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What happens when you have a lapse in car insurance?

lapse in car insurance

When money is tight, everyone looks for ways to cut back. One temptation is to let your car insurance expire, even for a short period of time. This really isn’t a great idea, because a car insurance lapse can cause you some unexpected problems. Here are several reasons it’s important to stay protected and avoid a lapse in coverage: 

Legal requirements

Most states require some level of auto liability insurance. This is the coverage that pays for the other person’s medical needs or property damage from an accident, if you’re at fault. So if you own a car and you’ve allowed the liability insurance on it to lapse, you might be violating the law – even if the car is parked and not driven. If you drive the vehicle and cause an accident without being covered, you’ll be cited and subjected to stiff fines or worse.

Financial consequences

Driving without car insurance is risky. If you’re responsible for an accident and don’t have insurance, you may be sued to pay for the damages – and end up paying for everything, including the lawyer, out of pocket.

Insurance rate increases

After a car insurance lapse, you may find it harder to get insurance at an affordable rate. You may even have to resort to a company that specializes in risky drivers – which is almost never a good deal, since high-risk insurers charge more for their policies. 

Driving record impact

In some states, auto insurance companies are required to notify the Bureau of Motor Vehicles when you drop insurance or change companies. So once you have a lapse in car insurance, it may be noted on your driving record. In some cases, your car could even be seized or your license suspended. 

Need coverage?

So the bottom line – to keep good, affordable auto coverage it’s best to make sure you don’t have a car insurance lapse and are covered continuously. Talk to us today and find out how Nationwide can keep you protected as a driver, safe and in compliance with the law.

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