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Your Auto Insurance Expired Yesterday [Expert Advice]

Things to remember...

  • Driving without the minimum required auto insurance coverage is illegal in almost every state in the U.S.
  • You are still able to get the required auto insurance coverage even after yours expires
  • If you act quickly to get your auto insurance coverage current, you may even be able to get the same coverage again with the same provider
  • The longer you go without having the required car insurance coverage, the more expensive it can get for your coverage to be reinstated
  • If you are in an auto accident after your current policy term expires, you will not have coverage for any claims with expired insurance

My auto insurance expired yesterday. So, what happens if your car insurance lapses for one day?

Even if you have a one day lapse in car insurance, you have a very good reason to act quickly if you discover that your auto insurance coverage is expired.

It is a legal requirement to have auto insurance coverage if you are driving on a public road, which means that you could face fines and the possible suspension of your license if you do not have proof of current auto insurance coverage.

The sooner you act to get the proper auto insurance coverage, the better position you will be in to pay a reasonable rate for auto insurance coverage and avoid any penalties while driving.

If your auto insurance expired yesterday, don’t wait! Compare rates of top insurers today to find the best rate. Just enter your zip code into our free comparison tool.

Table of Contents

Ways to Get Current on Your Auto Insurance

What happens when your insurance expires?

After you discover that you have missed a payment on your auto insurance coverage or have let the policy expire without renewing it, you need to make a quick decision about how you want to pick up the required auto insurance coverage again.

There is a possibility that you could get your auto insurance coverage reinstated with your previous provider. This may require that you make payments for the period that you went uninsured and pay some late penalty.

If you cannot get auto insurance coverage again with your previous provider, you will need to shop around for another one so that you do not go any longer than necessary without the required auto insurance coverage.

It is easier than ever to find out what rates on auto insurance coverage are available in your area by searching online.

When you are looking for cheap rates on auto insurance coverage, you may find that your premiums will have gone up after allowing your auto insurance coverage to lapse.

You can see below how some companies increase their rates after a coverage lapse.

Six-Month Auto Insurance Rates for No-Lapse vs Lapse in Coverage
CompaniesNo Lapse
(Six-Month Rates)
After Lapse
(Six-Month Rates)
Rate Increase
Liberty Mutual$696.00$810.0016.38%

Compare RatesStart Now →

As you can see, Progressive has the cheapest auto insurance for a lapse in coverage, increasing about 2%, but Liberty Mutual will go up over 16%. You can see why it’s best to keep coverage current.

Is there a grace period after car insurance expires? If your car insurance expired, a grace period may be something you can take advantage of.

However, a car insurance lapse grace period after termination is very brief if it exists at all. Some companies may backdate your coverage a few days with a No Known Loss letter.

This video from eHow talks some about what to do if your policy has lapsed to reinstate it.

The good news about this unfortunate situation is that your rate increase will not be around forever. After you have reestablished a good record of maintaining and paying for your auto insurance coverage, you may be eligible for better rates in the future.

Before you accept a rate for getting auto insurance coverage again, make sure that you have asked about all the discounts that could help to lower your rate. Here are a couple of examples:

  • If you use public transportation to commute to work, you may get a lower rate on your auto insurance coverage for only driving a few miles a week.
  • You could be eligible for a reduction on your auto insurance coverage premium by having multiple cars insured by the same auto insurance company.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that one out of every eight drivers is going around uninsured. You don’t want to be one of those people, and you don’t want to end up having to pay damages from a wreck out-of-pocket.

Penalties for Not Having Current Auto Insurance Coverage

My car insurance policy has expired. What kind of penalties might you face?

If your car insurance expired, fines or other penalties may be assessed.

Every state has different penalties for a driver failing to maintain the required auto insurance coverage in that state. They can include:

  • receiving a fine
  • having your license suspended
  • having your license revoked

The reason that states take auto insurance coverage requirements so seriously is that it is the best way to make sure that all drivers on the road will take financial responsibility for any damage that they cause in an auto accident.

Along with facing penalties from the state, you could also be hit with more expensive premiums for your auto insurance coverage for your mistake in letting your auto insurance coverage lapse.

Your current auto insurance company can tell when you have missed payments and let your auto insurance coverage expire as well as other auto insurance companies.

