Time to Renew Your Car Insurance? Here's How To Do It Effortlessly

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Your auto insurance will usually renew automatically as long as you continue to make your payments or don’t cancel your policy. You will typically receive a 30-day notice that your policy term is ending and up for renewal. You can also choose to switch car insurance carriers instead of renewing with your current insurance company.

Learn more about your car insurance renewal and things to note if you choose not to renew with your current carrier.

Key Takeaways

  • Many auto insurance policies renew automatically and do not require active steps on your part to renew them.
  • Auto insurance policies typically carry six-month or 12-month terms.
  • You can refuse to renew your policy and switch to a different car insurance carrier, although you should confirm that the new policy’s start date does not create a lapse in coverage.
  • When you renew your car insurance, you might see your premium go up or down.
  • Your auto insurance carrier may refuse to renew your policy if you’re a high-risk driver with a history of excessive claims.

What Is a Car Insurance Renewal?

A car insurance renewal refers to the continuation of insurance coverage with your existing provider instead of allowing your insurance to expire. In other words, it’s choosing to stay with your current carrier for usually another six or 12 months depending on the length of your policy term.[1]

How Does a Car Insurance Renewal Work?

In general, your insurance company will automatically renew your coverage as long as you pay your new insurance premium. Most auto coverage policy terms last six or 12 months but if you forget when it will renew, your carrier will usually send you a renewal notice at least 30 days before your next coverage term begins.[1][2]

Your insurance rates could change when you’re due for renewal, even if you have a clean driving record and haven’t filed a claim.

There are several situations that could cause your insurance provider to raise your rates, such as adding a new vehicle or a teenage driver to your policy, moving to a new area with more accidents or being disqualified from previously-held discounts. Additionally, rising repair costs can affect your car insurance rates.

Similarly, you might see a reduction in your premium if you qualify for additional discounts, such as reaching the time threshold for maintaining a clean driving record. If you’ve enrolled in a telematics program, then your carrier may also apply a discount if the data tracked shows you’re a safe driver.

What Happens if I Refuse To Renew My Car Insurance Policy?

You can decline an offer to renew your car insurance with your current provider but you will need to notify them before the policy term ends. Understand though, that you will need a new policy already active before your current policy ends or you will risk a lapse in coverage, which will likely result in higher rates when you buy your next policy.

Do not get behind the wheel if your insurance has reached your policy's end date and there is no new insurance policy to replace it. Most states require auto coverage and driving without insurance could result in fines, your license getting suspended, being subject to SR-22 filing requirements and even incarceration.

Can My Insurance Company Cancel My Coverage?

An insurance company can cancel a policy before its term ends if a driver is too much of a risk to insure. High-risk drivers include those who lose their driving privileges due to serious moving violations like DUIs.

Your insurance company can also cancel your policy if you’re consistently late on paying your premium. In addition, your policy will likely get canceled if you’re found submitting false information in your car insurance application or filing fraudulent claims.

Can I Change My Car Insurance Before the Renewal Date?

You can change your car insurance before the renewal date but be aware that some insurance companies charge a cancellation fee. Also, be sure to have coverage in place before you cancel your current plan to avoid a lapse in coverage.

What Is a Car Insurance Nonrenewal and Cancellation?

A nonrenewal refers to your carrier discontinuing services once your policy term expires, usually because you’re filing claims excessively due being involved in multiple car accidents or you’ve accumulated several traffic tickets. If your provider decides not to renew your coverage, they will inform you as to why they came to this decision.

Conversely, a car insurance cancellation occurs when your auto insurance provider drops your coverage before the term of your plan has ended, typically because you’re behind on paying your car insurance premiums, your license was revoked or perhaps you’ve committed insurance fraud.

How To Renew Your Car Insurance Policy

Your insurance agent will send you a renewal notice either through physical mail or by email stating your policy will be up for renewal about a month before your policy term is up.[2] Often, providers simply require their customers to pay the new premium. Others may need customers to update personal information and sign forms to continue coverage.

Whatever the case, your provider will let you know what is expected of you in order to keep your insurance. If you weren’t able to renew your policy or you simply forgot to do so, you may still be able to renew your plan depending on the insurance company and how long it’s been since your policy term ended.

How To Get Car Insurance After a Nonrenewal

If your insurance company chooses to nonrenew your policy, you will need to buy coverage before the term ends. When shopping around, you will need to provide information about your vehicle, zip code, driving history and more. However, this can be tedious if you have to do it for each company.

Instead, use SmartFinancial and complete just one questionnaire about your coverage needs and budget. We’ll share this information with agents in your region who can help match you with the right policy. Get started on your free car insurance quote today.

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How often do you have to renew your car insurance policy?

Your car insurance is due for renewal usually every six or 12 months.[1] You can choose not to renew with your current provider and instead get coverage from a different carrier.

Do I need to renew my car insurance with the same company?

You can switch your carrier instead of renewing with the same provider. However, you should get coverage before your current policy ends or you risk a coverage lapse.

Why did my car insurance go up after renewal?

Your insurance rates may have increased due to factors such as adding a new driver or car to your policy, an increased number of claims in your area, moving, changes in your insurance score, age or loss of eligibility for certain car insurance discounts.

Can you renew expired car insurance?

If your policy’s term has ended, you can choose to buy car insurance from the same provider or switch to a different company. On the other hand, if your policy was canceled due to nonpayment, some insurance companies offer a grace period of 14 to 30 days to make up the payment.[3]


  1. Berry Insurance. “How Often Should I Renew or Switch My Car Insurance?” Accessed December 9, 2023.
  2. J. Archer Insurance Group. “What You Need To Know About Automatic Renewal of Car Insurance.” Accessed December 9, 2023.
  3. The General. “How To Reinstate Canceled or Lapsed Car Insurance.” Accessed December 9, 2023.

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