All About the Continuous Coverage Auto Insurance Discount
Last Updated on August 25, 2020
The continuous coverage car insurance discount can save you hundreds of dollars per year.
The continuous insurance discount rewards drivers who have kept car insurance for several years.
Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about the continuous coverage auto insurance discount, including how much you can expect to save and how you qualify.
What is the Continuous Coverage Auto Insurance Discount?
The continuous coverage auto insurance discount, also known as the continuous coverage discount, rewards drivers who have had consistent insurance coverage over a certain period of time.
If you have had car insurance over the last five or six years without pausing or canceling, then you should qualify for the continuous coverage auto insurance discount.
Why Do Insurers Offer a Discount?
Insurers like drivers who maintain continuous coverage for two reasons:
- It lets them easily check your driving history over the last five years
- It shows you’re a responsible driver who does not cancel or pause your car insurance policy
When applying for a quote, insurance companies check your driving history over the past five years. If you have speeding tickets or at-fault accidents on your record, then you’ll pay higher rates for car insurance.
However, if you did not have continuous car insurance coverage over the last five years, then the insurer doesn’t know your full driving history. You may have hit another vehicle while your car was uninsured, for example. There’s no record of this incident because you were not insured at the time.
That’s why insurers charge higher rates out of safety. They err on the side of caution. If an insurer cannot check your driving history – say, because you were uninsured – then the insurer will assume you are a higher-risk driver.
How Much Can I Save?
Most insurance companies offer discounts of 5% to 10% for maintaining continuous insurance coverage.
Some insurers do not offer a discount. Some insurers offer the discount in certain states – but not others.
Check with your insurer to verify.
How to Qualify for Continuous Coverage Discounts
Most insurers do not need you to provide proof of your continuous coverage. Instead, they can easily verify this information using online databases.
Insurance companies share information through databases like LexisNexis. The insurer will run your information through the database, check to verify your previous insurance history, then offer the continuous insurance discount.
Exceptions to Continuous Coverage Discounts
If you maintained car insurance over the last five or six years without canceling or pausing it, then you should qualify for the continuous coverage discount.
However, some insurers offer exceptions to this rule. If you were unable to drive for health reasons, for example, or were stationed overseas for the military, then you may still qualify for a continuous coverage discount.
- You are in the military and did not previously need car insurance
- You have not needed a car for the past few years and are just getting one now
- You have not been able to operate your car for a health-related reason
- You maintained continuous motorcycle insurance but not car insurance
- You are a newly licensed youth driver
Exceptions vary from case to case. Talk to your insurer to see if you qualify. In many cases, you can get a continuous coverage discount even if you did not technically have continuous insurance over the last five years.
Avoid Lapsed Insurance Coverage to Ensure You Qualify
Letting your insurance coverage lapse is a bad idea. Your insurance may lapse when you miss a payment. If you forgot to pay your insurance premiums, then your insurer could cancel your policy.
When your policy lapses, you don’t have insurance coverage. Some insurers have a grace period – say, 7 to 14 days – when you are still covered by car insurance. After that, however, you may have no car insurance whatsoever.
Letting your car insurance lapse is a bad idea for multiple reasons:
- It tells your insurer you’re a higher-risk driver
- It tells your insurer you have trouble managing insurance payments, which makes your riskier to insure
- It disqualifies you from a continuous car insurance coverage discount
- It could leave you uninsured, which is illegal in most states and risky in all states
It’s crucial to avoid car insurance lapses for all of these reasons.
What to Do If Your Car Insurance Has Lapsed
If your car insurance lapses, then you need to pay your premiums as quickly as possible to ensure continuous coverage.
Most insurers offer a grace period of 7 to 21 days. If this is the first time you have missed a payment, then your insurer may be more lenient. If you have lapsed before, then your insurer may not offer a grace period at all.
Your insurer might not cancel car insurance as soon as you miss a payment. However, if you have not paid your premiums for 1 to 3 weeks, then your car insurance could lapse, which means you are no longer covered.
If your car insurance has lapsed, follow these steps:
- Call your insurance company or agent and request reinstatement
- Ask to be listed as a driver on a family member or a friend’s policy
Frequent lapses show your insurer you’re a high-risk driver to insure. If this is your first lapse, however, and you’ve never missed a payment before, then it may not have a significant impact on insurance rates.
Remember: lengthy lapses could impact car insurance rates. You may no longer qualify for continuous coverage discounts, which could cause premiums to rise.
Continuous coverage car insurance discounts reward drivers who have kept insurance for five or six years without pausing, canceling, or lapsing.
Some insurers offer continuous coverage car insurance discounts of 5% to 10%. Other car insurance companies offer no discounts whatsoever.
Talk to your insurer to see if you qualify for a continuous coverage car insurance discount.