I moved out from home to another state and purchased an auto insurance policy in my name for my vehicle, paid for the 6 months upfront. Previously it was insured under my parents' policy. I set the start date for my policy about a couple weeks out, and before I even informed my parents to cancel the existing coverage, I was in an accident and the vehicle was declared a total loss. This happened before my new policy became active. Fault of the accident is currently being determined by insurance.

My questions are: Should I inform my auto insurance agent of the total loss? Am I obligated to do so, or can I just call some day and tell them I just bought a new vehicle and want to change the coverage?

  • 4
    I set the start date for my policy about a couple weeks out - so was the vehicle only covered under your parents' policy at the time of the loss? It sounds like that but your title suggests otherwise
    – yoozer8
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 12:31
  • 1
    Were you at fault in the accident?
    – Freiheit
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 14:04
  • Was the accident before or after the start date of your new policy? Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 15:28
  • 1
    @yoozer8 Vehicle was only covered under one policy at the time of the accident, it was before my new policy kicked in. Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 17:25
  • @DJClayworth Before the new policy kicked in. Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 17:26

1 Answer 1


In comments, you clarified that this accident happened before the new policy's start date, while you were still covered on your parent's policy. It sounds like you are handling the claim through your parent's policy, which is correct.

You should call the new insurer and explain that you no longer need the policy. No reason to give a reason for the cancellation. They will refund your premium.

Some insurance policies are written such that the insured is technically obligated to inform the insurer of any accidents, but your policy hasn't even started yet, so those requirements don't hold water yet.

Some states require that registered vehicles are insured at all times. If this is the case in your new state, you may have to provide your insurer with proof that the vehicle is not registered in order for them to cancel the policy. Usually, in order to cancel a vehicle's registration, you turn the plates in to the DMV, and they give you a cancellation receipt, which you can provide to your insurer in order to allow them to cancel the policy. The insurer may ask for this proof.

If you get a new vehicle and need new insurance, shop it around instead of just going with the insurer that you had the new policy with, as rates may vary significantly for different vehicles or other factors.

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