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Missed Payments

What happens if I miss a car insurance payment?

Ella Jukwey
Written by  Ella Jukwey
Saarrah Mussa
Reviewed by  Saarrah Mussa
Updated: 16 Feb 2024

Missing a car insurance payment can come with serious consequences. Find out what the ramifications are in our guide.

There’ll be times when you might miss a car insurance payment. You might not have enough money in the bank account you’ve used for your direct debit, or you might have forgotten to make the payment. Whatever the reason you’ve missed a payment, it’s important to rectify it as soon as possible. 

What happens if I miss a car insurance payment? 

If your car insurance payment hasn’t gone through or you’ve missed it, here’s what can happen: 

  • Penalty fees: Missing a payment can cost you, you might have to pay late or missed payment fees. If your missed payment was because there wasn’t enough money in the account you use for the direct debit, your bank may charge you for that also. 

  • Cancelled insurance: Your insurance provider might cancel your car insurance. It is illegal to drive without insurance, so you risk breaking the law if you do so. You’ll have to declare a cancelled policy when looking for car insurance, and this will make it harder and more expensive to get insured.  

  • Hurts credit score: A missed or late payment will negatively affect your credit score, and can stay on your credit file for up to six years. This will lower your credit score and make it harder to be accepted for a mortgage, loan or credit card

How do I check if my car insurance is paid? 

You can find out if your car insurance payment has gone through by logging into your online banking. Once you’re on the app, you should be able to search for your insurance provider’s name and see if the payment has been made. Depending on your banking app, you could also set up notifications for every time you make a payment. You can also contact your insurance provider directly in order to find out if they’ve received a payment from you. 

Why hasn’t my car insurance payment left my bank account?  

  • Incorrect information: If it’s your first direct debit payment, make sure you’ve given the right bank account details to your provider. 

  • System failures: Your bank might be experiencing technology issues which can cause a delay in payments. Contact your bank to find out if they’re having any problems. 

  • Spending limits: Some bank accounts have daily spending limits and your car insurance payment might exceed the cap you’ve been set.  

  • Insufficient funds: If you’ve set up a direct debit, you might not have enough money in your chosen account to cover the car insurance payment. Make sure you have enough funds in the account to ensure the payment goes through. You could also be strategic about the day you have to make the car insurance payment, maybe schedule it for payday or just after, to guarantee there’ll be money in your account.   

What are the options if I can’t afford my car insurance? 

If you know you won’t be able to make your car insurance payment, then contact your insurance provider immediately. It might be daunting having to tell your provider you won’t be able to make the payment, but your insurers might be more understanding than you expect. Depending on your provider, you could get given you the following options: 

  • Make an online payment: Your insurer might allow you to make a separate online payment. If you’re going to do this, you should tell your bank so you don’t end up paying twice. 

  • Pay in instalments: Your provider could give you the option to pay in instalments to make your car insurance payments more manageable for you. 

  • Amend your policy: Your insurer might remove parts of your policy to make it more affordable for you. For example, your provider could cut out add-ons such as car keys cover. 

Other useful guides 

If you want to get clued up about car insurance, we have a range of guides you can read to get you up to speed:  

How to check your car insurance expiry date  

How can I check my car insurance?  

What if I forget to renew my car insurance, tax and MOT?  

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