Auto Insurance Companies That Accept Lapses in Coverage (2022)

Auto insurance companies that accept a lapse in coverage are more common than auto insurance companies that don't accept a lapse in coverage. A lapse in coverage is 30-60 days when you have no coverage, after which you'll probably see an increase in your rates and possibly other penalties like a suspension of your driving privileges and vehicle license. Some companies offer a grace period of 10-30 days to renew your coverage with no penalties.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Written by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach Sara Routhier

Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent Cynthia Lanctot

UPDATED: Oct 19, 2021

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A Concise Overview

  • A lapse in coverage is a period of between 30 and 60 days when you don’t have auto insurance
  • Car insurance after a lapse in coverage is usually more expensive because any gap in coverage is perceived as a higher risk to insurance companies
  • In addition to higher rates after a car insurance gap in coverage, you may face other penalties like suspension of vehicle registration and driving privileges as well as fines

A lapse in auto insurance coverage occurs if you are uninsured for a short time, usually between 30 and 60 days. This can be caused by anything from a missed payment to forgetting to renew your coverage.

Unfortunately, even a short lapse in coverage can mean an increase in your insurance rates, regardless of whether you have liability or full coverage auto insurance.

This is because a lapse in coverage increases your perceived risk in the eyes of insurance companies. You may also face additional penalties we’ll discuss in more detail later.

Are there auto insurance companies that accept a lapse in coverage? Where can you find the cheapest auto insurance for a lapse in coverage? Read this article to find the answers to your questions about auto insurance companies and lapses in coverage.

Before we get started on this overview of auto insurance companies that accept lapses in coverage, take a minute to enter your ZIP code in our rate comparison tool to get a free quote from an insurer in your area today.

Where can you find auto insurance after a lapse in coverage?

Most companies will accept a lapse in coverage, but you can expect a few penalties, including:

  • An increase in rates
  • Suspension of driving privileges
  • Suspension of vehicle registration
  • Traffic tickets
  • Fines for being uninsured and for reinstating your suspended license and registration

Even though there will be an increase in your rates and other penalties and charges, some companies will have lower rates than others for a lapse in coverage.

After a lapse in coverage, the cheapest companies to buy insurance from will depend on your specific circumstances, where you live, and more.

How can you save on your rates after a lapse in coverage?

In most cases, you’ll face a rates increase after a lapse in coverage, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the lapse.

However, there are some ways you can save, including comparison shopping and buying six-month or annual coverage, rather than paying monthly.

With longer-term auto insurance, you automatically lower your perceived risk because there’s no chance of a future lapse during the current term of your coverage. This means lower rates, though the upfront cost is higher than if you pay monthly.

With comparison shopping, you’ll be able to ensure you’re getting a fair price by getting multiple quotes (at least three) to understand better the average rates given your specific circumstances.

Are there auto insurance companies that don’t accept a lapse in coverage?

Most insurance companies will accept drivers, even after a lapse in coverage, but some may cancel your coverage. In that case, you may need to find another insurer.

The good news is, many insurance companies offer a grace period of between 10 and 30 days in which you can renew or reinstate your lapsed coverage without any penalties.

Still, you’ll need to check with your insurer to determine if this is offered and the exact length and requirements.

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How can you avoid a lapse in coverage?

The best way to avoid a lapse in coverage is to renew early so your coverage doesn’t expire. You can also buy longer-term coverage, so you don’t have to worry about monthly bills.

If longer-term coverage isn’t an option for you, make sure you consistently pay your insurance premium on time.

How to find high-risk auto insurance

A lapse in auto insurance will increase your perceived risk and, in some cases, may result in you being classified as a high-risk driver.

As a high-risk driver, you’ll find your insurance rates are significantly higher than for average drivers (up to double that of low-risk drivers).

Depending on just how high risk you are (i.e., if there are other issues or incidents on your record that contribute to you being high risk), you may have trouble finding coverage.

To find the best high-risk auto insurance, you’ll need to comparison shop (and you can get started using the tool on this page).

It’s also a good idea to look at the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s complaint index to see how companies stack up in terms of customer service.

For truly high-risk drivers, particularly those unable to find coverage through traditional means, most states offer some form of insurance that allows drivers to maintain at least the required minimum coverage to drive legally.

States typically partner with the Automobile Insurance Plan Service Office to provide this coverage.

Auto Insurance Companies that Accept a Lapse in Coverage: The Bottom Line

Most auto insurance companies will accept a lapse in coverage. Still, you may end up paying higher rates, and in some cases, you’ll also face penalties like suspension of your driving privileges and vehicle registration, as well as fees.

You can avoid a lapse in coverage by paying your premiums on time and renewing your coverage before it expires.

If you’ve had a lapse in coverage (and even if you haven’t), you can save on your rates by comparing quotes from multiple companies. Use your ZIP code in the tool on this page to get your first free quote right now.

Auto Insurance Companies that Accept a Lapse in Coverage: Frequently Asked Questions

Are you still wondering about how to handle a lapse in coverage? Read these frequently asked questions for more information.

#1 – Is there a scenario where it is appropriate to request a pause or suspension of auto insurance coverage?

Yes. For example, suppose you’re deployed and put your vehicle in storage. In that case, most insurance companies offer a suspension of coverage or a reduced coverage option since you won’t be driving your car for a set amount of time.

#2 – Why do your auto insurance rates increase after you have a lapse in coverage?

When it comes to your auto insurance rates, everything comes down to risk. The lower your perceived risk, the lower your rates will be.

As we noted earlier, insurance companies consider a lapse in coverage a sign of risky behavior, and as a result, may increase your rates to compensate for your higher perceived risk.

#3 – What is the best way to keep your rates low?

Other than shopping around to compare rates, the best way to keep your rates low is to be as low risk as possible.

This means driving defensively, following all posted traffic signs, keeping up with your vehicle maintenance, making responsible financial choices to keep your credit score high, etc.

You can also ask your insurance company about discounts.

#4 – What happens if you get in an accident after your coverage has lapsed?

If you get in a car accident after your coverage has lapsed, you may not be able to retroactively get coverage, even if you immediately reinstate your policy.

The best thing you can do is be honest with your insurance company and be prepared to secure legal help if appropriate.

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