How to cancel your car insurance |

How to cancel your car insurance

Cancel your car insurance the easy way.

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Ready to break up with your car insurance provider? Not every provider will let you go easily or cheaply. Avoid surprise fees and a lapse in coverage by canceling car insurance the right way.

Cancellation guides by provider

Each car insurance company has slightly different requirements, fees and processes for canceling your policy. Check out comprehensive guides for canceling your insurance from these popular providers.

Cancel your insurance the easy way

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How should I cancel my car insurance?

Cancellations by phone are usually effective immediately, but ask for confirmation and written notice to prevent any fees or complications in the future. You might also need to provide a written notice, depending on your state’s laws.

  1. Call your insurance company. Let your current insurer know you want to cancel. Otherwise, you might keep getting bills in the mail.
  2. Ask about cancellation requirements. Talk to an agent to find out the right steps. You might also need to mail your written notice in addition to calling.
  3. Ask about fees and refunds. Some companies offer a prorated refund on paid up premiums, and a few will charge a fee for cancelling.
  4. Let your bank know. If you have a car loan, you might need to tell your bank or the owner of your loan that you’re switching policies.
  5. Cancel automatic payments. While your insurer should stop automatic premium withdrawals after your cancellation is processed, you can also cancel payments from your account just to be sure you don’t get hit with any extra charges.
  6. Have your new insurance ready. Most states require car insurance providers to report cancellation to the DMV. If you intend to continue driving your car, have your new insurance lined up before cancelling in order to avoid a lapse in coverage. Your new insurer can also help you with the cancellation process.

What do I need to cancel my policy?

  • Policy number
  • Personal info including name, date of birth and Social Security number
  • Your new insurance details including provider, policy number and effective date
  • Proof of plate forfeiture or bill of sale if you’re getting rid of your car
  • Top-rated insurer
  • Online quotes & claims
  • Bundle and save

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  • Top-rated insurer with 80 years of experience
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Fed up with your current insurer? It might be time to switch.

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
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It's quick and easy to get an online quote with Geico, and you might be surprised at how much you could save.
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Root offers simple, affordable insurance that’s ideal for good drivers. Try the Root app for 2 weeks and see how much you could save.
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Drivers over 50 and AARP members enjoy special car insurance pricing and benefits.

Compare up to 4 providers

Can I cancel my policy at any time?

Yes. If you want to cancel your car insurance, an insurer can’t say no. But they can make it difficult to cancel by making you call or charging a fee for ending you policy early. Calling is usually the easiest way to find out about the best process and avoid fees.

If your insurer offers prorated premiums, you may also get a cancellation refund for unused portions of your premium. Check with your insurer on how they handle prorated charges.

Will I pay any cancellation fees?

Not usually, but it depends on the insurer. Cancellation fees can vary from $25 up to a percentage of your overall premium. Most companies that charge a fee will either bill you for $50 or 10% of your remaining premium if you need to cancel before your renewal period is up. In those cases, you can skip the fees by waiting to cancel until renewal time.

One thing to consider is the cost offset of canceling. Let’s say you’re switching from GMAC to Geico. GMAC might charge a cancellation fee, depending on the state. If GMAC charges you $30 but you’ll be saving $10 a month by switching to Geico, it’s probably worth it financially to go ahead and pay the fee to switch now rather than wait for your renewal period.

Car insurance cancellation fees

CompanyCancellation fee
American Family$0
Liberty Mutual$0
Mercury10% of remaning premium
State Farm$0
The General10% of remaining premium
The Hartford$0

What’s the best way to cancel my car insurance?

If you want to cancel your car insurance policy, you have options. With most providers, you can call an agent, send a written notice or cancel in person. Most car insurance companies won’t let you cancel online.

Canceling by phone

The quickest way to cancel your insurance is to call your agent. Most providers recommend this method. If you are canceling because you are getting rid of your car, you might be requested to provide proof of plate forfeiture or a bill of sale. If you plan to get behind the wheel, the agent may ask for your new insurance details, including provider, policy number and effective date. Since auto insurance is a legal contract, you might need to also supply a written notice, depending on the laws and regulations in your state.

Canceling in person

Some people feel more comfortable with a face-to-face meeting to confirm everything is in order. If this is you, head down to your agent’s office to cancel your policy. Bring all of your information and documentation to prevent any delays.

Canceling by mail

If you hate waiting on hold and have a few weeks before you need your new insurance, canceling by mail might be easiest. Sometimes you’ll still need to mail notice even if you call. Your agent will inform you if they require a signed document to cancel your auto insurance policy.

If you have new insurance lined up, your new provider can usually give you a template letter, often called a cancellation letter or cancel previous insurance letter. You can usually print and sign this form online and mail it to your new insurer. Mail your letter at least two weeks before you intended to cancel, leaving time for shipping and processing. If you don’t use a template letter, include your name, policy number and contact info.

How to write a cancellation letter

If your new insurance company doesn’t have a boilerplate cancellation letter, include this information in your letter to your old insurer.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Current policy number
  • Note that you would like to cancel your policy
  • Reason for canceling
  • Policy end date
  • Request for prorated premium reimbursement, if applicable
  • Signature and date

Cancel your insurance the easy way

Let a new agent help you cancel your old policy online in minutes.

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Can I transfer car insurance policies to another person?

Generally no. A new person will need to take out their own policy, so they can get their own pricing based on risk.

Can I transfer my policy to another car?