There really is no way to hide the fact that you do not have current auto insurance coverage if you let your coverage expire.

The reason that your premium will increase for auto insurance coverage after letting your current policy expire is that the auto insurance provider wants to make sure that all drivers insured with that particular company actually pay their premium.

In addition, an auto insurance company will evaluate you as a higher risk driver because you have not been responsible in the past concerning your auto insurance coverage payments.

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How To Get Auto Insurance After a Lapse In Coverage

Finding auto insurance coverage after having a lapse in your coverage can be difficult. This is especially true if you do not have a clean driving record or have been cited for traffic offenses recently.

Even in this situation, you may still be able to find auto insurance coverage through a state risk pool.

The rates for auto insurance coverage in these situations is a bit higher than average. You may want to consider taking public transportation as much as possible to reduce the risk of being involved in an accident.

This period of time that you are accident-free will allow you to seek out more affordable auto insurance coverage from a traditional provider after a certain time has passed.

As soon as you find out that you do not have auto insurance coverage, you should not get behind the wheel again until you have it reinstated.

If you cause an accident while you do not have valid auto insurance coverage, you will be personally responsible for paying for all of the damage involved. Even in a minor accident, the total amount of the damage can be significant enough to bring you to financial ruin.

If you are involved in an auto accident without having current auto insurance coverage, this will make it even more difficult for you to get traditional coverage again. Auto insurance companies will rate you as a riskier driver and could deny coverage outright.

Even if you are able to find auto insurance coverage after the accident, you will end up paying much more money than if you had waited to drive until you had the required auto insurance coverage in place again.

What To Do If Your Auto Insurance Expired Yesterday Summary

If you are currently in a situation where your car insurance policy just recently expired, it is important to act quickly to make sure that you do not jeopardize your right to drive.

There are serious legal penalties you will have to pay if caught driving without auto insurance coverage. Also, your premium will go up the longer that you go without having valid auto insurance coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions: Expired Auto Insurance

We’ve answered a few more questions about: what if my car insurance has expired?

What if my car insurance is expired and I had an accident?

What if my car insurance lapsed and I had an accident? If it’s your fault, you are really in trouble. You’ll be liable for damages to your car and any other involved vehicle. But what if they hit you?

What if someone hit my car with expired insurance?

Theoretically, if somebody else hits your car and is at-fault (in torte states), their insurance should cover the damages. However, that’s not always the case.

There are many types of automobile insurance fraud, as explained by the California Department of Insurance. They include swooping — which is pulling in front of a car and then slamming on brakes — and hit and run. Any of these can happen to you, and it’s possible you can be found at fault or be liable for all damages.

If your insurance lapsed and you have to pay for damages, you’ll be out of luck. Can auto insurance be backdated, though? The only way an insurer might backdate coverage is if there has been no damage to your car during the lapsed time. They won’t backdate it if there’s damage to claim because that’s considered to be fraud.

Is my car insurance valid with an expired license?

Can you drive with expired insurance or an expired license? While your license status shouldn’t make any difference in whether your insurer will pay out a claim, you could still end up with some big consequences.

Can you drive your car the day your insurance expires?

Not legally. If you’re driving with expired insurance or an expired license, both are illegal. If you get into an accident or pulled over by a law enforcement officer, you’ll end up with a fee for expired car insurance.

How do I find out my insurance policy expiry date?

Your auto insurance expiration date is listed on your insurance card and in your policy documentation.

My car insurance card is expired, what can I do?

If you take a look at the car insurance expiration date on your insurance card and find it’s past that date, call your insurer immediately or search for an expired car insurance renewal online. If you had your payment on auto-draft, you may just need to print a new one.

What happens if I miss my car insurance renewal date?

If your insurance is actually expired, make sure to reinstate it as soon as possible. Can you renew car insurance before it expires? You definitely can, and setting up an auto-draft might even qualify you for some additional discounts.

Don’t let that happen to you. If your policy has expired and you want to get the best rates, you can compare quotes by entering your ZIP code into our free tool below.


  1. https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-uninsured-motorists
  2. http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0300-fraud/0100-fraud-division-overview/05-ins-fraud/index.cfm#swoop

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