If you’re not planning on driving your car for an extended period of time, you might wonder if you can temporarily hold your insurance. While most insurance companies do not allow you to temporarily suspend your insurance, they may allow you to temporarily reduce your coverage.
Can I Put My Car Insurance on Hold?
Because insurance is required in most states, you cannot legally put your insurance policy on hold. You are allowed to cancel your insurance policy at any time, but you should only do this if you no longer have a car, or if you have already purchased a policy somewhere else.
Depending on your situation, you may be able to reduce your coverage on an insurance policy if you don’t plan on driving for a long period of time. However, in this case, you will only suspend a portion of your policy: the liability insurance. You will still hold onto your comprehensive coverage to protect your vehicle. If you plan on driving your vehicle at all during this period, you will need liability insurance to protect you.
Benefits of Reducing Your Car Insurance Temporarily
Reducing your insurance coverage to comprehensive only is often referred to as storage or seasonal insurance. This offers the following benefits:
- You can limit your costs while you are not driving your vehicle.
- Your car is still protected from damages not related to an auto accident.
- You can avoid a gap in coverage, which can increase your rates.
- You can easily reinstate insurance coverage.
- You can maintain any insurance discounts you currently have.
It is also important to know the disadvantages of reducing your coverage to comprehensive only, which could include:
- You could be personally responsible if you drive without liability insurance.
- You may not be eligible for comprehensive only coverage if you have an auto loan or lease.
- You could be in trouble legally if you drive without liability insurance.
Once you return to a situation in which you plan to drive your vehicle again, you will need to call and reinstate liability insurance before doing so. It is important that you get proof of insurance before getting behind the wheel.
What Does Comprehensive Coverage Include?
Comprehensive insurance will protect your vehicle while it is in storage. It covers things like:
- Damage from falling items
- Bad weather, like a tree falling
It is important to maintain this coverage. That way, if damages occur to your vehicle, even when you’re not driving it, they will be covered.
When to Reduce Coverage to Storage Insurance
You might opt to decrease your coverage to storage only if any of the following applies to you:
- You’re placing your vehicle in long-term storage.
- You’re traveling for an extended period of time.
- Your driver’s license is currently suspended.
- Your vehicle needs repairs and is no longer drivable.
- You’re currently on deployment.
- You are recovering from an injury or illness and cannot drive.
According to Car Insurance Comparison, anytime you don’t plan on driving your vehicle for 30 days or more, you might decide to swap to storage insurance. However, not all insurance companies offer this. Changing your coverage to storage insurance does not mean that you are putting your policy on hold. Instead, it means that you are significantly reducing your coverage and that you are no longer covered against accidents.
If you drive your vehicle without liability coverage, you could be subject to expensive fines and the potential of your driver’s license being suspended. Additionally, if you cause an accident, you could be personally liable for property damages and medical bills of the other driver. Not only could this put you in a difficult position, but it could also lead to increased insurance rates.
Keep in mind, if you have an auto loan or drive a lease, you may be required to maintain the full coverage on your policy. While there is no time limit on how long you can maintain storage coverage, you should increase your insurance policy back to liability anytime you plan on driving your vehicle.
Other Options Besides Comprehensive-Only Coverage
If you may need to drive your vehicle temporarily or your current insurance company does not offer comprehensive-only coverage, you may have other options available:
- Adjust your coverage amounts: By reducing your coverage amount or increasing your deductible, you can usually get a cheaper monthly rate.
- Consider usage-based auto insurance: If you don’t plan on driving much in the next month, you may be eligible for usage-based auto insurance. This differs from traditional insurance in that it only charges you for the number of miles driven, but you may need to find a company that offers this specific type of coverage.
- Remove yourself from the policy: If you don’t plan on driving, but someone else may need access to your car, then you might remove yourself from the policy. However, this will usually only reduce your rates if you’re younger than 25 or have a bad driving record when compared to drivers on the policy.
- Ask about other discounts: Finding additional discounts that you might qualify for can help you reduce your insurance premium.
Shopping difference insurance rates is also a good way to find the best coverage, at the cheapest rate. Get quotes from multiple providers to find a rate that fits in with your budget.
If you plan on selling your car and not replacing it with another one, then you may cancel your policy altogether. Depending on where you live, according to Autoinsurance.org, you may be required to notify the DMV of your intention to cancel your policy. They may require that you sign an affidavit that states that you won’t drive the vehicle. Keep in mind that if you have a car loan, this likely won’t be an option for you.
Most insurance companies will usually not let you put your insurance coverage on hold, but they may have other options available. If you don’t plan on driving for at least 30 days, you may be able to find other ways to reduce your costs.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
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