Am I living a sheltered life? Auto insurance cancelation.

In this thread http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=545188&page=2

I noted that in my experience auto-insurance is rarely canceled for reasons beyond the buyers control.

curcoat responded with

I’ve lived in MA almost all my life. Auto insurance is required by law for all drivers. Every policy I’ve ever had included uninsured motorist protection. I deal with hundreds of different people in all walks of life throughout a year. I’ve never known someone in MA who has had their policy canceled due to an uninsured motorist incident. When I was younger and living closer the the NH border, NH did not require auto insurance so there were plenty of uninsured drivers about and plenty of accidents involving them.

I know MA recently did away with a lot of regulation of the auto-insurance industry

Am I sheltered and just don’t hear about uninsured driver victims?
Did MA prevent cancellation due to uninsured driver incidents?
In other states is it the norm for people to have their auto insurance canceled by no fault of their own?

In MN it’s required by law to have insurance in order to operate a motor vehicle. However, my policy still has underinsured motorist protection. Just because we’re required to have it doesn’t mean everyone does.

As to whether my insurance company would be cancelled after I was involved in such an accident, I don’t know - luckily, it’s never happened.

I have heard of people’s home insurance policy being cancelled simply because of three calls over two years. No actual payments were made; these were just inquiries. But the company considered them a nuisance for contacting them too many times, and cancelled their policy. This happened to my friend (which makes it a FOAF story, so take that for what it’s worth).

It’s the same in VT. If you have a driver’s license, you have to buy insurance whether or not you own a car.

I’ve never heard of someone being canceled because of a single driver hitting them. If that happened to me I would call the local TV channel/ Now if they had a habit of getting hit then that is a different matter. There’s a certain expectation of defensive driving. There are many things I do as a defensive driver such as looking both ways before going through an intersection even if I have the light. It has prevented accidents in the past.

Depending on the policy you have, many insurance companies will, in fact, drop you if you file any claim in which they have to pay.

It’s becoming less common, but years ago it was almost a guarantee. Then Allstate and others came along and used the fact that they wouldn’t drop you as part of their marketing pitch, and it’s become rather less common.

Even if company A does drop you or jack up your premium, there are always higher risk insurance companies that will cover you.

Is that true? That’s crazy!

Joe

In Michigan you need proof of insurance to get your plate every year. A lot of people make a payment at that time ,then don’t make any more. It is canceled while they are driving.

Well, the idea (IIRC) is that you could have a license, but no car, but borrow someone else’s car who has some cut-rate, super-cheap insurance that doesn’t cover them if they aren’t driving (or they have none at all.) So if you then get into an accident, at least you know you personally have some level of coverage, regardless of the coverage on the vehicle.

Still don’t* if* you have a clean record. I don’t know anyone dumb enough to be uninsured, but I’m sure they’re out there.

I can’t provide anything beyond anecdotes, but my wife and I have, in our lives, had two cars totalled by uninsured drivers. In both cases, our own insurance companies paid for the vehicles, and in neither case was our policy cancelled. (Or, so far as I’m aware, were our premiums raised.)

This was all in California.

In PA, insurance companies talk to PennDOT and vice versa. If your insurance is cancelled for any reason, you can expect a letter from PennDOT asking for an explanation. If PennDOT doesn’t buy it, your auto registration is suspended until your insurance status is cleared up to their satisfaction. My insurance company screwed something up and it was a very interesting afternoon getting it straightened out.

Geico (cute ads, terrible company*) canceled my insurance twice. 1st time, it was early on and even though I had been rear-ended, I needed a Proof Of Insurance form (now you have cards you carry proof with you all the time, not so back then)- they canceled. 1st person I talked to said it was their “standard policy”.:mad: However, I wrote a “strong letter” and got a nice response and a apology.

Then they had sent me a sheet talking about Monthly payments. So, I started sending in my checks monthly, with 1/12th the annual premium amount. After accepting the checks for 7 months, with not a word out of them, they canceled “due to non-payment”. :eek:There was an add’l charge of $1.50 a month to pay monthly, which they had never told me about. Thus once I “owed” them over $10, my policy was canceled. :dubious:

  • this is a general rule of thumb- the better the ads, the worse the product. Capital One, Volkswagen, and so forth.

I had a boss who had his insurance cancelled after he made a claim (business, not car), and the insurance company blackballed him because he was a bad risk now (the building he was in had a fire, and he made a claim for some smoke damage). It does happen.

How bizzare?! They cancel your policy if you make a claim?

Where I live, there’s a compulsory third party insurance you must buy when you renew your vehicle registration. That means that if you crash and are at fault, then the other person is guaranteed to be covered by your insurance. You also have the option of getting insurance for yourself as well, as an optional extra.

If you don’t make claims, then your rating increases (i.e. you get ranked as a good driver) and your premiums drop due to “no-claim bonuses”. If you make a claim, then your rating decreases and your premiums get raised slightly. I can’t imagine anyone having their insurance cancelled except if they repeatedly got into at-fault collisions over time or they attempted to defraud the insurance company.

I couldn’t find anything on the Vermont DMV, it’s been awhile since I owned a car, but aren’t insurance rates based on the type of car, the amount of coverage and where you live? How could just having a license and no car give you a proper rate?

(If you check out the Vermont Link, you may have to scroll way to your right if you don’t see anything)

Huh. I was at fault in a fender bender a few years ago, and have them as my insurance company. They didn’t even raise my rate.

Well, you probably inderstand, but for those who don’t, GEICO is an acronym that stands for Goverment Employees Insurance Company. It was started as a group insurance company to benefit government employees.

Now, you ‘may’ save money by switching to GEICO if you are a current or retired member of the military, or current or retired employee of several government agencies, etc. The other people who buy Geico insurance without these public agency ties subsidize the discounts that the government employees are getting.

Many people do not know what the GEICO acronym means. It’s a good deal for certain people, and a bad deal for others.

10+ years ago my wife had an accident driving my car ( my insurance ). No fault was determined for either driver. 3 years later I had a my fault accident.

Not only was my policy not canceled, I kept my safe-driver discount and my rates went down $50/year.

Shelter has always been full of awesome, even more so with the home owners claim I’ve had this last year

Meflin

I’ve had one car accident in my life, I was hit by a woman who pulled into the intersection presuming that I had a stop sign. I did not. We were both insured by State Farm and in fact, have the same agent. It was handled with ridiculous efficiency and speed, and we’re both still covered by State Farm – I know this because I saw the woman at our agent’s office last month. No change in my rates, and they went down the next year when I turned 25. I don’t know if the other driver’s rates changed, but she was obviously not dropped by State Farm.

I’ve also had an incident that dinged both my auto and homeowner’s policy at once, my car was broken into in my own driveway after I’d packed for a trip, and several thousand dollars worth of things were stolen (camera equipment, laptop, jewelry, covered under homeowners) and nearly $3,000 in damage was done to the car. I could have been construed to be at fault because the thief had to have seen me load my luggage into the car. But just the same, rates never went up, and have in fact come down twice since then, once when I turned 35, and again on the tenth anniversary of the policy.

My father had the unfortunate luck to be involved in three accidents that weren’t his fault. After the third one his insurance company told him the next time anything happened – his fault, not his fault, or an act of God – he’d be canceled. Period.

Not exactly the same, but somewhat related, when our kids started driving, two of them had accidents and the third got a speeding ticket. Our insurance company informed us that not only were our kids no longer welcome, my wife and I weren’t, either.