What Happens to Car Insurance When the Policyholder Dies?

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We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make smarter financial decisions by providing you with interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content, by enabling you to conduct research and compare information for free – so that you can make financial decisions with confidence.
Bankrate has partnerships with issuers including, but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover.
The offers that appear on this site are from companies that compensate us. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within the listing categories. But this compensation does not influence the information we publish, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not include the universe of companies or financial offers that may be available to you.

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After someone passes away, their car insurance policy will need to be canceled, but it does not happen automatically. And canceling a car insurance policy when the policyholder passes away may be more challenging than you imagine. The process depends on a few things, including whether or not you are related to the policyholder.
After a person dies, their car insurance policy will need to be canceled, or they will need to be removed from the policy if there are other rivers on it.
One of the misconceptions around car insurance is that if the primary policyholder passes away, their policy will be automatically canceled, and the coverage will stop. Unfortunately, the insurance company has no way of knowing that a policyholder has passed away until a spouse or relative notifies them and requests to cancel the policy.
If you need to terminate a car insurance policy for someone who has passed away, the process is usually easier if you are a spouse or a driver insured on their policy. However, if you are unrelated to the policyholder or are the executor of that person’s estate but not a spouse, you will probably find that canceling their policy is a lengthier process.
If your spouse has passed away and you want to cancel their car insurance policy, the process should be relatively straightforward. Keep in mind that you will most likely still need to submit documentation to complete the process. Here are the basic steps to follow:
Canceling a car insurance policy for a policyholder that you are not related to can be more challenging. However, if you are the executor of their estate or are a friend or relative, you should still be able to cancel their car insurance. Here is what you should do:
If the policyholder passes away while they have an open claim, you can still go through the process of canceling the policy. The insurance company will continue the claim process through to settlement even if the policy is no longer active.
However, keep in mind that the policyholder may still have a deductible taken from the claim payout or other out-of-pocket costs once the claim is settled. If the policyholder has passed away, their estate will be responsible for paying the amount owed.
There is not a single best car insurance company for every driver. It depends on what you value most in an insurance company, like cheap rates, good customer service, specific coverage options or something else. You should shop around and compare providers using your own criteria to find the best insurer and the best car insurance rate.
Not necessarily. If you were both insured on the same policy, you can likely ask your insurance company to remove your spouse and add your name as the main policyholder. You would then become responsible for paying the premiums if you weren’t already.
Depending on your insurance company and when you cancel the policy, the policyholder may be entitled to some money. Typically, the compensation would come in the form of a returned premium. For instance, if the monthly premium was paid on January 1st and you cancel the policy on January 3rd, you may get back a portion of that month’s premium. Every insurance company is different, and so are the rules that govern those companies in every state. Talk to an insurance agent at the deceased person’s insurance company to find out if there will be any refunds.
Yes, you are legally allowed to drive someone’s car if they have passed away. However, you will need to get your own auto insurance policy on that vehicle. Keep in mind that you cannot legally take ownership of a deceased person’s vehicle until the title is transferred and put into your name.
If you live at home and your parents pass away, you can technically no longer stay on their policy. You would need to contact the insurance provider and cancel the policy or remove them from it. After that, you would likely need to open a new policy in your name, unless you can take over as the main policyholder on their existing policy.
Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. Bankrate is compensated in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. This compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear. Bankrate.com does not include all companies or all available products.

All insurance products advertised on Bankrate.com are underwritten by insurance carriers that have partnered with HomeInsurance.com, LLC. HomeInsurance.com, LLC may receive compensation from an insurer or other intermediary in connection with your engagement with the website and/or the sale of insurance to you. All decisions regarding any insurance products, including approval for coverage, premium, commissions and fees, will be made solely by the insurer underwriting the insurance under the insurer’s then-current criteria. All insurance products are governed by the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions set forth in the applicable insurance policy. Please see a copy of your policy for the full terms, conditions and exclusions. Any information on the Site does not in any way alter, supplement, or amend the terms, conditions, limitations or exclusions of the applicable insurance policy and is intended only as a brief summary of such insurance product. Policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the issuing insurance carrier.

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