Why You Shouldnt Cancel Your Car Insurance Policy Before You Sell Your Vehicle
Many people rush and decide to cancel their car insurance policy even before they finalize the selling process. You might think that you wont drive your vehicle anymore, especially if you have an interested buyer. But what if the purchaser gives up at the last minute? What if there is an emergency and you need to take the car to another part of the city?
Driving without car insurance is a huge risk, which is why you should keep your policy intact until you finish the selling process. That way, you can use the vehicle until the last moment without worrying about potential consequences.
Will Car Insurance For My New Car Be Cheaper Or More Expensive
New or young cars have a higher resale value and can be pricier to repair, so you might expect that they’re more expensive to insure. However, your new car insurance could work out cheaper because of increased safety features. For instance, a car with AEB compared with a similar model without AEB is likely to be in a lower insurance group.
How To Get A Refund
ask your insurance company for a refund for the unused part of your premiumSome states mandate that insurers refund unused chunks of a premium upon policy cancelation
Key Takeaway If the state you live in does not mandate refunds for unused portions of a canceled insurance policy, ask your insurer for one anyways, as theyâre likely to issue you a refund.
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When To Cancel Your Insurance After Selling A Car
As a rule of thumb, it is always a good idea to time the cancelation of your insurance with the date of sale. This ensures that youâre protected for as long as you own the vehicle.add the new car to your existing policycancel the existing policy and buy a new policy for the new vehicle
What’s A Dmv Release Of Liability Form
The release of liability form is separate from a car title transfer. Also called a notice of transfer or sold notice form, the release of liability officially transfers legal responsibility of the car from the seller to the buyer. Many states require it for car sales.
The information on this form tends to include the vehicle’s make, model, year, and color, the VIN, your name, your contact information, the buyer’s name and contact information, the car title transfer date, and the odometer reading.
Complete the release of liability form as soon as possible after selling your car. If you wait too long, you might incur a fine. You could also be liable if the buyer is in an accident, gets a traffic violation or a parking ticket, or commits a crime with the vehicle.
Cancel or update any services associated with the car you’re selling. Unpair phones, clear personal data, including navigation, and remove any automatic garage door or gate opening capabilities.
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Alert The Dmv To Your Vehicles Sale
In many states, you’ll need to go to the DMV to cancel your car’s registration after selling a car. You may need to hand over your old license plates and bring in a VIN for your vehicle description and verification, an inspection certificate and a service record. Some states also require you to sign a Notice of Release of Liability.
You shouldn’t cancel your insurance until you’ve canceled your registration with the DMV. Canceling with the DMV can sometimes have an associated cost. For example, in New Hampshire, theres a $25 fee to cancel the registration.
The process varies significantly for each state, so check your local DMV to determine the local procedure. Some DMVs even let you complete this process online or through the mail.
One Call Can Change Your Life
If the new owner of your old car causes a serious at-fault car accident before you cancel your car insurance policy, it may be possible for the other parties involved to pursue your car insurance policy and you directly for property damage reimbursement and/or bodily injury-related costs. For example, if the new owner did not purchase car insurance and/or their liability insurance limits were too low to cover all damages caused, you could be held liable for any remaining amount. Your liability insurance coverage would apply in such an event. However, If the damages caused by the new owner exceed the liability insurance limits on your policy, the other parties could legally pursue you and your assets to be made whole. Meaning, through legal means they could put a lien on your paycheck, home, and/or any other items of value for reimbursement until they are made whole. You could be forced to pay for an accident you had nothing to do with. So, receiving a refund check is great but avoiding a life-changing lawsuit is a better reason.
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Do You Know Your Insurance Responsibilities
If you own a car, you need insurance for it. You are required to keep that insurance until you have transferred the ownership of the vehicle. After that, you are no longer responsible for that car.
You are responsible for canceling your insurance. It is your job to inform the insurance provider of your desire to cancel and to give them a date of sale.
You must get the dates right.
If you cancel your policy too soon, then you could end up in trouble with the DMV.
Transfer The Insurance Policy
When trading in or selling a car to buy another in a short period, coverage does not have to be canceled. Instead, the policy transferred after adjusting for the value of the new vehicle. An administration fee might apply, but transferring is generally considered cheaper than cancellation.
