Car insurance cancellations and the cooling-off period explained
Usually, a car insurance policy will last for twelve months but you’re free to cancel it at any time.
If you’ve changed your mind about the car insurance policy you’ve taken out, don’t fret. You’re able to cancel your policy at any time, and if you cancel within the first 2 weeks of taking it out, there won’t be any negative repercussions.
This guide outlines how you can cancel your car insurance policy. It’s the third guide in our eight-part guide series on taking out car insurance, which aims to help you better navigate the car insurance world.
You can find the rest of the guides in this series linked at the end of this article.
Changing your mind
If you decide to cancel your car insurance policy within two weeks of taking it out, you’ll be able to get a refund from your insurance provider.
This 14-day cooling-off period begins on the day you receive your policy documents, or on the date the policy starts.
It’s important to note that you will be charged for the time that the policy was active, and you also may face an administration fee.
Similarly, if you set up your car insurance through a broker, they may also charge you a cancellation fee along with your insurance provider.
Information about administration fees or cancellation fees can usually be found in the terms and conditions of your policy.
How can I cancel my policy?
If you want to cancel your car insurance policy, you should inform your insurer in writing, through an email or a letter.
If you’re unsure of how to cancel your policy, it may be a good idea to call your insurer and ask. It may even be possible to cancel over the phone.
When you cancel your policy, you’ll need to return your certificate of insurance and your insurance disc to your insurer.
Will I get a refund if I cancel after the cooling-off period?
Whether or not you get a refund if you cancel after the cooling-off period will depend on the insurer. If you have not made a claim while with your insurer and have paid for the policy in full, you will likely get a refund.
Usually, if you take out an annual policy, your insurer will refund the remaining amount on a pro-rata basis.
For example, if you choose to cancel your policy after 4 months, they will refund you for the remaining 8 months and may deduct a cancellation or administration fee.
Will I get a refund if I pay monthly?
If you pay for your car insurance in monthly instalments, you may not get a refund as you’ve agreed to an instalment scheme for a set amount of time. It’s best to check with your insurer directly about this, as they all have different rules in place.
Don’t forget that if you’re paying monthly, don’t just cancel your direct debit. You’ll need to inform your insurer that you want to cancel your policy.
If you fail to inform the insurer, they may chase you up about unpaid bills, which can cause unnecessary hassle.
Can my insurer cancel my policy?
Your insurance provider has the right to cancel your policy for a variety of reasons.
If the information you provided when taking out the policy is inaccurate or false, or if you fail to disclose necessary information, your insurer can cancel your policy.
Your car insurance provider should write to you in advance, giving you 10 days' notice, to inform you of the cancellation.
Your policy may be cancelled due to the following reasons:
- Your licence was suspended
- Making fraudulent claims
- Criminal convictions
- Non disclosure
If you’ve had a policy cancelled, you may struggle to find other insurers willing to provide cover. You can learn more about being refused car insurance cover in this guide.
Can I cancel my car insurance if I’ve made a claim?
You can usually cancel your policy if you’ve made a claim, but it’s unlikely that you’ll receive a refund.
Get on the road to cheaper car insurance
Did you know that you can get car insurance in 6 simple steps on bonkers.ie?
Head over to our car insurance service page to get started. By taking out your car insurance on bonkers.ie, you can get a direct, discounted quote from the insurer.
You can also tailor your policy to suit your needs by availing of a host of additional extras.
Explore our car insurance guides
If you found this guide informative, make sure you check out our other guides in our series on taking out car insurance on bonkers.ie:
- In the first guide, you’ll find a brief outline of the different articles available in our series and what they focus on.
- You can learn how to use our car insurance service and purchase cover in this guide.
- Review the most commonly asked questions related to car insurance in our 2-part mini-series. You can take a look at our Part 1 guide here and our Part 2 guide.
- When taking out cover, confusing jargon can leave you scratching your head. Here we break down and explain 21 common car insurance-related terms.
- Before purchasing your car insurance, we’d recommend taking a look at these important factors to consider.
- You can customise car insurance policies to suit your needs. Discover what additional extras are available for car insurance here.