A simples guide

How to cancel car insurance

Car insurance feels like a big deal – it’s expensive, comes around every year and you must have it to keep four wheels on the road. So when it comes to cancelling, it can feel like a mammoth task and everything’s stacked against you. So, we thought we’d set the record straight and tell you in simple terms, what you can do about cancelling your car insurance – want to find out more?

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Can I cancel my car insurance?

In a word, yes. Although car insurance contracts typically last for 12 months, you can cancel your agreement at any time – however that doesn’t mean you’ll get any money back – that depends on how far into the contract you are, and it could mean a few other surprises.

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Your 14 day cooling off period

By law, you have a 14 day cooling off period when it comes to buying car insurance. The 14 days starts from when you receive your insurance paperwork. Within that time, you can cancel your policy and you should receive a refund minus any days that the policy was active for. You may also be charged an admin fee – this will differ according to provider so check your terms and conditions.

If you need to cancel after the 14 day cooling off period, you can still do so, but you’ll probably have to pay a cancellation fee on top of an admin fee.

If you’ve paid your premiums for the year in one go then you should be entitled to a refund for the time you have left on the policy (so if you cancelled after three months you could get a refund on nine months, less any fees).

If you’re paying your premiums monthly and you cancel after the 14 days cooling off period, then you may not get a refund. You may also have to cough up extra money to pay for the time your policy did cover you for on top of any cancellation and admin fees. There’s also a chance you could lose a year’s NCD – so it’s worth checking the small print.

Does it matter why I want to cancel my car insurance?

Not really – that’s entirely up to you. But it’s worth having a good long think about why you do want to cancel.

Is it because you’ve found an amazing deal elsewhere? Now, we’re all for making a switch and comparing car insurance but you’ll need to think about how much you could be charged in cancellation and admin fees (especially if you’re outside of those magic 14 days).

Those fees might quickly swallow up any refund you can expect and therefore cancel out the amazing deal you’ve found elsewhere. In this case, if you’ve only got a few months left on your existing policy, it might be worth sticking with it until it comes up for renewal.

Alternatively, if you’re selling your car and buying a new one, you don’t necessarily have to cancel your existing policy. Most insurers will update your current agreement with details of your new car. You’ll need to remember that depending on the car you go for, your insurance can go up or down.

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Add-ons

It’s not just the cost of the insurance to be considered when cancelling. Add-ons are often non-refundable after 14 days so you will have to pay the total amount for all on your policy, which can eat into a refund or mean you have to pay to cancel your contract. Also watch out for products that were sold with your policy but aren’t linked meaning you could still be paying for it after the policy has finished.

Can I cancel my car insurance if I’ve made a claim?

Yes – you can cancel your car insurance if you’ve made a claim, but you probably won’t be entitled to any refunds at all. So if you’ve been paying your premiums monthly, you should expect to continue making those payments for the agreed length of time or just pay up the outstanding amount. If you paid up front, you just won’t get a refund.

If your car is written off following a claim, you will still need to cancel and pay any fees and the time you’ve been covered for. You may also find that if you’re paying monthly and have an at fault claim, you may have to pay the total premium agreed at the beginning of the policy (this could be asked for in one lump sum).

So how do I cancel my policy?

You’ll need to tell your provider that you want to cancel – don’t just stop the Direct Debit and hope it’ll sort itself out and go away. Providers will have their own procedures for cancelling, some might want a formal letter or others may be happy for an email, either way, check the small print on your contract and follow the guidelines. And because mistakes (sometimes) happen, if you do speak to or email anyone, make a note of the day, time and name of the person you spoke with or sent correspondence to.

Start comparing for a better deal

Of course, the best way to get the right deal at the best price is to comparethemarket right here, which is just as well, because we love comparing stuff – we just can’t help ourselves. Tell us a few things about you, your car and what you need and we’ll take it from there – how easy is that?

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