The consequences of a missed home insurance payment

We’ve all done it – forgotten the date and panicked because we’ve realised a deadline’s been missed. Whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary or paying a bill, it’s an easy mistake to make. But if you miss a car insurance payment or suffer a computer glitch and it fails to go through – what are the consequences?

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Did my payment go through or not?

Paying your car insurance online could mean you fall foul of the gremlins living in your computer. Technology sometimes lets us down and if you end up staring at a blank screen or not getting confirmation, it can be hard to know for certain if your transaction’s gone through. So if you’re in any doubt whatsoever – contact your insurance provider. They’ll be able to check your account and reassure you, and if it did fail, then at least you can rectify it straight away.

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What happens if I miss a car insurance payment?

If you’ve got a DirectDebit set up but there aren’t sufficient funds in your account at the time, you should contact them directly or make a payment online. Let your bank know you’re doing this otherwise you could end up paying twice if your insurance provider also retries. Sometimes you’ve got a bit of a buffer when it comes to missed payments – for example your insurance provider may just ask that payment be made within a few days of the original payment due date.

The consequences of a missed car insurance payment are twofold. Firstly, your provider can cancel your cover on the grounds of non-payment. This will mean you’re not insured to drive – which is (and we’re sure you don’t need us to tell you this) a legal requirement.

Secondly, missed insurance payments (or any payment) are noted and can stay on your credit report for up to six years which can bring down your score. Having a less than good credit history means that you could struggle to find a loan, credit card or mortgage in the future; so it’s imperative to keep payments up to date.

Also be aware that you could be charged late or failed payment fees and if you default on several payments you could end up paying more in admin costs as your insurance provider tries to recoup their money.

I know I can’t afford the next payment

If you can’t afford the next instalment, contact your insurance provider as soon as you can – they may arrange for an alternative payment date for when you can afford it; but unless you speak to them, they won’t be able to help. Alternatively, consider paying the instalment on a credit card or with an overdraft facility.

To prevent getting into a pickle in the first place, see if you can arrange for DirectDebits or payments to be made on a more suitable date. Or, see if your provider is able to send out text or email alerts as a reminder.

Finding a good deal

Whatever you do, if your policy’s cancelled, don’t drive – it’s illegal and you’ll get into a whole heap of trouble for it.

Which is why you should always comparethemarket in the first place to find the best deal out there. And it doesn’t have to be expensive – comprehensive car insurance can start from as little as £66.20**, so see what your quote might look like – start one online today.

** based on car insurance data May 2016 from comparethemarket.com

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