Five days ago I purchased a one year third party only car insurance on the internet, which I believe gives me 14 days cooling off period during which cancel it. Today I was involved in a collision in circumstances that leave no doubt that it was 100% the other parties fault.

Can I cancel my insurance now, and claim the value of the car from the other party? Any other advice is welcome. The insurance policy costs somewhere between 20% and 50% of the value of the car, going by car valuation websites.

  • If the cancellation date is after the accident, I don't see how it would matter. If you are looking to cancel retroactively (and get back most or all of any premium you paid), you are effectively making yourself uninsured at the time of the accident. I don't know what that might mean under UK law, even if you aren't at fault.
    – chepner
    Jun 22, 2022 at 18:17
  • @chepner From the CAB link: "However, your insurer may take off a small amount to cover days when the policy was in force" so I think the policy would be in force for the period the crash happened if cancelled after that date.
    – User65535
    Jun 22, 2022 at 18:23
  • 1
    OK, yeah, I misread that as meaning a small administrative fee to cover administrative costs. It doesn't look like retroactive cancellation is a thing, just paying for the time before you did cancel.
    – chepner
    Jun 22, 2022 at 18:30
  • I'm unclear what you're trying to achieve here. You should be compensated by the other party's insurer (assuming they were actually insured, and assuming they accept fault). If your car is a write-off then by all means go ahead and cancel. But otherwise: if you still have a driveable car, you still need insurance, so...?
    – AakashM
    Jun 24, 2022 at 10:05
  • 1
    @AakashM The car is non-functional, I am convinced it will be written off. I am trying to save the years insurance premium, which is a significant fraction of the cars value. I no longer need insurance. My concern would be the ~1% chance that the other party changes their mind and claims it to be my fault after I have cancelled the insurance.
    – User65535
    Jun 24, 2022 at 11:08

2 Answers 2


Your third party only (liability only) insurance protects the other party's property. Even though you don't think you are even 1% liable for the accident, keep your insurance just in case.

As for the damage to your property, your TPO policy doesn't cover it, so your TPO insurer doesn't care about it. Your only recourse (regardless of whether you cancel your TPO policy, or not) is for you to file your own claim with the other party's insurer. To repeat for emphasis, your TPO insurer doesn't care about your property one way or the other.

  • 1
    I don't know about the UK, but in the US when I had liability coverage only on my car, and someone hit me and totaled my car, my insurance company was still the one to cut me the check for a new car, and they reclaimed the money from the other driver's insurance company.
    – TTT
    Jun 24, 2022 at 22:30

You can't retroactively cancel insurance.

You can cancel your insurance starting now, but you were covered between the start of the insurance and the cancellation, and you will be charged a premium for that coverage.

If that were not true then you would not have been covered during the time you were driving, and regardless of what accidents you got into it is illegal to drive without insurance cover.

In the general case you cannot be sure that you have incurred no liability, regardless of what accidents you know about. Maybe your car blocked an ambulance and prevented someone getting life-saving attention. Maybe a cyclist hit you while you were driving and suffered an injury while leaving no marks on your car, and you didn't notice.

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