This year had a rough start. Even three-quarters of the way into the year and we are still feeling the effects of the pandemic that took the nation – and the world – by storm. In many cases, people have lost jobs, had to close their business, and have faced huge financial setbacks because of quarantining and the virus. In short, many of us are still struggling to make ends meet every month. While you need to keep a roof over your head and may not be driving to work as often or at all anymore, you may prioritize other bills above auto insurance.
If this is the case, you may be concerned that you are no longer insured or that your bills are going to skyrocket. Here is what you should know about late payments on your auto insurance policy.
Late Payment on Auto Insurance Policy
As always, the policy for which you pay late is very much at the discretion of the auto insurance company. However, they cannot decide you bill you hundreds of dollars without prior warning because you paid late. The best way to find out what exactly the penalties are for paying an auto insurance premium late is to look at the terms and conditions of your individual policy.
During this time, it is also worth asking your insurer if they are offering any relief during the time of COVID-19. Many insurers understand that their policyholders may be struggling financially because of the pandemic and, as a result, are offering ways to reduce payments or postpone them. If you are unsure how to make your next car insurance payment, give your insurer a call as soon as possible. In this case, letting them know early is best.
Generally, it’s common for auto insurance companies to issue a late payment fee. This can range anywhere between $10-$25 or higher, depending on the insurer. This fee may be billed to you separately or it may be added onto your next bill. You should always get notice of it, however. If it’s the first time that you’ve filed a late payment, then you may be given the benefit of the doubt by the insurer and the fee may be waived. However, you will most likely need to call the insurer and request this.
Again, this will all be dependent on how the insurer responds to late payments during COVID-19 and if they are offering support and relief for those affected. When talking to your insurer about a late payment, double-check that they will not pause or temporarily suspend your coverage. In general, you will likely retain coverage unless you miss multiple payments.
Even if you find yourself driving less or not at all these days, insurance is still important to have to protect your vehicle against disasters. If you are unable to keep up with your premiums during this time, talk to your insurance advisor who can suggest ways to save or find an alternative policy that is more in line with your needs.