What Happens if I am in a Car Accident and My Insurance has Lapsed? See How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help

No matter your current financial situation, cutting out on car insurance is never a good idea. Because if you drive a car, remember that not only is car insurance essential, it is required by law. Car accidents are just too common these days to drive without insurance, and accidents can significantly impact your financial situation – especially if you are at fault. Car accidents come with vehicle repair costs, medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more.

What Happens if I am in a Car Accident and My Insurance has Lapsed

Sometimes a lapse in insurance premium payments come because you are changing insurance carriers and perhaps didn’t look at the fine print. Perhaps there was a period that you were not covered due to the cancellation policies. Ensure you take note of all the details. Insurance carriers can also cancel with you if you stop paying premiums, you have a suspended license, or file a fraudulent claim, leaving you uninsured. 

If you have cancelled your car insurance for some reason, or it has lapsed, and you’re in a car accident, here is what you can expect. 

You have no coverage

In a fault state, you’re responsible for an accident you cause and your insurance carrier would cover the injured driver’s costs. But if you don’t have insurance, you will have to pay every penny yourself towards the injured driver’s costs as well as your own medical expenses and vehicle damage. And if the victim has a claim against you, they may seek payment from your personal assets instead of from an insurance policy. And you can see here that the costs of cancelling your insurance can be crippling financially. 

If the accident was determined to be the other driver’s fault, their insurance should pay for your damages. But you will still face fines, and you won’t have access to any additional no-fault coverage that usually covers any other costs not included by the at-fault driver. 


It is unlawful to drive a car without insurance. And so if you are caught on a routine check or after an accident, you can face a steep fine and citation. Your license plate may be canceled until you can show that you have insurance in place. There are escalating fines for repeat offenders. These fines vary per state and situation.

High Insurance Rates

If you are involved in an accident with lapsed insurance, you’ll find that insurance carriers will consider this when renewing your coverage again. 

Suspended Driver’s License

Driving with lapsed or no insurance can also cause you to lose your license.

Impounding your Vehicle

A leasing company will most likely have insisted on full insurance coverage when taking ownership of the vehicle. On finding out your insurance has lapsed, the lender might impound or try to repossess your car.

Handling an insurance lapse

If you are dealing with an insurance lapse because the company has cancelled your coverage, here’s what to do:

Contact your insurance carrier: Find out what the issue is and how to fix it so you can receive coverage again.

Your renewal options: Can your previous policy be reinstated? Perhaps you only have to pay a late premium and then don’t need to go through the process of renewal.

New coverage: If it’s too late to reinstate your policy or renew it, start a new one. It is just too risky to be driving around uninsured. Don’t wait to get coverage, even if it’s more expensive. Start new coverage as soon as you can. 

How a car accident lawyer can help with lapsed insurance coverage

If your insurance has lapsed when you have an accident, there is a high possibility your insurer might deny your claim. Although if you have made a late payment and are a loyal customer, there is a chance they may still cover your accident claim. If you have a car accident attorney on your side, they will be able to look at your policy and legal options, which can be particularly helpful if your insurer is mistreating you. 

If another driver caused the accident, you might have some luck on your side. This is where a car accident lawyer again can help because although the at-fault driver should pay for damages, you might still have trouble with your claim if you don’t have insurance. Your car accident attorney will be able to protect your rights when filing the claim as they understand the complicated procedures and will be on top of all the details. They will handle everything from gathering evidence and determining fault to calculating damages, building a personal injury claim and negotiating with the insurance carrier. They will also know the possibility of entitlement to damages if your insurance has lapsed. 

It comes down to something as simple as, if your insurance has lapsed, don’t drive a car. Instead, make another arrangement until you have your insurance back in place. And if you are in a financial bind, remember you only need to look into finding the required insurance minimum for your state. 

Contact the Experts

As a client of the Law Offices of David Kohm, we want to assure you that your legal matters will be handled with the utmost discretion and privacy. Our many years of legal representation and extensive knowledge of auto accident litigation provide you with the security of knowing that we’ll handle your accident from the first time we meet until the day we achieve a final resolution or settlement. You must be made aware of your legal rights, and we will work to get the best settlement possible for you. Our car accident lawyers will help you reach a quick and financially beneficial solution to your legal matters.

Call our law offices today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.

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You can also contact us online by using our quick contact form.

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