Car Insurance Grace Periods Explained (Lapses & New Vehicles)

Short Answer: The grace period to insure a new car after purchase or re-insure your car after a lapse in coverage varies depending on your state and insurance company. In general, grace periods range from around seven days to one month, though your grace period may be longer under certain conditions. Below, we explain the car insurance grace periods by state and by the insurance company.

Car Insurance Grace Periods Explained

Car insurance periods vary by the insurance company and by state, as well as depending on your situation. There are different grace periods for new cars versus policy terminations and lapses. State laws provide for minimum notice requirements when your insurance coverage ends. Note that insurance companies may provide longer grace periods at their discretion.

Insurance Policy Termination & Lapses

All states require that auto insurers give consumers written advance notice before the insurer terminates coverage or fails to renew a policy. These minimum notice requirements function as a grace period for consumers, during which your insurance will still be valid. In addition to the notice provisions, some states require additional grace periods.

A cancelation occurs midterm while a nonrenewal occurs at the end of your policy period. Note that grace periods are usually shorter if an insurer cancels or fails to renew your policy due to nonpayment.

Insuring a New Car

All states require you to provide proof of auto insurance or another means of financial responsibility when you register the car at the state agency. States do not allow you to register a car without this proof.

To add a newly purchased car to a new insurance policy, you must enter into an insurance contract with the company and provide payment before registering the car. There is generally no grace period in that situation. (See our related research for a list of places to easily buy auto insurance online.)

However, you will usually have a grace period from the insurance company to add the new car to your existing auto insurance policy.[1] During this grace period, your new car is covered under your existing policy.

Insurance Grace Period Laws by State

Below, we’ve summarized the state laws requiring notice to customers of lapses in coverage. We viewed state legislative documents to confirm this information.

Alabama

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days notice for nonpayment of premium
    • 20 days notice for any other reason[2]
  • Find out more

Alaska

  • Grace period: 10 to 20 days depending on the reason for cancelation[3]
  • Find out more

Arizona

  • Grace period:
    • 7-day grace period during which policy will not be canceled for nonpayment (except first payment on a policy)[4]
    • No advance notice required for cancelation due to nonpayment
    • 10 days’ notice required for cancelation or nonrenewal for reasons other than nonpayment[5]
  • Find out more

Arkansas

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for cancelation due to nonpayment; 20 days for cancelation for other reasons
    • 30 days for nonrenewal[6]
  • Find out more

California

Colorado

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for nonpayment
    • 45 days for cancelation or nonrenewal[8]
  • Find out more

Connecticut

Delaware

  • Grace period:
    • 15 days’ notice must be provided for cancelation based on nonpayment; Grace period of 30 days if you pay the full premium within 30 days after the end of the policy period
    • 30 days for nonrenewal or other cancelation[10]
  • Find out more

District of Columbia

Florida

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for nonpayment generally
    • 15-day grace period for dishonored check if the payment is for initial policy premium.
    • 45 days for cancelation or nonrenewal[12]
  • Find out more

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for cancelation due to nonpayment
    • 20 days for cancelation for other reasons
    • 30 days for nonrenewal[15]
  • Find out more

Illinois

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for cancelation due to nonpayment; 30 days for cancelation due to other reasons
    • 30 days for nonrenewals[16]
  • Find out more

Indiana

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for cancelation due to nonpayment; 20 days for cancelation due to other reasons
    • 20 days for nonrenewal[17]
  • Find out more

Iowa

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for cancelation due to nonpayment
    • 30 days for cancelation and nonrenewal[18]
  • Find out more

Kansas

  • Grace period:
    • No grace period for cancelation based on nonpayment
    • 30 days for nonrenewal[19]
  • Find out more

Kentucky

  • Grace period:
    • 14 days for cancelation due to nonpayment; 20 days for other cancelations
    • 75 days for nonrenewal[20]
  • Find out more

Louisiana

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for nonpayment
    • 20 days for nonrenewals
    • 30 days for policy cancelation[21]
  • Find out more

Maine

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for nonpayment
    • 20 days for cancelation for other reasons
    • 30 days for nonrenewal[22]
  • Find out more

Maryland

Massachusetts

  • Grace period:
    • 20 days for cancelation, including for nonpayment
    • 45 days for nonrenewal[24]
  • Find out more

