In California, there is no grace period for your car insurance coverage. If you allow your policy to lapse by not making the payments on time, you are driving without insurance. Not only will you be subject to a fine and suspension of your license and registration, but you don’t have any protection if you are involved in an accident during that time.
You would be required to pay for damage to the other driver’s vehicle and any property damaged as a result of the accident. The medical bills and expenses incurred after the accident will also be your responsibility. These expenses can add up quickly and many people would find it difficult to cover them personally.
If you realize that your policy has lapsed, contact your insurance company right away to discuss your options. You may be able to make a payment through the company web site or online banking. Be sure to ask when your policy will be reinstated, if the insurer will allow you to get back on track by making a payment.
Some companies will cancel your policy immediately for non-payment, and you will need to find an insurer willing to provide this protection following a lapse in coverage. While you are considering different car insurance quotes, you should keep your car off the road. When you have a replacement policy in place, you can start driving again.