We are very concerned when we find out clients do not have any insurance coverage. What happened? They simply didn't pay their bill, and their policy expired. When a policy expires, you do NOT have any coverage, so if you have a claim, you may be completely responsible for all damages and liability.
Unlike other bills you may be paying, insurance policies do not necessarily have a grace period. If your policy renewal date is January 1, and payment is not received or postmarked by midnight on December 31, your policy will expire. In some cases, you may be allowed to reinstate the policy with payment. Let's say you pay your bill on January 5. That means you went 5 days without coverage, which is also referred to as a "lapse" in coverage. However, in other cases, you may not be permitted to reinstate the policy, and will have to have a new policy written, if that carrier even allows it.
How can you avoid this?
Always pay your bill well in advance of your expiration date. Your policy expires on midnight of your expiration/renewal date!
There's a new feature in the upper right corner of our website: Pay Your Bill which will take you to a list of our carriers and their billing websites. Some of these are one time payment only, and others have an option to register and/or log into a customer portal, where you can manage your billing preferences.
Set up autopay, preferably with a checking account. If you use a credit card, and it expires, your payment will be declined, and you will be pulled out of autopay, and sent a bill. If you do not pay on time, your policy will expire. Therefore, if you must use a credit card, make sure you update it before it expires. If you've never set up autopay, you can use that same link to do so: Pay Your Bill
If you have a homeowners policy that is paid directly by your lender, you are still responsible to pay, even if they do not. Sometimes the lender information that your insurance carrier has on file is not correct, which will result in an expiration of the policy. Your insurance carrier sends the bill to address listed in the "mortgagee clause" on your policy 45 days before expiration. You can follow up to make sure your bill was paid by going to your carrier's online portal to check for posted payments.
If you are in paperless billing, open all emails, and make a habit of checking your online portal to make sure you are caught up. Check your spam folder, and add them to your "safe senders" list.
If you receive mail from your carrier, open and read everything. Carefully check your due dates, and make sure you postmark your payments well before the due date.