Best case scenario if your domain name runs out is that some ISP buys up your domain and puts some profit making ads on your little piece of cyberspace. You might be able to buy your domain back but unfortunately, more often than not it will cost you a few of your hard earned dollars. Purchasing and maintaining your domain name is very important as it defines your company's Online marketing campaign. In most cases you have business cards, posters, letterheads and more, brandished with your cool personal Web Domain name, that nobody else was smart enough to think up.
If you let your domain hosting lapse, don't have a current email assigned to your admin account (with a responsible person or company keeping watch) or simply let your credit card expire and not update your host, you could find yourself in some trouble. So what could POSSIBLY go wrong - I mean com'on seriously? Who cares about MY domain and for that matter any domain names created for businesses or government bodies of importance would be well guarded. - Right?!
Wrong. Unfortunately as demonstrated by the Bluff City Police dept. of Tennessee, you can never be too careful. Brian McCrary, who says he received a $90 speeding citation earlier this year, purchased the Bluff City website domain on May 22 and this is what ensued.
Long story short - consider how much in marketing dollars you have poured into your Online marketing strategy and then consider keeping a closer eye on your domain names!