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Friend's insurance was scheduled to cancel in 3 days due to late payment, friend got in a bad accident is she covered still?

Goleta, CA |

My friend was involved in a car accident where both cars were totaled. She was pulling out of a driveway where cars were parked on the street and visibility was terrible. The other vehicle t-boned her. They were speeding an estimated 10 mph over the speed limit. Everyone was able to walk away but the couple in the other car said they were hurt and an ambulance took them to the ER. She does not know if they were seriously injured as this just happened today. She was unable to pay her car insurance this month and received a notice that they were going to cancel her policy, but the date they said it would be cancelled was still 3 days away. Is she covered for this accident, she made her payment on the day of the accident, after the accident happened.

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Attorney answers 11


My goodness -- it sounds like it. She needs to notify her carrier of the crash immediately.

In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.



Thank you, she's on the phone with them now.


THe wreck needs to be reported to the insurance company immediately.

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Under this fact scenario, yes. Her insurance should still be in effect. But she needs to report this to her insurance company immediately. She should also make the payment immediately if the deadline has not yet lapsed so as to alleviate any risk that the insurance company fights her on coverage.


If the insurance company notice of cancellation of coverage placed the date of termination at 3 days after the accident then the accident is covered. Insurance companies are held to a fairly high standard in terminating coverage. Just be certain to (a) report to insurance agent ASAP and (b) if there is not police report, file a report with police. You need an official record of the accident. More on insurance: BLUE LINK BELOW

Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.


Under California Insurance Law, an insured is fully covered until an insurance policy is "actually" cancelled. As a protection, insurers are required to give adequate notice of an intent to cancel--- especially for non-payment
There is a slight wrinkle that I have seen several times; a different rule applies to a "policy renewal" situation." If the insurance policy contract actually terminated by its own time terms ( usually 6 months or 1 year), then it is possible that there is no coverage. Often insurers will give extra time for an insured to renew or "reinstate" a policy. In this situation, the policy is not in effect even though the insurer wil accept a late payment.
If the accident is serious enough-- and it sounds like it is---an immediate consultation with a local lawyer with insurance coverage experience is a must.
I am not that far away. However, I have collaborated with a very fine firm in the Santa Barbara area that would be an excellent choice. You are welcome to contact my office so I can provide you with their contact information.
Best of luck!


Automobile insurance policies are almost always "occurance" policies. What is important is whether the policy was in effect at the time and date of the accident or "occurance." If it was, then the accident would be covered. It doesn't matter if the policy was cancelled after the fact or when the claim is made. (As opposed to a "claims-made" policy when it needs to have also been reported while the policy was still valid.)

If there is an issue she may need to consult with an attorney.

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I've handled cases like this before and it should be covered! She/he needs to file it immediately. I would also hire an attorney who can resolve the situation for them and guide them through the process to get maximum results.

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She is covered.

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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.


Most automobile insurance policies are "occurrance" based policies. With an "occurrence" based policy, even though the policy may have expired as of the time the insured received notice of the claim, the policy will afford coverage if the claim otherwise comes within the scope of coverage. This type of policy also has claims reporting provisions to which the insured must adhere, as well as a cooperation clause. The latter means that the insured must cooperate with the insurer (and the attorney it selects to defend that claim) in the defense if she is sued.

It is unclear from the situation described above who is liable (i.e. if your friend was running a red light, etc.) Given the situation, it sounds like your friend should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney since the other party who hit your friend may have liability for her injuries.

This should not be considered legal advice or a consultation creating any form of attorney-client relationship, a formal review of all the facts and laws applicable to your specific situation is required.


Yes, she should be covered.

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Yes, report it to your insurance company to resolve.

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