One of the most common mistakes people make involving insurance is simply neglecting to notify their insurance company when they decide either to not renew or cancel an insurance policy.

Whether you’re switching insurance companies or simply have sold a vehicle, property, or business and no longer need insurance, you should always notify your insurance company and arrange cancellation of your policy.

Customarily the insurance company will require an authorization, signed by all named insureds, to properly cancel a policy. A signed cancellation request helps avoid misunderstanding or cancellations in error as well as ensuring all parties with an ownership interest in a policy are in agreement with canceling the policy.

If a request to cancel a policy dates back more than 30 days insurance companies likely will require additional documentation to substantiate the cancellation date, such as proof replacement insurance was purchased or documentation confirming the date the covered vehicle or property was sold.

Once a cancellation request is processed the insurance company will send confirmation along with a final statement of account. The final statement will detail any premiums owed through the cancellation date or any premiums being refunded as a result of the cancellation.

A common instance when problems can arise is when a person switches insurance companies at a renewal date, doesn’t notify their previous insurer, and mistakenly assumes when they don’t pay the renewal bill their policy will cancel. While this eventually does prove true the previous insurer may extend coverage, and bill for coverage provided, through any grace period (the time period following an initial premium due date when the insurance company would accept a late payment and continue the policy with no gap in coverage).

One additional note: If you have only one vehicle insured on a Michigan auto insurance policy that you are selling and intend to replace within a relatively short span of time you should discuss the situation with your insurance agent, rather than simply canceling your auto policy. You’re likely to be best served to either maintain your existing policy, or some type of auto insurance, during a brief period between owning vehicles to avoid a situation where you may become ineligible for a standard auto policy once you acquire another vehicle.

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