Paying your auto insurance bill when it comes due is easy to overlook. While this oversight can usually be quickly corrected when you receive the notice that your auto insurance company policy has been canceled, the last thing you want to find out after an accident is that your policy has been cancelled.
Fortunately, Indiana law requires an auto insurer to provide advance written notice of a cancelation for any reason before the cancellation becomes effective. Specifically, Indiana Code 27-7-6-5 requires auto insurance companies to mail or deliver a notice to their customers at least 10 days before cancelling an auto insurance policy for nonpayment of a premium. If the cancellation is for any other reason, the insurance company must give at least 20 days advance written notice.
Additionally, if you purchased your insurance through an insurance agent, an auto insurance company must also mail or deliver notice to that agent 10 days before their notice to their insured. The reason for this requirement is that hopefully your agent will call to remind you that your payment is past due.
So, what should you do if have an accident and your insurance company says that you have no coverage because your policy was cancelled?
- Ask your company for a copy of the letter that they sent which gave you advance written notice of this cancellation. Remember, if they don’t have a copy of this letter, your policy is still in force even if your policy had been canceled before you accident!
Lastly, I want to point out that there is a difference between cancellation of a policy and nonrenewal of a policy. A cancellation is when your insurer terminates your coverage while your policy term is still in force. An example would be a policy that has a term of 6 months, but your insurer cancels the policy before the end of this period. A nonrenewal is when the insurer covers you for the time period they agreed to, but then declines to continue insuring you after that period. The advance notice requirements of this statute do not apply to a nonrenewal of a policy at the end of such a period.
If you’ve been injured in a serious accident, hiring an attorney who knows what questions to ask of your insurance company can make all the difference regarding what financial recovery you will receive. Please call the offices of Indiana Car Accident Attorney James Ludlow at 1-877-897-9466, or submit the simple form on the Contact Us page on www.ludlowlaw.com for a free case evaluation and put my experience and knowledge to work for you.