The potential buyer might be interested in taking over your policy rather than filling for a new one. Ensure they know that the same rate might not apply, as their driving record and claim history is taken into account. Benefit rates are applied with each claim-free year, with some companies offering 50% off after five years. You will be entitled to the same benefits when insuring your next car.
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When You Should Cancel Your Car Insurance
You may need to cancel your car insurance for various purposes, but it is important to consider your plan for being without coverage beforehand. For drivers making a carrier switch, purchasing a new policy ahead of your current ones expiration is a good practice. If you are making a permanent cancelation, consider talking through your situation with an insurance agent to ensure that missing coverage will not put you at legal or financial risk.
Keeping Your Auto Insurance Policy
You should also consider whether it would make more financial sense to keep your existing auto insurance policy if you plan to buy a new car after selling your old one. For example, you might want to retain your loyalty discount if you’ve been with your existing auto insurance provider for several years. You can drop down to minimum coverage and keep your policy active if you need time to shop for a new vehicle, according to Car Insurance Comparison.
You can save time by simply adding the new car to your existing policy, especially if you are happy with the cost and customer service. You just need to provide your insurance company with the vehicle identification number and the date you want the policy to begin.
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Dont Assume Get Professional Advice And The Facts Before You Act
Take the time to work out calculations before you cancel any policy. You never know when it might be better to wait until the insurance is up for renewal. It is important to review your policy with your insurance broker every year to ensure you have the best coverage and deal possible.
Navigating the world of Ontario car insurance can be tricky. Limiting yourself to one insurer, not having all the facts, and understanding your options will end up costing you money. Thats why its important to have an independent insurance broker like sure at your side.
How To Cancel Your Car Insurance
Its usually quick and easy to cancel your car insurance. In some cases you can do it online, however lots of insurance companies might want to speak to you first. If thats the case:
Get your policy documents to hand so you have your policy number
Tell them you’re cancelling your car insurance
They should explain any fees and might ask you to send your certificate of motor insurance back to them
If youre declaring your car as SORN, make sure you fill in the SORN form with the DVLA
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Can You Sell A Car Without Insurance
What if youre selling a car that no one drives and so youve already cancelled coverage?
Even if you aren’t using a car that you have up for sale, you need to keep car insurance valid on it so that anyone interested in purchasing the car can test-drive it.
If you want to take insurance off of a car, then you would need to turn in your registration and plates and not have anyone at any time drive the car, or else you can face penalties for allowing your uninsured car to be driven.
What Happens To My Insurance When I Sell My Car
When youre selling a car, you have two options when it comes to car insurance. You can either alter the policy as described above or cancel it entirely if you arent planning to get a replacement.
If you have sold your car but are getting a replacement, its not advisable that you cancel your policy. Instead you should transfer the policy to the new vehicle. While there may sometimes be a small administrative fee, it means you can keep any no claims discounts that you have in place. Cancelling altogether can sometimes mean you lose your no claims discount.
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Can You Cancel Car Insurance At Any Time
Whether you have prepaid your full annual premium or pay installments monthly, you can cancel your car insurance at any time. If you have prepaid, your insurance company will issue a refund check. Some companies have cancellation fees, so check with your insurer so you won’t be not-so-pleasantly surprised.
If you cancel but have a claim in process for an incident that happened before the cancelation effective date, the insurance will continue that claim process through completion.
Timing Of Policy Cancellation
Even though you might not plan to drive the vehicle you’re selling, you should keep it insured until you complete the sales transaction. For one thing, people who come see the car will want to take it for a test drive. If you bring the car to potential buyers, you’ll need to be insured while you drive it there. You could end up receiving a ticket for driving without insurance. The penalties for this type of ticket vary by state.
For example, California drivers who operate their vehicle without insurance could receive a misdemeanor conviction that carries fines, impoundment of your car, towing fees, and storage fees. You must appear in court, and the Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your driver’s license and registration. You also have to get costly SR-22 insurance for three years. Drivers who have more than one conviction for driving without insurance can even serve six months in jail.
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Instead Of Saving You Could End Up Paying
Even if you are not driving at all, there are laws in many states that require a registered car to be insured. If you don’t live in one of those states, and you still think you won’t be driving, consider that comprehensive insurance would cover natural disasters, fire, and theft even if your car were just sitting in your driveway and not being driven.
