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Guide to Navigating Michigan Car Insurance Cancellations

WRITTEN BY:
Steven Matz
June 6, 2023 | Car Accident

Key Takeaways

  • If your car insurance is canceled, you can get it back. You should review your policy requirements, fulfill any outstanding payments, and contact your provider before seeking a new policy.
  • Distinguishing between a policy lapse, cancellation, or rescission is key, as each impacts your insurance coverage differently, particularly after an accident.
  • You can fight an insurance cancellation in Michigan if you have held your policy for a minimum of 55 days.
  • Your Michigan driver’s license will not be suspended if you cancel or do not have car insurance.
  • You can cancel your car insurance to switch to a new policy anytime.

When you get into a car accident in Michigan, you do not want to worry about your insurance. However, it may seem like the auto insurance company wants to avoid paying. So, instead of being able to focus on your injuries, you have to fight with the adjuster over your auto insurance policy. Continue reading to see what can be done about your insurance and how to handle a cancellation or change. If you need help fighting the insurance company over your car insurance policy, the experienced Michigan attorneys at Matz Injury Law are ready to help.

Can You Fight an Insurance Cancellation in Michigan?

Upset couple

Yes, you can fight the car insurance company for cancellation of your insurance coverage in Michigan. However, Michigan insurance law requires that you must start the automobile insurance policy at least 55 days before the cancellation. Therefore, if you have a new policy less than 55 days old, you may be unable to fight the cancellation. To fight a car insurance cancellation, you must first contest the grounds of the cancellation to the insurance commissioner.

Car Insurance Cancelled Without Notice

I found out after an accident that my car insurance had lapsed. I never got a letter reminding me to pay. Can they cancel me?

This is one of the most common questions we hear from clients. The fact is that your Michigan auto insurance policy may state that it cancels automatically if you don’t make premium payments on time. In that case, your auto insurance company is not required to send you a “warning letter” that your insurance is about to expire before it actually does.

The company can terminate your benefits in one of two ways: cancellation or rescission.

If the company cancels your policy, you will get a letter saying you will no longer be covered after a specific date. If the company rescinds your policy, you will get a letter saying that they no longer cover you as of the date of the letter, and you will probably get a refund check in the same mailing representing any unused premium that you may have paid beyond the date the policy is rescinded.

If you happen to have an accident after you are canceled but before the date the cancellation goes into effect, you are still covered. You are not covered if you get in an accident after the date your policy is rescinded.

However, if your policy doesn’t say anything about automatic cancelation if you don’t pay on time, Michigan law does require that the insurance company send you a notice at least 10 days ahead of cancelation before they terminate your policy. It probably won’t help you to claim that you didn’t receive the notice. The insurance company just has to show that they mailed it on time to the most recent address you gave them.

To prevent automatic cancellation, keep up with your car insurance payments. If your insurance expires, you can’t claim medical or wage loss benefits through the no-fault (PIP) system or sue the other driver for pain and suffering, even if the other driver was at fault. Contact a Michigan lawyer who knows about auto policy cancelation if you have questions.

Insurance Company Changes in Policy

“What is the difference between my insurance policy lapsing, being canceled, or being rescinded?”

This can be an important question if you have an accident and it is unclear when your coverage ended. It all depends upon what method your insurance company used to terminate your policy. You should never drive without, at minimum, basic no-fault coverage (PLPD) on your vehicle. However, there can be misunderstandings.

Most policies these days have a clause that says the insurance automatically lapses if you do not renew it on time. That makes it easy. If you don’t pay before the expiration date, your coverage lapses. The company doesn’t have to send you “warning letters” or offer a grace period. If you don’t pay on time, you will not have coverage after the expiration date. That’s the general rule (there can be exceptions, but don’t take that chance).

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However, there are times when your auto insurance company decides it doesn’t want to cover you any longer. Perhaps you didn’t accurately report the information on your application about where you live or your accident history. Since these factors can determine how much your insurance costs, the company may decide to drop you if it finds out later that you didn’t truthfully report important information in your application.

What if My Michigan Car Insurance is Cancelled by Someone Other Than Me?

