All states have unique auto insurance requirements. While the limits and coverage required to drive a vehicle on public roadways can vary, every state has financial responsibility laws that require drivers to have continuous auto insurance coverage. If you have a lapse in your auto insurance coverage, you can be cited, have your vehicle impounded or even have your driving privilege revoked. Multiple lapses in coverage can even land you in jail for up to 12 months in states with very strict financial responsibility consequences.
More and more states have electronic filing, which means that San Diego auto insurance agencies will electronically verify coverage and lapses to the DMV. This means that avoiding a lapse in coverage has never been more important. Here are 3 tips to avoid a lapse in coverage so that you can protect yourself from fines and other penalties:
1. Set Up Automatic Payments
– One of the most common reasons people have a lapse in insurance coverage is simply because they forgot to pay their bill on time. Most insurers offer a 5 to 15 day grace period for policyholders to pay their bills. After this period, the policy will be set up for cancellation. One of the easiest ways to avoid a cancellation is to have the payment automatically drafted from your checking account. This eliminates the burden of making a payment and may save you money monthly.
2. Drop Your Optional Coverage
– The state only requires that you carry liability coverage. If you are having difficulty maintaining your payments, you may want to consider lowering the bill by dropping optional forms of cover that you cannot afford. This should be a last resort, but it will save you from having a lapse in coverage that can land you with a misdemeanor.
3. Suspend Coverage and Turn in Your License Plate
– If your vehicle is out of commission, you cannot just stop paying your insurance and assume that the DMV will know that the car is not being driven. In this situation, you need to register your vehicle as non-operable. When the vehicle is a non-op, you do not have to maintain coverage. You can suspend your insurance and avoid a lapse while it is being repaired.
There are plenty of options to avoid a lapse in coverage. If you sell your vehicle, stay on a family member’s policy to stay eligible for discounts for prior coverage. Avoiding a lapse can save you the hassle and hundreds of dollars every year in premiums.
For more information about cheap auto insurance in San Diego, contact American Tri-Star at 619-272-2100. A representative would be more than happy to offer you a free quote and can provide you with the lowest possible rate to ensure that you can enjoy comprehensive coverage without being in the risk of a lapse in coverage.