Can You Put Your Car Insurance On Hold?
Margaret Huntley 21-07-2022

Can You Pause Car Insurance?

Can You Pause Car Insurance?

Life is full of surprises and changes. You might find yourself in a situation where you don’t need to drive your car for an extended period of time and you might be wondering, can I pause my car insurance?

These situations can include:

  • Putting your vehicle in long-term storage 
  • Travelling for an extended period of time 
  • Working abroad 
  • Driver’s licence is currently suspended 
  • Vehicle needs repairs and is not drivable  
  • You’re deployed overseas  
  • You’re recovering from an illness or injury that prohibits you from driving

No matter what the circumstances are, there may come a point in time where you won’t be driving your vehicle. And as a result, you won’t need as much auto insurance coverage and you might want to know the answer to “can you pause car insurance?”.  

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Can You Put Your Car Insurance On Hold?

Most states require all vehicles to have insurance coverage by law. If you own a car, you need to be insured in some capacity. Unfortunately, there’s no way around that. 

However, insurance companies are able to temporarily suspend your liability coverage if you won’t be driving your vehicle. This saves you money because you won’t be paying for coverage that you don’t use.

When to Consider Suspending Car Insurance Coverage

When insurance companies talk about “pausing” or “suspending” your auto insurance coverage, what they really mean is that they are reducing your policy to comprehensive coverage only. With no liability coverage, you are not covered for any medical bills, property damage, etc.  

Comprehensive coverage covers only the vehicle itself. The following perils (which can occur while your vehicle is parked) are covered: 

  • Fire 
  • Theft 
  • Vandalism
  • Damage from falling items 
  • Damage from the weather (falling trees, hail, etc.)

While it might be tempting to forego auto insurance entirely, it can lead to a hefty bill should something happen to your vehicle while parked. 

How to Pause Car Insurance?

If you want to reduce your coverage while your car is parked for an extended period of time, there are some important things to note:

  1. You can only reduce coverage for a month at a time. Any less than this and you cannot suspend your coverage.
  2. Before reducing your car insurance, your state may require you to file an affidavit of non-use for your vehicle with the DMV.
  3. If you drive without liability coverage, any liability costs or legal consequences are solely your responsibility.
  4. Not all insurance providers allow you to suspend coverage and you may need to look for a different insurer if this is something you want.

The act of temporarily reducing your car insurance is as simple as calling your insurance provider and telling them that’s what you’d like to do. They will guide you through the rest of the steps. 

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Pros and Cons of Suspending Liability Coverage

You may be reading this and wondering if pausing your insurance is the right call. Just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. 

Some benefits of pausing your car insurance are:

  • It saves you money
  • You’re financially protected from physical damages 
  • It helps you avoid a lapse in coverage 
  • It’s easy to reinstate full coverage when needed 
  • It helps you maintain current discounts

But the potential drawbacks include:

  • You’re personally responsible if you drive without full coverage
  • It’s not available to those with auto loans or leases

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to make informed decisions about your insurance. Reading this article is a great first step, but it is no substitute for speaking directly with a professional. 

The Bottom Line

So, can you pause car insurance? Technically yes, you can pause part of your car insurance, but it might not always be the right decision. Understanding the pros and cons (and financial implications) of pausing your car insurance will help ensure you make the right choice for your driving needs. 

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Margaret HuntleyMargaret Huntley is a creative writing and philosophy student at Western University. She has been working as a freelance writer for over two years and has written about everything from insurance, to poker, to health and wellness for international businesses.