Another critical thing to consider is if anyone else living in your home might drive your vehicle with or without your knowledge, you may still face fines for lack of insurance and costs for damages if the person is in an at-fault accident.
Canceling your car insurance can be an expensive decision.
If I Cancel My Auto Insurance Will I Get A Refund
If you paid your premium in advance and cancel your policy before the end of the term, the insurance company must refund the remaining balance in most cases. Most auto insurers will prorate your refund based on the number of days your current policy was in effect.
The insurance industry is highly regulated and each state has insurance statutes that govern how companies must handle refunds. In Nebraska, for example, an auto insurer must contact you within 15 business days of cancelation to inform you about any eligible refunds. In many states, like Texas, if you finance your premium through a premium finance company, the insurance company may return the unused premium to the finance company, not you.
Unless otherwise stated in a statute, auto insurance companies usually do not have the obligation to refund your money within a given time period. Most insurance contracts typically state that the company will issue a refund within a reasonable timeframe. To avoid refund headaches, it is best to notify your auto insurer of your plans to cancel when it is time to renew your policy. Check with your carrier before canceling to learn what the policy cancelation terms are.
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Dont Cancel: There Are Better Ways To Lower Car Insurance
Now you know why canceling your car insurance may not be the best idea, but you still want to save some money, right? We have some great tips on how to lower your car insurance if youre driving less or just looking for ways to save money.
- Usage-based insurance: check into a pay-per-mile insurance policy or other usage-based programs like Progressives Snapshot
- Low mileage discount: Ask your insurer about discounts for low mileage
- Raise your deductible: Raising your deductible will lower your premium, but be sure you can afford the higher deductible in the event there is a claim
- Temporarily suspend your insurance: If you are on military deployment or traveling for long periods, suspending your insurance temporarily may be an option
- Shop around: At least once a year, shop around to make sure youre getting the best deal on your car insurance.
What Happens To Insurance When You Sell A Car
Nothing happens to your insurance when youre selling a car. Your provider wont even know that youre selling it. But, you should maintain coverage on your vehicle until you no longer officially own it.
Dont cancel your policy while youre selling your car. Your plan will cover when potential buyers take test drives. And, in most states, titled and registered vehicles must have active insurance, so as long as you still own the car, your state likely still expects you to have coverage.
Let your provider know when you officially sell your car. Theyll cancel your policy if you no longer have a car. Or, they can make necessary changes to add whatever new car youve bought or temporarily transition to non-owner car insurance if possible.
Some carriers might charge a cancellation fee if you end your policy early. Some companies may offer a refund for the unused months of your policy if you paid in full ahead of time. It depends on the company, so be sure to ask.
What if I Sold My Car and Forgot to Cancel the Insurance?
If you sell your car and forget to cancel the insurance, you may get a renewal notice from the insurance provider stating your premiums are due. Or, worse, someone who was intending to file against the vehicles new owner may file a claim against your car insurance.
Your provider will find out you werent driving, and the claim wont be valid. But, itll be a hassle regardless. Proof of sale and title change are essential to clearing up this miscommunication.
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The Bottom Line: Time Is Money And So Is Timing
If youre selling a car for the first time, youre already doing a great job by researching the proper steps to take. Selling a car may seem straightforward, but its a large transaction with important legal considerations to be aware of.
One of the key factors to keep in mind during the car selling process is the timing of canceling your auto insurance. Canceling too early or too late can have serious ramifications that you want to avoid. Keep in mind the checklist of items you need to take care of before you reach out to your car insurance company for cancellation.
And, don’t forget, in some situations, keeping your insurance policy active may be the cheaper option in the long term. Make sure you know how to cancel your registration on your car, too.
Learn more about how you can save even more money by getting preapproved for a car loan and comparing loans before buying your next car.
What’s your car worth?
The Verdict On Canceling Car Insurance
When times are tough, we all look for ways to save money. We are in favor of saving money but not when the financial risk outweighs the savings.
Unless you dont own a vehicle, dont cancel your car insurance policy. There are better and safer ways to save money on your car insurance. Before you consider the possibility of canceling your coverage, make sure you know the extensive repercussions of no insurance and your other options to get cheaper insurance while keeping your essential coverage.
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