What can I do if I had an accident during an insurance lapse?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What can I do if I had an accident during an insurance lapse?

Yesterday I was in a collision for which I was at fault. I did not realize that I had missed last month’s payment to renew my insurance policy until I went to review my coverage. I called my insurance provider and spoke to a representative who informed me that I was past the standard grace period and would have to draft a new policy. Is there anything I can do to extend the grace period? Is there a way to maintain coverage for the lapsed period? Do I have to worry about any other legal issues since my coverage had lapsed? If so, is there a way to prevent any legal issues by reinstating the coverage, etc?

Asked on December 28, 2017 under Accident Law, Massachusetts


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The grace period on your insurance policy won't be extended. Since the insurance lapsed, you were uninsured when the accident occurred. Therefore, you are personally liable and can be sued for negligence by the party who was not at fault in the accident. Your liability will include the property damage (cost of repairs) to the car not at fault and the personal injury claims of the occupants of that vehicle.
The personal injury claims include compensation for the medical bills, pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills, and wage loss.
Your license can be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles for being uninsured.

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