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Car insurance cancellation laws by state

Most states require car insurance companies to give you at least 10 days notice before a nonrenewal, but cancellation notice requirements for other reasons can range from 20 to 75 days, depending on the state.

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By

Rachael Brennan

Rachael Brennan

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Published|2 min read

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Car insurance companies aren’t allowed to terminate your car insurance coverage whenever they feel like it. Every state has laws regarding when insurance companies can choose to cancel your policy, both during your policy term and at renewal. 

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States also have laws regarding how much notice insurance companies have to give their customers when terminating their insurance so drivers have enough time to find another policy and avoid a lapse in coverage.

Key takeaways

  • State law usually requires that insurance companies give you at least 10 days notice if they’re not renewing your policy.

  • If your insurance company decides to cancel your coverage in the middle of your policy period, they are typically required to give you between 20 and 75 days notice, depending on the state. 

  • Your company also has to send you a written explanation why they’re terminating your coverage.

  • Car insurance companies typically only drop your coverage at renewal for fraudulent activity, nonpayment of premium, or a significant increase in risk.

Car insurance cancellation laws by state

The laws about how and when a car insurance company can cancel your insurance policy vary from place to place. The chart below shows the car insurance notice of cancellation laws in every state:

State

Car insurance cancellation laws

Alabama

Insurance companies must give 20 days notice prior to cancellation unless it’s for nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Alaska

If your policy has been in effect for less than 60 days, the insurer can cancel it for any reason. When your policy has been in effect for longer than 60 days, or your policy is a renewal, it may only be canceled for a limited number of reasons.

Arizona

After your policy has been in force for 60 days, Arizona allows the policy to be canceled for several reasons, including non-payment of premium and having a suspended license.

Arkansas

Policies more than 60 days old cannot be canceled except for non-payment of premium or a handful of other approved reasons according to state law.

California

Insurance companies cannot cancel your insurance policy except for non-payment of premium, misrepresentation, or a handful of other approved reasons according to state law.

Colorado

Insurance companies cannot cancel your insurance policy except for non-payment of premium, misrepresentation, or a handful of other approved reasons according to state law.

Connecticut

Insurance companies must give 10 days notice prior to cancellation due to nonpayment.

Delaware

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 15 days notice.

Florida

Insurance companies must give 45 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Georgia

Insurance companies must give 10 days notice prior to cancellation.

Hawaii

Insurance companies must give 15 days notice prior to cancellation.

Idaho

Insurance companies must give 20 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Illinois

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Indiana

Insurance companies must give 60 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Iowa

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Kansas

Insurance companies must give 10 days notice prior to cancellation.

Kentucky

Insurance companies must give 75 days notice prior to cancellation.

Louisiana

Insurance companies must give six months notice prior to cancellation.

Maine

Insurance companies must give 45 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 30 days notice.

Maryland

Insurance companies must give 10 days notice prior to cancellation due to nonpayment.

Massachusetts

Insurance companies must give 20 days notice prior to cancellation.

Michigan

Insurance companies must give 10 days notice prior to cancellation.

Minnesota

Insurance companies must give 60 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Mississippi

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice of intention not to renew the policy.

Missouri

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation.

Montana

Insurance companies must give 10 days notice prior to cancellation.

Nebraska

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Nevada

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation.

New Hampshire

Insurance companies must give 45 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

New Jersey

Insurance companies must give 60 days notice prior to cancellation.

New Mexico

Insurance companies must give 60 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

New York

Insurance companies must give 45 to 60 days notice prior to cancellation.

North Carolina

Insurance companies must give 60 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 15 days notice.

North Dakota

Insurance companies must give 20 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Ohio

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Oklahoma

Insurance companies must give 10 days notice prior to cancellation.

Oregon

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Pennsylvania

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation.

Rhode Island

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

South Carolina

Insurance companies can cancel a policy within the first 60 days for nonpayment, but they cannot cancel a policy until it has gone 31 days without payment.

South Dakota

Insurance companies must give 20 days notice prior to cancellation.

Tennessee

Insurance companies must give 20 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Texas

Insurance companies must give 60 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Utah

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Vermont

Insurance companies must give 45 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 15 days notice.

