inform them that you found a new policy. Be ready to provide your new policy number.
  • Set your cancellation date: Confirm your
    car insurance cancellation
    date for your old policy in alignment with the start date of your new policy.
  • Request written confirmation: Insurance companies typically provide written confirmation of a policy cancellation or a renewal decline, but ask your provider just in case.

Before renewing: Review your coverage and look for discounts

If you choose to renew your existing policy, here are a few tips to ensure your coverage—and rate—are optimized: 
  • Review your coverage: Your renewal period is a great time to update your coverage based on your current needs. Maybe you didn’t need roadside assistance last year but you need it now. Or maybe you can lower your collision and comprehensive deductible to earn a lower rate. Talk to your insurance agent for more guidance.
  • Ask about discounts: You may be eligible for extra insurance discounts when your policy renews. For example, if you recently purchased a property, you may qualify for a bundling discount for your home insurance and auto insurance. Or, if you switch to paperless billing, you could earn savings.

What happens if I don’t renew my policy?

If you don’t renew your policy or purchase new coverage before your policy expiration date, your coverage will lapse. 
iconYou may be able to reinstate your policy
In some cases, insurance providers offer grace periods for auto insurance renewals. Contact your insurance provider if you missed your renewal to request a policy reinstatement. If they refuse your reinstatement request, be sure to get a new insurance policy immediately.
iconYou’ll be uninsured
If your coverage lapses, your insurance provider will notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that you are an uninsured driver, and you may face a driver’s license suspension or revocation. If your coverage lapses, you will also face higher insurance rates going forward. 
Pro Tip: To avoid a lapse in coverage, renew your policy on time or find new coverage from a different car insurance company before your policy’s renewal date.

Your insurer can refuse to renew your policy

Your insurance company is entitled to non-renewal, in which they cancel your policy at the end of your term. Non-renewal can happen for the following reasons: 1
  • Your insurer no longer offers policies in your area
  • Your insurer doesn’t offer your policy anymore
  • You missed payments during your latest policy term
  • You have a history of accidents over the past few years, possibly with at-fault accidents
  • You filed too many insurance claims
Keep in mind: If your insurer chooses to not renew your auto insurance coverage, you will need to secure a new car insurance plan before your cancellation date. Check out providers that specialize in
insurance for high-risk drivers
or smaller non-standard auto insurance companies.


Can I renew my auto policy after it expires?

In some cases, you may be able to reactivate your policy after it expires. If you notice that you missed your car insurance renewal, be sure to reach out to your insurance provider immediately.

What happens when I don’t renew my car insurance? 

If you don’t renew your car insurance and you don’t set up a new policy before your car insurance renewal date, your coverage will lapse and you will be uninsured.
Some companies offer grace periods for expired car insurance, so you may be able to reinstate your policy. Reach out to your insurance provider and request a policy reinstatement. If they decline, shop around to find a new policy as soon as possible. 

Will my insurance renew automatically even if I don’t have auto-pay?

Your insurance policy will renew automatically even if you don’t have auto-pay, but you will need to make the first payment for your new policy term to activate your renewed coverage.

What if I don’t renew my policy and drive without insurance? 

If you don’t renew your policy and decide to drive without insurance, you may face a license suspension or revocation. Additionally, if you cause an accident without insurance, you will face steep out-of-pocket costs for the other driver’s medical bills and repair costs. 

How can I pay to renew my car insurance?

Car insurance providers typically accept renewal payments with a credit card or debit card online, by phone, in-person, or by mail with a cheque or money order. Some providers may accept mobile app payments or payments through a bank account.

When will my car insurance renewal notice arrive? 

Car insurance renewal notices typically arrive one month before the official renewal date.

Can I cancel my insurance before my renewal date? 

You can cancel your car insurance at any time. Waiting for your renewal date may help you avoid a cancellation fee or administrative fees, but some providers offer mid-term cancellations free of charge.

How do I stop my car insurance from auto-renewing?

You can stop your car insurance from auto-renewing by calling your insurance provider to decline your policy renewal. You will need to speak with an insurance agent.

Will I get a refund if I cancel my car insurance after it renews?

If you paid your car insurance premium in full for the year, you will receive a refund for your unused premiums, minus fees for administrative costs. If you paid a monthly premium, you may not receive a
car insurance refund

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