Safe driving illustration

The Michigan Insurance Code is covered by the Michigan Code of Law 500.3020. These state laws assert the regulations to which insurance companies must adhere. The code regulates everything from insurance premiums to the terms for revocation and reinstatement of insurance policies during an active term.

Under the state cancellation laws, motor vehicle coverage of any class requiring premium payment may only be issued under certain provisions. First, the insured policyholders may cancel the policy at any time during the policy period, and the insurer must at this time refund any excess paid premium above pro-rata rates.

The insurer may cancel the policy at any time during the policy term by sending 10 days’ notice of cancellation in writing, either with or without tendering the excess paid premium. This written notice is essential.

Many stipulations and rights are outlined under Michigan law regarding motor vehicle insurance, regulations involving the policy’s effective dates and expiration dates, and more. Your insurance agent and personal injury and insurance attorney can help you understand how your policy interacts with the law.

If My Car Insurance is Cancelled, Can I Get It Back?

Having your car insurance policy canceled can be stressful, leaving you worried about your coverage and legal compliance. However, getting your car insurance back is possible if it was canceled. Here’s what you need to know about getting your car insurance back in Michigan.

Understanding the Grounds for Cancellation

First, it’s crucial to understand why your policy was canceled. Identifying the cause can help you address the issue directly with your insurer. Common reasons include non-payment of premiums, a significant change in risk profile, or providing false information on your application. Once you know why your policy was canceled, you can take steps to get it reinstated.

Steps to Reinstatement

  1. Contact Your Insurance Company: The first step is to reach out to your insurer as soon as possible. Discuss the reasons for cancellation and express your intent to get the policy reinstated.
  2. Rectify the Cause of Cancellation: If the cancellation was due to non-payment, catching up on your missed payments might be enough. For other reasons, you may need to provide additional information or clarify misunderstandings.
  3. Review the Policy Requirements: Some insurers may have specific reinstatement requirements or procedures. This could include a reinstatement fee, a new application, or a waiting period.
  4. Consider a New Policy: If reinstatement isn’t possible, or if the terms are not favorable, it might be time to shop for a new policy. Comparing quotes from different insurers can help you find coverage that meets your needs and budget.

Does Your License Get Suspended if Your Insurance is Canceled in Michigan?

No, your license cannot be suspended for having your car insurance canceled. However, driving without insurance is a misdemeanor in Michigan, so you should prioritize getting your insurance reinstated.

Common Reasons Your Insurance Was Cancelled in Michigan

Your insurance might cancel your policy for several reasons. However, Michigan law requires the issuance of written notice if they plan to cancel your policy. This notice may come from your insurance agent or the company. Some of the most common reasons your policy may be canceled include the following.

Lack of Payment

One of the most basic and common reasons for an insurance company to cancel a claim is simple nonpayment of premium. If you fail to pay your insurance premium on time, the insurance company can cancel your policy.

Suspended License

If your driver’s license gets suspended, your insurance can be canceled outright. A suspended license shows the insurance company that you have done something that makes you a risk on the roads, making you a bad investment.

High Risk

Similar to a suspended license, if your driving record is poor and shows a high level of accidents, citations, traffic violations, and the like, you may be canceled due to being a high-risk client. If a named insured submits too many insurance claims in a short period of time, the policy may also be flagged as high risk and canceled. Some high-risk policies are simply subjected to higher deductibles and premiums. Still, if your company views you as too high of a risk, you could lose your collision, PIP, and liability insurance altogether.

Fraud

Fraud means misrepresentation, making false statements, or otherwise acting dishonestly regarding your policy. For example, if you have pre-existing damage on your car that you try to claim is the result of a recent accident, or you stage an accident to get insurance money, that is insurance fraud. Insurance fraud is also a serious crime that can carry fines and jail time.

Felony With Vehicle

If you use your vehicle in a felonious manner, not only can your insurance be canceled, but you can also face serious criminal penalties. Committing a felony with a vehicle can include using your vehicle as a weapon, such as attempting to run someone over. It can also mean deliberately driving into a building to try to penetrate it and commit a robbery.

Can I Cancel My Michigan Car Insurance?

