Is there a grace period for getting new auto insurance afterthe old one expires?

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Is there a grace period for getting new auto insurance afterthe old one expires?

My insurance expired on 03/01/11. I got a ticket for no insurance on 03/21/11. I got new insurance 03/23/11. I was paying $281 a month with my old insurance. To get insurance with my old company again would cost me $340 a month. So I was looking for a new company. I found one where I pay $178 a month. I was wondering if there is a grace period for me to acquire new insurance once my old one expired. Since I wasn’t going to use my old insurance I needed time to find a new company.

Asked on March 29, 2011 under Insurance Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, there is no grace period, so (1) you will be in violation of the law for driving without insurance (and could, if caught at it, have your license suspended or taken for doing so, as well as pay fines or penalties); and also (2) if you're in an accident while uninsured, YOU will have to pay any judgments or costs--there'll be no insurance to cover you. Once auto insurance expires, the insurer has no obligations to keep protecting you, even for a short time.

Generally speaking, the only insurance that offers you a "grace period" is health insurance, in that as a general matter, you usually have to the end of the month to pay the premuim--that is, you're supposed to pay at the beginning, but you can usually get by (at least once or twice, before they cancel you for late payment) with paying it later--always check the terms of your specific policy, however, to be sure.


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