Don’t Forget to Pay Your Personal Insurance Premiums

Posted by Cathy Johnson In Personal Insurance
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Have You Missed an Insurance Payment?

Life happens. The car breaks down, the kids get sick, an appliance fails. When the insurance bill arrives, you have every intention of paying it, but somehow you forget. The next thing you know, a cancellation notice arrives. You plan on sending the payment by US Mail that day, but yet again, Murphy’s law intervenes and daily life gets in the way OR there are delays in the postal system.

Coverage lapse

A few weeks later, you’re involved in an auto accident or your home experiences a loss. When you call your insurance broker, you’re told that a notice was sent before coverage was canceled. You have no insurance and the company won’t reinstate the policy to cover the loss.
If your vehicles or home are financed and there is a lapse in coverage, a lender may purchase an insurance policy to cover the vehicle or home and bill you for it. If the insurance premium remains unpaid, your lender may repossess the vehicle or issue force placed insurance on the home at a much higher premium with much less coverage.

Reinstating a policy

Reinstating an insurance policy isn’t like reinstating your cable TV, with a flip of a switch.
An insurance company may be willing to reinstate your policy if you didn’t experience a loss during the lapse. If a policy has only been canceled for a short amount of time, say under 30 days, and you have a good payment history, your policy may be considered for reinstatement.

While companies have been willing to reinstate cancelled policies in the past, many are declining reinstatements now due to stricter underwriting guidelines and moratoriums. In addition, if your policy has lapsed for non-payment in the past, companies are much less willing to grant another reinstatement.

Insurance companies may be able to issue a new policy starting the next day, but this would leave you with a lapse in coverage. And any losses that happened during that time will not be covered. There may also be fees associated with the late payment and reinstatement of your policy. In addition, your insurance company may raise your premiums on the newly issued policy.

Automobile coverage lapses could also result in a penalty and the potential for license and registration suspension. In addition, many states assess fees for reinstating driver’s licenses and registrations.

Multiple Payment Options Available

Most insurance companies offer several different payment plan options for your convenience, such as paying on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis as well as recurring payment options such as Recurring Credit Card and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) options. Many companies also offer online payment options through their website or mobile apps.

If you’re concerned about potentially missing an insurance payment and would like to discuss the payment options available to you, contact us to begin the discussion sooner rather than later – before that ball gets dropped – to avoid any negative repercussions.