Okay to pay car insurance after the due date?

Auto insurance companies are not obligated to accept money that arrives even one da past the due date. There is a ten day cancel for nonpayment requirement, but many insurers include this written notice on the original bill.

Insurance companies have three options when money arrives after the due date. The insurer may accept payment and reinstate the policy without a break in coverage. Or, the insurer may accept payment but reinstate with a coverage break. This could involve a late fee; you might have to pay the balance due for the remainder of the policy term; or switch to automatic bank withdrawal. Finally, the insurer may opt to return the late money and leave the cancellation intact. A canceled policy will likely make it difficult to find replacement coverage at a similar rate.

You may be driving without insurance if you pay late. Uninsured drivers face penalties including fines, license suspensions, and financial responsibility filings. Consequences increase if you have a crash without insurance.

For more information about auto insurance, call the Illinois Insurance Hotline. A variety of education materials are available on this and other topics.