Woman recklessly speeding

Yes, you can cancel your insurance coverage in Michigan at any time. However, you should only do so if you are switching insurance companies or no longer own the insured vehicle. This is because any lapse in coverage can result in you being unable to claim no-fault benefits. In addition, Michigan insurance law requires you to carry minimum liability insurance and PIP coverage (no-fault insurance) unless you meet specific requirements. Failure to have insurance is a misdemeanor offense in Michigan.

The Lessons Here Are:

  • Never drive without insurance on your vehicle. It is against the law, and you risk complete financial responsibility for any collision damage, medical expenses, or wage losses that you, and possibly others, may suffer in the crash.
  • If you don’t pay your car insurance bill on time, your coverage will lapse, and the insurance company does not have to send you a warning letter telling you that this is about to happen.
  • If you accidentally or deliberately make false statements on your insurance application, you could be guilty of a crime.
  • Your insurance company may cancel or rescind your coverage at once if you made a false statement in your application that is important to how much your insurance costs.
  • if you get a letter telling you that your car insurance is being revoked, pay close attention to whether the letter is a cancellation at some future date or is a rescission effective immediately. This is important to whether you have any further coverage under that policy.

Insurance Unexpectedly Cancelled on You?

If your insurance company cancels your policy without reason, you may have recourse to challenge the decision. However, getting your car insurance reinstated can be quite tricky and requires help from someone well-versed in Michigan law. The auto insurance attorneys at Matz Injury Law can listen to your story and protect your rights. We work with clients all across Michigan. Contact us for a free case review today by calling 1-866-22Not33 or using our online contact form.

Frequent Answered Questions

Does my insurance company have to notify before the cancel my policy?

According to Michigan law, insurance providers are required to issue written notice if they plan to cancel your policy. A written notice will often come from your insurance agent or the company.

Can I cancel my insurance coverage in Michigan?

You are able to cancel your insurance at anytime. If you are considering canceling your policy, you should only do so if you are planning on changing coverage or companies.

If my car insurance company cancels my policy, can I get it back?

In Michigan, reinstating canceled car insurance is possible. Key to this process is understanding the cancellation’s reason, whether it’s due to unpaid premiums, risk profile changes, or inaccuracies in your application. Knowing the cause allows for targeted discussions with your insurer to explore reinstatement options.

Why would my car insurance company cancel my policy?

There are a handful of reasons your car insurance provider may have canceled your policy. A few of the most common reasons include failed payment, a suspended license, being a high-risk driver, fraud, or a felony with a vehicle charge. It’s important to communicate with your insurance provider to understand why they canceled for you.

steven matz headshot

Written By Steven Matz

Founding Shareholder

Steven J. Matz is a founding shareholder of Matz Injury Law. The firm’s concentration is on personal injury litigation, with an emphasis on traumatic brain injury.

The maximum contingency fee permitted by law is actually 331/3%. Michigan court rules require that the attorney fee be computed on the net sum recovered after deducting all disbursements properly chargeable to the enforcement of the claim.

What does 22not33 mean, exactly?

We can charge 22% while virtually all other injury attorneys charge 331/3% because we are very, very, good at obtaining results for our clients.

We do not spend millions of dollars on television ads; instead, we offer a lower fee to all our clients. We do not have dozens of lower paid associates handling our work. All our clients are represented by Steven and Jared Matz. Steven Matz started the firm in 1977 and since then has dedicated his life to representing injury victims. Jared joined the firm in 2016 but grew up listening to stories, discussing theories, and generally learning at the dinner table about how to effectively and compassionately represent injury victims. Jared Matz was literally born to represent individuals involved in motor vehicle crashes.

All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee and all our cases are handled at 22%. Whether the case settles or goes through trial, the fee does not change. While our competitors make excuses as to why they charge so much, we are obtaining results for our clients at a lower fee.

At a typical television advertising law firm, your first call will be handled by a receptionist, who may refer you to an intake person, who will discuss your claim with an intake manager, who then discusses your claim with an associate, who may then report to a partner. You may never speak with the person whose name is at the top of the letterhead. At Matz Injury Law you will always speak with either Steven Matz or Jared Matz.