When does a typical car insurance expire?

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Asked January 6, 2016

1 Answer


Auto insurance policies can be purchased in different lengths, but the most common terms are semi-annual and annual. Since you can initiate a policy at any time, the expiration of the policy will depend on the length of the policy and the date it went into effect. By comparison, a popular misconception is that auto insurance is purchased on a calendar year basis, where all policies expire at the end of the year regardless of when they are purchased, and must be renewed at the first of the year.

Your insurance policy and cards will contain the expiration date for your coverage. This is true whether you purchase the coverage in person, or buy a policy from an insurer online. This date is usually located near the bottom of your insurance card, and the coverage will end at midnight on the date specified. If you are not able to determine the expiration date yourself, you can always contact your insurance company and ask them.

Keep in mind that the expiration date on your card is when your coverage ends. Some insurance companies may provide you with a grace period of 3 to 14 days, but they are not required to do so by law. Legally, you are uninsured as soon as the termination date arrives, and that makes you subject to license suspension, registration revocation and other legal consequences. For this reason, it is a good idea to never let your auto insurance lapse.

If you make monthly payments, your policy is subject to expire any time you miss a premium payment. If you see that you are not going to be able to make a payment on time, contact your insurance company and explain the situation to them. In most cases, the company will work with you to keep your policy in force so long as you do not allow the premium to go unpaid for more than a few days.

Answered January 12, 2016 by Anonymous

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