Yes. Many insurers will let you transfer your current policy to another car, although this may vary between insurers, and insurers are free to decline to cover your new car at their discretion.

If you do transfer your policy to another car, you can expect your prices to change accordingly. For example, let’s say you trade in your older Honda Accord for a new Toyota Prius. You might get some discounts for driving a hybrid with new safety features while also adding extra coverage for a newer car, so you’ll probably end up paying more.

Generally insurers want to keep customers, so transferring your policy to another car can be done easily. Simply contact your insurer and ask.

Can I just wait for my policy to lapse?

Yes, you can switch to another provider when your current coverage runs out. Sometimes this may be better to avoid paying cancellation fees.

But if you’re doing this, you need to know whether or not your policy will automatically renew. If it does, then you may try asking your insurer to simply not renew it, or remember to cancel your policy immediately before the renewal date.

Should I cancel or adjust my policy?

If you’ve had a bad experience and are no longer happy with your provider, cancelling outright could be the option for you. Or if you are looking to save money, you might be offered new customer discounts at another provider.

However, there are benefits to staying with your provider and adjusting your policy. Most insurance providers offer discounts and different types of policies for different stages of life. Check with your agent to see what discounts and options might be available for you. Even threatening to cancel your policy might prompt the agent to offer you a discount in an effort to retain you as a customer.

If you’re looking to reduce the cost of your current coverage or want to make adjustments, then you will not necessarily need to cancel it first. Depending on what you want to change, an insurer may tell you to cancel your current policy and then take out a new one with different terms.

Some of the things you may be able to change without canceling your policy include:

  • Your coverage options and extras
  • Your deductibles
  • Your vehicle
  • Your covered modifications and accessories

Other times, an insurer may be willing to waive your cancellation fee if you’re changing policies but not insurers. For example, if you want to upgrade from third party car insurance to comprehensive car insurance, an insurer may be happy to cancel your current policy and give you a new one without charging any fees.

Ready to cancel? Compare car insurance quotes

CompanyAverage annual rateLearn more
Geico$1,391Read review
USAA$1,399Read review
Esurance$1,478Read review
21st Century$1,701Read review
Progressive$1,724Read review
Mercury$1,768Read review
Allstate$1,917Read review
Safeco$2,020Read review
Nationwide$2,249Read review
Farmers$2,425Read review
State Farm$2,474Read review
The Hartford$2,529Read review
Liberty Mutual$2,611Read review
Average$1,910Compare all reviews

Cancel your insurance the easy way

Let a new agent help you cancel your old policy online in minutes.

Your information is secure.

When is the best time to cancel or switch car insurance?

  • Life changes. Life changes like getting married or buying a house are good times to shop around for a new policy. Married drivers and homeowners almost always get a discount. You also may have the opportunity to bundle your homeowner’s and car insurance policies for an even bigger discount.
  • Education. Earning a college degree might bring down your insurance premium.
  • Credit score. Has your credit score improved? This also could be a factor in reducing your premium.
  • Policy term. At the end of your policy term, take a look at your bill and make sure you’re not overinsured or paying more than you expected.

Why should I cancel my car insurance?

  • Dissatisfaction. If you are unhappy with your current provider and can’t get a resolution, it might be time to switch car insurance providers.
  • Moving. If you are moving to a part of the country where your current provider doesn’t offer coverage, you’ll need to find a new provider and then cancel your insurance.
  • Sold your car. You should cancel your policy when you sell your car and don’t plan on buying a new one.
  • Better policy. Experts recommend shopping around for a new policy annually. You might find better savings with another provider.
  • Rate increase. Filing a claim could cause premiums to rise and will stick with your record even if you switch insurers. Some insurers will even cancel your policy after too many claims. But you could find a new company that’s more willing to let a claim or two slide.

How to cancel: an easy checklist

  • Have new car insurance in place if you will continue driving your vehicle.
  • Gather all of the needed information and documentation, including policy number, your personal information and new policy info or proof of the sale of your car.
  • Contact your car insurance agent and let them know the date that you would like your policy to end.
  • Request a refund if you have any unused days or months.
  • Inform the lien holder of your car and the DMV that you are canceling or switching your car insurance. Some providers will automatically do this on your behalf.
  • Confirm with your provider that your insurance has been cancelled, along with cancelling any automated payments to the provider.
  • Check your online account after you’ve received confirmation to make sure your policy is officially cancelled.

How to deal with an agent who won’t let you cancel

When you go to cancel your policy, there’s a good chance that the person you speak to will try to retain you as a customer. If you find that this person won’t take no for an answer, try these tips:

  • Be prepared. Have any documentation you might need, like confirmation of your new insurance.
  • Don’t agree to “think about it.” If you really want to cancel your policy, don’t be wishy-washy, be firm and say so.
  • Before you speak to an agent, plan what you want to say and write it down. Firmly repeat this each time you are asked to stay on with your provider. For example, you could say “I would like to cancel my policy” or “Please cancel my policy.”
  • Simply say “No thank you” as many times as it takes.
  • Write down the agent’s name and the date and time of your call.
  • If all else fails, ask to speak with a different agent or the agent’s manager.

Bottom line

If you’re looking to switch providers or cancel your car policy, you do have options for canceling your car insurance. Talk to your provider about cancellation fees and the best process to cancel.

Compare car insurance alternatives and see how much you could save by switching.

Cancel your insurance the easy way

Let a new agent help you cancel your old policy online in minutes.

Your information is secure.

Frequently asked questions about canceling car insurance

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