Pennsylvania Car Insurance: Dealing with a Lapse in Coverage

When a car insurance policy lapses, it can be a serious situation. Drivers in Pennsylvania who don’t pay for their auto insurance coverage when it’s due could be facing having their vehicle registration for three months. If the driver can show that he or she did not operate the vehicle during a relatively short lapse in coverage (31 days or less), the Department of Motor Vehicles may not suspend the registration. On the other hand, getting caught driving while a vehicle registration is suspended carries a penalty of loss of a driver’s license for three months.

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If a PA driver realizes that he or she has not paid the car insurance when due, the best thing to do is contact the insurance company right away. Some insurers will agree to reinstate the policy once payment is received. The fastest way to remit an outstanding payment and get coverage back in place is to pay online or through Internet banking. The insurer may also charge an extra fee for doing so, but even if it does, it’s still a better option than getting caught driving without car insurance in Pennsylvania.

Penalties that may be meted out to a person who does not have car insurance in place include having the vehicle impounded, suspension of the registration and the offender’s driver’s license and a fine. Fees will be charged for reinstating the license and registration.

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