insurance

Get a refund if I cancel my car insurance?

Tara Baukus MelloDear Driving for Dollars,
I want to cancel my car insurance. How do I do it, and can I get a refund of what I already paid?
-- Lee

Dear Lee,
Whether you are canceling your car insurance because you are selling your car or are switching insurance carriers to get a better car insurance rate, most insurance companies require you to do so in writing. Call your car insurance agent or the insurance company's customer service number to inform the company that you want to cancel. The company will send you a form to complete or give you the details you need to put in writing.

If you are canceling a car insurance policy before it expires, you might be entitled to a refund. The refund amount will depend on the auto insurance company's refund policies -- many charge a fee for early cancellation -- as well as state laws regarding auto insurance premiums.

Keep in mind that if you are canceling auto insurance and still own your car, your coverage may be considered lapsed. This is illegal in many states, and you could be fined, plus you could have trouble getting car insurance later. To find out the details for your state, visit your state's website to look up the information on auto insurance requirements.

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If you have a car question, email it to us at Driving for Dollars. Read more Driving for Dollars columns and Bankrate auto stories. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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