Is it legal for my auto insurer to cancel my policy with only a few hours notice?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it legal for my auto insurer to cancel my policy with only a few hours notice?

My auto insurance company requested a copy of my car title. I took the title for them to copy and when I got home they called and informed me my policy was being cancelled effective 5:00pm that same afternoon.

Asked on January 31, 2018 under Insurance Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It depends on two things:
1) Does the policy (which is a contract) require notice prior to termination for the reason they terminated your coverage and, if so, how much notice? Any notice provisions of the policy are enforceable, as are any contractual terms, and you could sue, if necessary, to enforce them or for compensation. And conversely: without contractual notice provisions, they could generally terminate without notice.
2) Why did they terminate the coverage? If it was because you had never complied with the original obligations or requirements to get coverage or had lied to them (committed fraud) about something (like the identity or ownership of the vehicle), then even if there were notice requirements for other grounds for termination (like late or non-payment), they could likely terminate you on the spot without notice. Issues involving whether you should have been eligible for insurance in the first place generally allow immediate termination of coverage.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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