BANG! Your body jerks forward. You are momentarily confused. What was that crunching noise? Your body is shaking, and it takes you another moment to realize you’ve been rear ended. You recall that if you feel safe, are unhurt and your car is drivable you should pull over to the side of the road – but you are in the left lane. You put your hazards on, and when able you make a left turn onto a side street – the other car follows you. So far so good, they didn’t drive off.
Get his insurance, your mind is starting to focus. He readily produces an insurance card on his phone, so you snap a picture of it with your own. He asks to see your insurance - no problem, you have your insurance card in your wallet. He goes to check on the damage while you dig it out. It’s expired. With everything going on you didn’t realize…
It must be a mistake – it should just renew on its own, it always has in the past... You call your carrier; they can just send you your current card – no problem. They tell you it will just take a moment to pull up your information. There is a long pause. “Ma’am” you can tell by the change in their voice something is wrong. “We show that your insurance non-renewed because you didn’t pay the renewal when it was mailed to you.” Your mind is racing, you start to panic. You recall you changed carriers last year. They offered you a discount if you paid in full – so you took it and paid with a credit card. They should have just charged your card again, right? The voice on the other end of the line tells you that they only automatically renew policies that are on monthly EFTs, they do not offer that option to paid in full clients. It was in the paperwork.
You don’t have insurance.
This reality sets in. All you can think is – no one told you.
There are a lot of different payment options out there for auto insurance and many carriers offer discounts depending on which option you select. It is important to understand the full details of what these payment options mean and how they can affect your coverage in the future. Changing the method by which you pay your insurance bill could have unintended consequences. Always talk to your insurance agent about the pros and cons of each option and make sure you understand the expectations being placed on you, either monthly or biannually to keep your insurance coverage up to date. Plus, you can ask your independent agent to place you with a carrier that has a mobile app, or text alerts that notify you of upcoming bills, late payments or other factors that could impact your coverage. In today’s world you have a lot going on, but luckily there are tools available to keep you informed about your insurance.