When may an insurance company cancel my auto insurance policy?

An insurance company may cancel a new policy any time within the first 60 days without providing you with a reason for the cancellation. A cancellation is also permitted during the terms of the policy if the premium is not paid when it is due, discovery of fraud or material misrepresentation made by you or your representative in obtaining your insurance, or by your pursuit of a fraudulent claim under your policy, or significant changes in insuring characteristics. For the situations discussed above, no cancellation is effective until at least 10 days after the insurance company mails or delivers to you a written notice of cancellation.

When may an insurance company nonrenew my auto insurance policy?

Nonrenewal refers to the termination of a policy at the expiration date. If an insurance company decides it does not want to renew your policy, it must mail or deliver to you a nonrenewal notice at least 60 days before the policy's expiration date.

Does an insurance company have to say why it refused to renew my policy?

Yes, the nonrenewal notice must provide the reason for its decision to nonrenew a policy.

Does my auto insurance policy have a grace period?

Unlike health insurance policies, auto insurance policies, do not have a required grace period. The premium is due, at the insurance company, on the date identified on the premium notice. If the premium is not received by that date the policy automatically terminates.

Can credit history be used as a reason to nonrenew or refusal to renew my car insurance?

Insurers may use credit information as one of the criteria they consider when underwriting personal lines insurance. However, it is the position of the Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner's Office that insurers should not use credit information, whether they use credit reports or credit scoring mechanisms, as the sole reason to refuse an application, cancel a new insurance policy in its first 60 days of coverage, or nonrenew an existing policy.

What can I do if my policy has been canceled or nonrenewed and I cannot find another insurance company that will write auto insurance for me?

If you try several insurance companies and cannot find coverage, you can be insured through the Wisconsin Automobile Insurance Plan. You can apply through any licensed property and casualty insurance agent. For general information on the plan, you may call or write to Wisconsin Auto Insurance Plan (WAIP), 20700 Swenson Drive, Suite 100, Waukesha, WI 53186 (262) 796-4599.