Can A Car Insurance Company Send You To Collections

Background Information

When a policyholder does not keep up with their car insurance payments or otherwise fails to honor their insurance contract, the car insurance company may send the policyholder to collections. Collection agencies are companies that specialize in recovering financial debt through contact and negotiations with the debtor. In general, collection agencies are not law firms, they are simply hired by companies to collect monies owed. What action an insurance company takes and when they take it depends on the type of policy they provide, the amount of the debt owed and the ability of the policyholder to pay.

Relevant Data

The exact procedure of notifying and sending a policyholder to collections varies from one insurance company to the next. In general, however, the process begins when a policyholder does not make a payment on a specific due date or when a policyholder cancels the policy before the end of the term. The next step is typically that a policyholder receives a notification from the insurance company about the debt, explaining the amount and terms for repayment. If the policyholder does not respond or fails to make payments within the specified amount of time, the insurance company may then send the policyholder to collections.

Perspective from Experts

According to Dan Solliday, an insurance attorney with over 20 years of experience in the industry, “Insurance companies are not obligated to send a policyholder to collections, but they do have the right to. Depending on the state and the type of policy, an insurance company can send a policyholder to collections if the policyholder doesn’t make a payment when due or fails to respond to the notification sent by the insurance company. Insurance companies usually prefer to work with policyholders in order to resolve the debt rather than resort to collections, but they still have the right to take the collections route.”

Insights and Analysis

It is important for policyholders to stay on top of their car insurance payments in order to avoid being sent to collections. If a policyholder fails to make payments or otherwise neglects their agreement with the insurance company, the insurance company can choose to have the policyholder’s debt collected. This process can be time-consuming, expensive and potentially damaging to the policyholder’s credit rating.
Furthermore, it is important for policyholders to be aware of the laws in their state when it comes to being sent to collections by an insurance company. In some cases, policyholders may have some degree of legal protection against being sent to collections. For example, in the state of Massachusetts, an insurance company cannot send a policyholder to collections until they have attempted to collect the debt through other methods, like attempted contact and non-renewal of the policy.


Before resorting to collections, insurance companies usually try to contact the policyholder and negotiate some sort of payment arrangement. Experienced policyholders may be able to come to an agreement with the insurance company and avoid going to collections. However, if the policyholder fails to respond to the insurance company’s attempts to establish a payment plan or makes it clear that they do not intend to honor the agreement, then the insurance company may proceed with sending the policyholder to collections.


The consequences of being sent to collections are significant and should be taken seriously. When a policyholder is sent to collections, the collection agency will contact the policyholder in an attempt to recover the debt. The collection agency may take additional steps, depending on the terms of the agreement with the insurance company and the state laws in which the policyholder resides. This includes reporting the default to credit reporting agencies which can further damage the policyholder’s credit.

Credit Score Impact

The consequences of being sent to collections can be especially damaging to a policyholder’s credit score and credit history. A negative item that is reported to the credit bureau can stay on the policyholder’s file for up to seven years. This means that it may take several years for the policyholder to undo the damage caused by being sent to collections.


The best way to avoid being sent to collections by an insurance company is to be proactive in meeting your financial obligations and keeping up with your car insurance payments. It is important for policyholders to have a good understanding of the terms of their insurance agreement and adhere to them carefully. If the policyholder is having trouble making payments, the best thing to do is to contact the insurance company as soon as possible and try to negotiate some sort of payment arrangement.

Non Payment Effects

Not only can being sent to collections by an insurance company cause damage to a policyholder’s credit rating, it can also have other damaging effects. For example, policyholders who are sent to collections may find that it is more difficult for them to find another insurance carrier. Additionally, the policyholder may be subject to legal action, such as being taken to court, if the collection agency is unable to recover the debt from them.

Public Awareness

It is important for all policyholders to be aware of the potential consequences of not paying their car insurance payments. This includes understanding the procedure of being sent to collections and the potential legal and financial ramifications. Furthermore, although insurance companies may try to work with policyholders before resorting to collections, it is the responsibility of the policyholder to ensure that they are up-to-date on their payments and are in compliance with their insurance agreement.

Credit Repair

Fortunately, policyholders who find themselves in the situation of being sent to collections by their car insurance company can take steps to repair their credit. The first step is to understand exactly what is on their credit report and how it has been affected by being sent to collections. From there, policyholders can determine the best course of action to take to repair their credit. This could include defending against inaccurate information that has been reported to the credit bureau, negotiating with the insurance company to remove negative items from the credit report, or seeking assistance from a credit repair agency or lawyer.


Ultimately, the best way for policyholders to protect their credit score and overall financial health is to prevent being sent to collections in the first place. This means staying on top of car insurance payments and being proactive about understanding and honoring the terms of the insurance agreement. Additionally, policyholders should keep a close eye on their credit reports in order to spot any inconsistencies or mistakes that may be damaging their scores. Doing so can help ensure that a policyholder is in a better position to handle any potential issues with their car insurance payments.

Marjorie Turcios is a seasoned leader and management expert with over 25 years of experience. She has held various leadership positions in private industry, government, and education. She is an advocate for creating win-win solutions and has worked to create successful, lasting change in corporations and organizations. Marjorie is an award-winning author of several books on leadership, mentoring and coaching, and effective communication skills. Her passion is to help others discover their potential and reach new heights in their professional life through her writings. Marjorie resides in Dallas, Texas where she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling to different places around the world, and speaking at conferences about her areas of expertise.

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