Car insurance – greater flexibility thanks to shorter notice periods

Notice periods for switching car insurance are getting shorter. Source: iStock / Pattanaphong Khuankaew

The car insurance market is on the move, resulting in shorter periods of notice to cancel. This is a huge benefit to customers as it gives them the flexibility to switch more quickly to a more attractive deal. Comparis highlights the latest developments with respect to notice periods.

In the past, you could not simply cancel your car insurance from one day to the next – albeit with some exceptions. Even now, policyholders must observe the agreed policy period. However, some insurers are offering more flexibility. 

Generally applicable rules

With many policies – including those taken out over many years – customers still have an annual right to cancel. This means that they can usually terminate their policy by giving notice to the end of the policy year. The policy year often used to end on 31 December. Nowadays, the policy frequently runs for one year from the date the policy was taken out. However, for many older policies, the end of the policy is still the end of the year for historical reasons. Here you can find an overview of notice periods by insurer.

If you want to cancel your car insurance, you must usually give notice three months before the end of the policy year. Note that it is the date the insurer receives the cancellation that counts in this regard. If the last day of the month falls on a weekend, the cancellation letter must be received on the Friday before at the latest. You are therefore advised to send your cancellation letter by registered post (here’s a template you can use).

Cancelling from one day to the next?

One insurer offering shorter periods of notice is Dextra. This insurer only requires 24 hours’ notice to the end of the policy period for cancellations. It is also possible to purchase the right to cancel with 24 hours’ notice as an extra option. This means that the policyholder can cancel their policy early by giving one day's notice. Depending on the alternative products on offer, this investment can quickly pay off.

New: car insurance as a flexible monthly plan

In September 2019, the insurance company Smile launched its flexible monthly plan, which allows you to cancel your policy on a monthly basis. Notice must be given 14 days before the end of the month. If you do opt for a monthly plan for your car insurance, you also pay your premiums monthly. 

Regardless of the deadline for cancelling your policy, you can use the cancellation reminder from Comparis to make sure you never miss it. 

Taking out a new policy

When you take out a new policy, you should find out the exact details of the policy period and cancellation notice. You are advised not to take out a policy that has a period of over one year. If you do, you should always make sure the annual right to cancel is included in the policy. This short policy period and cancellation notice allows you to remain flexible and take advantage of any lower premiums appearing on the insurance market.

Thanks to increasing competition, car insurance prices differ considerably. Do your research to ensure you get the best deal. At, you can compare the latest premiums from the major car insurers and request quotes at any time.