14-day cancellation period
If you purchase your insurance online or over the phone, you have a 14-day cancellation period from the day after you enter into the contract.
You're entitled to this under the Financial Services (Distance Marketing Regulations) 2004.
If you've already made a claim in the first 14 days, your insurance company can deduct the sum paid out from the refund of the premium.
If no claims have been made and you cancel within 14 days of receiving your policy documents, you will be entitled to a refund, with a deduction for the time you were covered for.
Also, most policies reserve the right to charge an administration fee – which can be quite high. Take a look at your policy for details.
Cancel outside the cooling off period
If you want to cancel outside the 14-day cooling off period, then you may also be entitled to a refund of your premium.
This would normally be subject to a pro-rata deduction based on the time you've been covered, and there may also be a cancellation fee. For example, if you cancelled after two months, you would be entitled to a refund of 10 months, minus the admin fee.
This is, of course, only the case if you've paid your premium as a lump sum and in full.
If you pay by monthly instalments, then you may not be entitled to a refund. You may instead be required to pay an extra premium to include the time you've been covered, as well as a cancellation fee.
Upon cancelling your car insurance, you'll need to declare that you will destroy all copies of the Certificate of Motor Insurance relating to your policy within seven days, in accordance with the Road Traffic Act 1988.
The Motor Insurance Database keeps a record of all cars which are insured.
If your vehicle doesn’t have valid insurance, or Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN), then you could face either a fine or prosecution, and your vehicle could be clamped, seized and destroyed.
Continuous Insurance Enforcement, or CIE for short, was introduced by the DVLA to keep uninsured drivers off the road.
It's important that you make sure your car is insured at all times, so if you do cancel your insurance policy, you'll promptly need to find another one.