Paper checks, electronic checks, and cashier’s checks are all acceptable forms of payment at most major car insurance companies
To avoid delivery delays, mail your check right after you receive your billing statement or as soon as your finances allow
Most insurance companies also take payments via credit card, debit card, automatic online payment, or money order
As long as your payment is received on time, many car insurance companies generally accept paper checks, cashier’s checks, and online checks. Paying for your car insurance with a check is a great way to keep a record of your payments, but it can also take longer than an electronic fund transfer or similar payment.
If you’re paying by check and you know your payment will be late, you should contact your carrier immediately and let them know your check is on its way. Otherwise, it may be treated as a missed payment which can put your policy at risk for cancellation.
There are also other ways to pay your premium, both manual and electronic, based on your preferences. Some payment methods even offer payment-based discounts, like discounts for switching to paperless billing or for paying your annual premium in full at the start of the policy term.
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Most major car insurance companies will accept paper, electronic, and cashier’s checks as a form of payment. To send a paper check, detach the payment stub from your billing statement and mail your check along with the stub using the return envelope provided or one of your own. The mailing address may be printed on the billing statement or available on your insurance company’s website.
Making out a paper check is simple. In the first available page of your personal checkbook, fill out the date, the recipient’s name, the payment amount in numbers and words, a memo (which in this case can be “car insurance payment”), and your signature. Paper checks can take up to 10 business days to be received and processed, while electronic checks can take up to half the time.
Electronic checks are like paper checks, but are deposited over an automated clearing house (ACH) network. Just provide your auto insurance company with your account number and routing information, and your funds will be pulled from your account on or before the due date.
Though delivery times vary, paper and electronic checks can be completed and sent quickly because they don’t require a middleman. But cashier’s checks may be the most secure form of payment because they’re verified by your bank and notarized by a teller.
Before you can be issued a cashier’s check, your bank needs to confirm you have the requested amount available in your account. A teller from the bank will authorize your check and clear the transaction. Cashier’s checks are filled out with the same information as paper checks, but a teller will electronically fill out your cashier’s check and print it before requesting your signature to complete. When your cashier’s check is ready, you’ll simply mail it to your auto insurance company the way you would a paper one.
You can easily order a checkbook online if you don’t have one and want to submit a paper payment. Just make sure you leave plenty of time before your due date to mail out your personal check.
You can also obtain a cashier’s check at your bank or credit union. Some banks offer the option to call or email and have a check mailed to the recipient, but this process can take a while. If you’re looking to mail a check ASAP, visit your local bank branch or credit union to get one the same day.
Any large scale disruptions of the postal service can mean a delivery may take longer than usual to get from one region to another. If you choose to use paper checks, it’s best to mail your car insurance payments well ahead of the due date in case there are any delivery delays.
If you can, mail your check right after you receive your billing statement or as soon as your finances allow. The earlier your carrier receives the payment, the sooner it can be processed.
Payments that are received after the due date may be considered late or mistaken for missing, and can eventually result in a policy cancellation. Your insurer must notify you if they’re canceling your policy, so you should have time to resolve any late or missing payments.
If your policy has been in force less than 60 days, an auto insurance company can cancel your coverage with 10 days notice. After 60 days, they can cancel your coverage if you have not paid your insurance premium.
If your policy is canceled but your payment is received soon after the due date, your auto insurance provider may rescind the cancellation and reinstate your policy.
➞ Learn more about how to reinstate a canceled policy
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As with all methods of payment, paying for your car insurance with a check comes with its own pros and cons. Take the following:
|Pros of paying with a check||Cons of paying with a check|
|You can confirm your payment was sent||You risk missing the due date|
|You can keep track of payments in a checkbook||You must remember to pay every month|
|You can double check your funds before you pay||If you forget a payment, your coverage may be canceled|
There are several ways to pay for your car insurance and finding the right method for you will depend on how involved you’d like to be in the process. Do you want to make your payments manually or have a system automatically withdraw them for you? Would you rather keep carbon copies of your payments or access your payment history online? The following list of payment options can help you find the right fit.
EFTs allow you to directly deposit money from one account to another. If you want your auto insurance company to automatically withdraw your monthly payment from your bank account, set up a monthly EFT for a hands-off payment experience.
Set up automatic payments with your credit card and your auto insurance company will automatically process your payment on the due date. You can also earn points toward future trips and expenses, but you will need to keep up with your credit card payments in addition to your car insurance payments with this method.
Like credit card payments, auto insurers can take down your billing information to process automatic payments from your debit card. This is a great option if you’re looking for a low maintenance way to pay, and even better if you don’t want to owe money to your bank later on.
Money orders can be found in most grocery stores, post offices, and pharmacies. A money order can be written for up to $1,000 and be easily deposited into a bank account. They are also cheaper to obtain than cashier’s checks.
Many auto insurance providers do not take cash payments, but the few that do will accept them at an approved physical location. If you’re going to make a cash payment, do so in person — cash payments should never be made through the mail, and insurance companies will not credit lost or stolen payments.
Stephanie Nieves is an insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City, specializing in auto and home insurance. She's been writing about insurance, finance and financial planning since 2018, and loves helping readers get the knowledge they need to make financial decisions with confidence. Her words can also be found on PayScale, Fairygodboss, and The Muse.
Stephanie has a B.A. in writing and rhetoric from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
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