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What happens to your car insurance when your vehicle is temporarily parked? Maybe you have a sporty convertible you only take out in summer, or maybe your pride and joy is gathering mothballs while you’re overseas for work. No matter the reason, find options for lay-up insurance or temporary car insurance for a car you’re not driving.
As long as your car is registered in the state where you live, you’ll be required to maintain the minimum amount of coverage required by your state, which is typically at least liability coverage. But you may be able to drop additional coverage you’re not using, like roadside assistance or collision coverage.
There are several reasons why you might want to temporarily suspend car insurance for a vehicle you’re not currently driving, including:
If you’re not sure what to do with your car insurance while your vehicle is out of action — here are some options to consider:
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The first option is to cancel your car insurance coverage altogether and then, when you’re ready to hit the road again, take out a new policy. This is the simplest way to save money on your premiums, as you won’t have to worry about paying for insurance while your car is off the road.
You’re free to cancel your car insurance with any insurer at any time. But you may be charged a cancellation fee. Many insurers will also refund the unused portion of your premium, but it’s worth checking the fine print to make sure before canceling. If you’re paying your premiums by the month, there will be no need for a refund.
The biggest drawback to canceling car insurance is that you won’t have any coverage in place for your car. While you might think it’s a big deal, it means you won’t be covered against a range of non-driving risks. Fire, storm, hail, falling trees, theft, vandalism and flood can all cause costly damage to your vehicle while it’s off the road. Without car insurance coverage in place, you’ll have to pay to repair the damage out of your own pocket.
Also, most car loan lenders require you to at least maintain comprehensive car insurance coverage for the life of the loan. So if you haven’t paid out a loan secured by your vehicle, this option won’t be a viable choice.
If you’re not comfortable canceling your policy and you want to maintain a certain amount of protection, you may want to consider switching to a lower level of coverage. So if you currently hold comprehensive car insurance, you could find cheaper car insurance by scaling back to a bare minimum policy. While the liability section of the policy wouldn’t be used because your car is off the road, you’d still be covered for loss or damage due to fire and theft.
However, there are downsides to this approach. First, the reduced level of coverage may not be sufficient for your needs, as there are still non-driving risks, such as storm and flood, that could cause costly damage to your vehicle. Second, if you’re still paying off a car loan, you’ll typically need to have comprehensive car insurance in place.
You may want to search for an insurer that offers lay-up car insurance coverage. Designed for car enthusiasts, these policies provide protection against a range of risks while your vehicle is off the road, including:
However, while this solution is definitely worth considering for anyone restoring a car, it’s not suitable in all circumstances. If you’re going overseas for an extended period, for instance, then you’ll need to look at other options.
Restricted-use policies are designed to help people who don’t drive their vehicles often save on the cost of car insurance. The premise behind these policies is simple: it doesn’t make sense that someone who drives 2,000 miles a year should pay the same for car insurance as someone who drives 20,000 miles a year. This policy offers a way for you to only pay to cover the miles you actually drive.
If you know you won’t be driving your car for an extended period, such as three months out of the next 12, you can choose to insure it for a reduced number of miles. This can lead to a significantly reduced premium but still lets you enjoy the peace of mind of comprehensive insurance coverage.
Most insurers don’t allow you to suspend car insurance coverage. However, some may be willing to help you out in extreme circumstances such as serious illness or injury, and it can’t hurt to give your insurer a ring and ask whether this is possible. You’ll usually be required to just cancel your coverage or consider other options.
The final option is to consider temporarily removing yourself as a listed driver from your policy. If you know that you won’t be driving the vehicle for an extended period but other people will, this allows you to reduce the cost of insurance but still maintain the same level of coverage.
Many insurers allow you to add or remove drivers from your policy online, but in some cases, you might need to call your provider. Of course, you’ll need to be sure you won’t need to drive the car when you’re not listed on this policy, as any incidents that occur with you behind the wheel could be very costly.
No. Insurers consider a wide range of factors before deciding whether to insure you, including:
Not only do these factors determine whether or not you will be covered, but they also affect your premium amount. As a result, you can’t transfer your car insurance to another person; they will have to apply for their own person.
If you need to pause or suspend your car insurance without canceling outright, you do have some options. Talk to your insurance provider to find out the best option for the level of coverage and period of suspension you need. If your current provider won’t help you out, compare other car insurance providers to find the right option for you.
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