What do I do if I forgot to pay my insurance and I was involved in an auto accident? 28 Answers as of July 09, 2013

My auto insurance expired and I forgot to pay. My ID card says it is still active. I had a very minor fender bender yet I forgot to pay, and therefore, not covered. Had a very minor fender bender yesterday, did an online accident report. What do I do? The other party is calling my insurance company.

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The Law Firm of Shawn M. Murray
The Law Firm of Shawn M. Murray | Shawn M. Murray
If your insurance coverage lapsed due to non-payment of your premium, and the accident was your fault, then you will be personally responsible for the damages.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 8/29/2011
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
You may fall within the grace period; the insurance company has to notify you that your bill has not been paid and if you don't pay it by a certain date, then it is cancelled. Try paying it now. If they accept, then the payment might re-activate coverage. Otherwise, the insurance company can return your check. If that happens, you will have to deal with the other motorist directly.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/29/2011
Patrick M Lamar Attorney
Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
Check on your grace period and try to pay the premium. If you had a lapsed policy you will be liable for the damages if you are found to have caused them.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/29/2011
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
You should call the other party and work out a settlement of their damages. Otherwise, you may end up getting sued by them or their insurance company.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/29/2011
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
Call the other driver if you were at fault and pay the damage.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 8/29/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    I'm not sure what you mean by your card says the insurance had not expired as of the date of the accident? With regard to the premium, what period of time was that to cover? Was it to cover the next months after expiration of the current date?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    You may still be able to renew your insurance policy despite the lapse in payment. It will dependon your policy. Also, there are laws that protect you depending on how long you did not pay and any lack of notice from your insurance company. Your agent may be able to help you clean up the lapse. Otherwise, you may have to handle the matter on your own or hire an attorney to handle it for you.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O.
    The Law Office of Eric R. Chandler, P.C., L.L.O. | Eric R. Chandler
    First, check to make sure your insurance did lapse. Sometimes, even if you miss a premium, you can still have coverage depending on the time frame and whether or not the insurance company sent proper notice. If you are sure you did not have coverage at the time of the accident contact the other party and offer to make restitution. Have them get some bids for the damage to their vehicle and pay for it. If you were arrested or cited on any criminal charges such as not having insurance, you should probably speak to a criminal lawyer before doing anything.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    The Farber Law Group
    The Farber Law Group | Herbert G. Farber
    If your ID card says your insurance card is still in effect, your company may give you a "grace period" even though your payment was late. You should make efforts to reinstate your coverage for now and in the future. However, if you are not covered, you should make arrangements to pay for the damages to the other vehicle if the fault was yours.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S.
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S. | Richard Eugene Lewis
    It depends on whether your policy has formally lapsed. There is often a grace period that the company will give you. If you pay within that period you are still covered. If the time to pay has expired and there is no grace period or it has expired, you have no coverage and will be responsible for the damage.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You will have to pay for any damages out of pocket and you may be cited for failure to carry insurance so go and get some right away.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Craig Kelley & Faultless
    Craig Kelley & Faultless | David W. Craig
    As you know you are required to carry auto insurance. If you don't and you are in a wreck you will have to pay for the damage and you will probably lose your license. You should call your insurance company to make sure that your policy was actually cancelled. If you were just late then you may still have coverage. The insurance company would have sent you a termination notice.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    You are personally responsible for the damage.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates | Cary J. Wintroub
    If you determine that you are fault then take the initiative contact the party directly and offer to pay the damages and cost of rent a car during repair. By doing this you possibly cut off notification to the State which could have license ramifications.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    If you're uninsured, which is what you are, then you need to pay an attorney an hourly rate to defend you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Kirshner & Groff
    Kirshner & Groff | Richard M. Kirshner
    Depends whether or not the policy was actually cancelled for non payment or not. If it was cancelled you will not have coverage if they notified you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Get your insurance coverage renewed ASAP. Also, contact the driver of the other carto see if you can make arrangement to pay out of pocket for his minor automobile damages.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    Sometimes your coverage is extended based on your history. Check with your agent. Before you that or anything else send along payment. The may keep your coverage without lapse.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Cantor & Burger
    Cantor & Burger | Gary K. Burger
    Pay your insurance. They will likely retroactively reinstate it.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    You will owe all damages to the other side or their insurer. C
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    The insurance company will let you know if they are denying the claim for non-payment. Based upon what you have indicated, they will likely review the file and determine that coverage had lapsed, and they will so advise the other driver. In that case, the other driver and/or his insurance company may look to you personally to pay for any damages. If it was your fault, then you should consider trying to work something out with them. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    You will have to pay for everything.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/9/2013
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    If you caused a motor vehicle collision and had no insurance, you may be personally liable for the damages you caused. Sometimes people avoid paying by declaring bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    It depends on the anti-lapse grace period provisions in your insurance policy. Call your agent or the company and see if they now accept a late premium payment and keep it in force. They probably won't but if they do, thank your lucky stars. A miracle has happened. If they won't, pay the damage claim and learn your lesson. Maybe you should put the insurance on your credit card so you can't not pay.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 8/29/2011
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