Michigan

Minnesota

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for cancelation due to nonpayment; 60 days for cancelation due to other reasons[26]
    • 60 days for nonrenewal[27]
  • Find out more

Mississippi

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for cancelation due to nonpayment; 30 days for cancelation due to other reasons[28]
    • 30 days for nonrenewal if due to reasons other than nonpayment[29]
  • Find out more

Missouri

  • Grace period: 30 days for both cancelations and nonrenewals of all types[30]
  • Find out more

Montana

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for cancelation due to nonpayment; 45 days for cancelation due to other reasons[31]
    • 45 days for nonrenewal[32]
  • Find out more

Nebraska

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for nonpayment
    • 30 days for cancelation and nonrenewal[33]
  • Find out more

Nevada

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for nonpayment
    • 30 days for cancelation and nonrenewal[34]
  • Find out more

New Hampshire

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for cancelation due to nonpayment
    • 45 days for cancelation for other reasons or nonrenewal[35]
  • Find out more

New Jersey

  • Grace period:
    • 15 days for cancelation due to nonpayment
    • 60 days for nonrenewal[36]
  • Find out more

New Mexico

  • Grace period:
    • 15 days for cancelations, including for nonpayment
    • 30 days for nonrenewals[37]
  • Find out more

New York

  • Grace period:
    • 15 days for cancelation due to nonpayment; 20 days for canceling due to other reasons
    • 45 days for nonrenewal[38]
  • Find out more

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for cancelation due to nonpayment; 30 days for cancelation for other reasons[41]
    • 30 days for nonrenewal[42]
  • Find out more

Oklahoma

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for nonpayment and certain other reasons such as fraud
    • 45 days for nonrenewals[43]
  • Find out more

Oregon

Pennsylvania

  • Grace period:
    • 15 days for cancelation or nonrenewal due to nonpayment
    • 30 days for cancelation or nonrenewal for other reasons[46]
  • Find out more

Rhode Island

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days if cancelation is due to nonpayment
    • 30 days for other cancelation and for nonrenewal[47]
  • Find out more

South Carolina

  • Grace period:
    • You have 61-90 days to make your first payment on a new policy.[48]
    • No grace period for nonpayment of a renewal premium[48]
    • 15-day grace period for cancelation or nonrenewal[49]
  • Find out more

South Dakota

Tennessee

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for cancelations due to nonpayment; 20 days for cancelations for other reasons
    • 30 days for nonrenewal[51]
  • Find out more

Texas

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for cancellation, including for nonpayment
    • 60 days for nonrenewal[52]
  • Find out more

Utah

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for cancelation due to nonpayment
    • 30 days for cancelations and nonrenewals[53]
  • Find out more

Vermont

  • Grace period:
    • 15 days for cancelation due to nonpayment; 45 days for cancelation for other reasons
    • 30 days for nonrenewal[54]
  • Find out more

Virginia

Note: Virginia does not require you to have auto insurance. You can pay a $500 Virginia Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee every year to be able to register and drive your car without auto insurance.[55] You are still liable for damages if involved in an accident.

Washington

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for nonpayment 45 days for cancelation for other reasons[57]
    • 45 days for nonrenewal[58]
  • Find out more

West Virginia

  • Grace period:
    • 14 days for cancelations due to nonpayment
    • 30 days for other cancelations[59]
    • 45 days for nonrenewal[60]
  • Find out more

Wisconsin

  • Grace period:
    • 10 days for cancelation, including for nonpayment
    • 60 days for nonrenewal or renewal on altered terms[61]
  • Find out more

Wyoming

Grace Periods by Insurance Company

Note that the following specific company policies are subject to the laws of the state in which your car is registered. We contacted corporate customer service at each of the insurance companies to confirm this information.

Geico

  • Grace period to add new car to existing policy: 30 days[63]
  • Grace period for lapse in coverage: Generally 14 days[63]

Farmers

  • Grace period to add new car to existing policy: 30 days[64]
  • Grace period for lapse in coverage: Depends on your specific policy and on the pay plan you have set up with Farmers[64]

Progressive

  • Grace period to add new car to existing policy: 30 days[65]
  • Grace period for lapse in coverage: 10 to 20 days[66]

State Farm

Note: For more details, see our related research on State Farm car insurance grace periods.

  • Grace period to add new car to existing policy: 14 days[67]
  • Grace period for lapse in coverage: Depends on your plan and the reason for the lapse
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