Because the business of motor vehicle insurance is a complicated one that may necessitate the transmittal of a great deal of information between the parties to an auto insurance policy, issues related to the duties of an insurer and an insured to give notice to one another of matters affecting the status of a policy or the occurrence of events having significance to policy coverage frequently arise. These issues can include such things as modifications to the policy itself, the status of the insured with respect to his or her premium payment obligations, the occurrence of an event triggering coverage under the policy, or cancellation of the policy by the insurer.
The inevitability of disputes over the occurrence or sufficiency of the notice given by an insurer or insured has resulted in the inclusion in motor vehicle insurance policies of detailed provisions dealing with the giving of such notice. In addition, because of the mandatory nature of motor vehicle insurance coverage and the consequences to insurers, insureds, and third parties affected by the existence or non-existence of policy coverage in a particular case, state insurance laws often contain detailed requirements concerning the subjects on which the parties to an auto insurance policy are obligated to give notice to one another, and in some cases to state insurance officials, and the manner in which such notice is to be given.
The business of insurance in the United States, including motor vehicle insurance, has traditionally been governed by the laws of the individual states rather than by a single system of federal law. As a result, legal requirements concerning the giving of notice by parties to auto insurance policies will vary from state to state.