Virginia

Insurance companies must give 45 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 15 days notice.

Washington

Insurance companies must give 20 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 10 days notice.

Washington D.C.

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation.

West Virginia

Insurance companies must give 30 days notice prior to cancellation unless it is due to nonpayment, which requires 14 days notice.

Wisconsin

Insurance companies must give 60 days notice prior to cancellation.

Wyoming

Insurance companies must give 45 days notice prior to cancellation.

Common reasons your car insurance may be canceled

Typically, car insurance policies last for the full length of the term, whether it’s six or 12 months, and don’t end early unless you cancel the policy yourself. But in some cases, your insurance company may take the step of canceling your policy before the term is up.

There are a number of reasons your insurance company might cancel your policy in the middle of your policy period, including:

  • Your license was suspended: If you or anyone who is listed as a driver on your insurance policy has your driver’s license suspended, that could be enough for your insurance company to cancel your insurance.

  • You lied on a claim: If you file a claim (or someone else files a claim against your insurance) and you aren’t honest with the insurance company, they can cancel your insurance coverage for fraud.

  • You committed a felony: While this one is rare, some felonies that involve driving a vehicle, like DUI/DWI, can be reason enough for an insurance company to cancel your policy. 

  • Your car fails inspection: If your car isn’t able to pass inspection, you are usually sent to get it repaired and come back for a retest once your car is in good working order. However, if your car is in such bad shape it endangers public safety, or you go too long without an inspection, that can be grounds for your insurance company to cancel your policy.

  • You don’t tell them you are a rideshare driver: Insurance companies offer special rideshare and delivery policies for people who use their cars for work, but if you are in an accident while on the clock and you didn’t tell your insurer what you do for a living, they could potentially cancel your policy.

Can a car insurance company drop your coverage?

Yes, depending on the situation. Car insurance companies can choose to drop your coverage (sometimes referred to as a non-renewal) for three common reasons:

  • You’re too high risk: If your driving record has gotten worse since you purchased your policy, it is possible your insurance company may choose not to renew your coverage. This usually only happens for very serious offenses, like having multiple DUI/DWI charges, but each insurance company has their own standards for what makes someone too high risk.

  • Nonpayment: If you don’t pay your premiums, your insurance company can choose to cancel or non-renew your policy. Drivers who have trouble remembering to pay their bill should consider signing up for autopay or paying for the entire policy up front.

  • Fraud: If the insurance company finds out you misrepresented something when you bought insurance or  filed an accident report, they aren’t likely to renew your policy. You may also face serious consequences, like jail time or heavy fines, if they decide to take you to court for insurance fraud.

Can I cancel my car insurance coverage?

Yes, drivers are usually allowed to cancel their car insurance coverage at any time. Depending on the state you live in there may be a cancellation fee or other cost associated with canceling your coverage, but that is pretty rare. 

If you prepaid for a full policy term and you cancel your insurance before it’s over, you may receive a refund for the months you didn’t use.

There may also be other consequences for canceling your coverage if you don’t have another policy in place, such as having your registration suspended, though this varies from one state to the next.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does an insurer have to cancel a policy?

Depending on the state and the reason for canceling the policy, most insurance companies have to provide 30 to 60 days notice before canceling your coverage. Check the laws in your state to find out how much time insurance companies are required to give you before terminating your coverage.

What happens if I just cancel my car insurance?

If you have another car insurance policy in place or you sell your car, you won’t see any negative consequences from canceling your car insurance. You may even get money back! But if you still have a car and you don’t have a new policy lined up, you could have a lapse in coverage or even have your registration suspended, depending on the laws in your state.

Can you cancel a car insurance claim?

Yes, as long as you haven’t cashed a check from your insurance company, you can choose to cancel a claim at any point. But a canceled claim may still impact your insurance rates, especially after an at-fault accident, because the insurance company is now aware you were in an accident and may take that into consideration when setting your rates.

Does canceling insurance affect anything?

Canceling your insurance doesn’t impact anything prior to your cancellation date. This means if you filed a claim or had a claim filed against you while your coverage was active, it will still be paid appropriately even if you cancel your coverage later. However, you won’t have coverage moving forward, which could lead to a lapse in coverage if you don’t have another policy in place.

Author

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

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Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

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