Hello! I’m Dan Lyles with Lyles Insurance. In this video, were going to go over late payments on your auto insurance and how it hurts your rates.
Drivers who have a habit of being late on their auto insurance payments do not realize just how bad they hurt themself with rates. This video is going to go over some key points of what you need to be aware of and need to know. And we’re going to go over some tips on how to better handle things if you come to the situation where your money gets tight at the same time an insurance payment is due.
It’s important that you understand that there are huge differences between auto insurance companies and how they deal with late payments on auto insurance. For example, some are very strict and they will cancel your policy if you’re even a day or two late. While other companies, they’re a little more lenient, will you give you some more time. And when it comes to late fees, some companies are strict on late fees as well. While others might give you some time before they tack on any late fees. But the key thing to keep in mind here is, every company does it differently.
There are basically four ways that paying late can cost you on your insurance premium. And I’m sure you’re probably pretty aware of the first three: late fees, cancellation fees, and reinstatement fees. But one that often goes unnoticed are increased premiums after your expiration/renewal date. And we’re going to get into this a little bit more.
Fees can add up very quickly! And I’m not talking about those of you who make most of your payments on time, and only pay late on rare occasions once in a while. That’s not that big of a deal. But if you have a habit and a pattern of paying late quite often, that’s where you’re really going to cost yourself.
I want to discuss the increase in premium after your expiration/renewal date. Every six months (or for a small percentage of you twelve months) when your policy expires, you’ll get a renewal offer from the company that will reevaluate you. And with all other things being equal, drivers who been paying late on their premiums have a much higher chance of their rates going up. Whereas drivers who make all or most of their payments on time, have a much higher chance of their rates either going down or staying the same. So let’s say your rates went up. If you’re wondering why, go back and look and see how often you’ve paid late. That may be the reason.
Here are some other key points that you need to be aware of. What happens if you’re short on money with a payment due? Well, this happens on occasion to all of us. Let’s say that you have a policy that’s due this coming Friday, and you don’t get paid until the following Friday. What I have found is that many companies will work with a customer as long as you call them directly and ask if you can get a payment due date extension. Now you have to do this before your policy is due. Don’t wait until it’s late and then try. That won’t work. But I have noticed the companies for the most part are pretty flexible and will work with you there. Also, if you only pay late once on a rare occasion, most companies will offer a one-time wave of late fees. So you may want to check on that also. But in both of these cases, you have to call the company directly yourself. Your auto insurance agent does not have the authority to change your billing. Only the company can do that directly. And finally, if you get a cancellation notice for non-payment, it will say, for example, “your policy is set to cancel on such and such date if we do not get a payment”. Keep in mind that they mean 12:01 AM of that date because a lot of people get burned by this. So if your policy is set to cancel for non-payment on a Friday, you want to make sure that you have that paid by Thursday evening or night.
For those of you who live in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia or West Virginia, if you would like for me to personally run you a quote, I’ll be happy to do so. And I’ve listed a page on my website where you can go online and get a quote. Or if you’d rather just get a quote by phone, I’ve also listed my phone number. Thank you for watching and have a great day!
Dan Lyles is an Independent Insurance Agent serving Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia..