Can you suspend car insurance temporarily?

Depending on your state and insurer, you might be able to suspend your car insurance if you'll be off the road for an extended period. Comprehensive and collision coverages are optional, so you can remove those anytime if you don't have a car loan or lease. And while Progressive doesn't technically have an option to "suspend" your car insurance, you can reduce your coverage or cancel your policy with us anytime. If you cancel your insurance, consider also cancelling your vehicle registration, which may involve filing an affidavit of non-use with your state.

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Do I have to insure my car if I'm not driving it?

If you're planning to take your car off the road for some time and you don't have a lease or loan on it, your insurer might let you suspend some car insurance coverages to save money. With Progressive, you can either reduce your coverages or cancel your policy for the time you won't be driving.

But in general, you should avoid completely cancelling your auto policy if you plan to drive again in the near future — a lapse in car insurance coverage may mean a higher car insurance premium when you start driving again.

You might be able to avoid having a lapse in coverage if you cancel the registration on your car before you cancel your insurance coverage, but you still run the risk of getting a higher rate when you're ready to start driving again.

Affidavit of non-use

If you live in one of the many states that recognize affidavits of non-use and you won't be driving your car for some time, this form lets your state know your car isn't in use and may be part of cancelling your registration. Check with your BMV or DMV to see if you should file this or any other form while your car isn't in use.

Pro tip:

If you have a car lease or loan, your lender likely requires you to maintain a minimum level of comprehensive car insurance coverage and auto collision coverage, in addition to the state-required auto liability coverage. This applies even if your car isn't being driven.

Can I suspend my car insurance only for certain coverages?

Check with your insurer to see which coverages can be reduced or removed. Both comprehensive and collision insurance are optional in every state. You can drop collision and comprehensive while still keeping the basic liability requirement, as long as you don't have a car loan or lease. In addition to liability coverage, some states require personal injury protection (PIP) and protection against uninsured motorists (UM/UIM). If so, you'll keep those on your policy to avoid a lapse in coverage.

Learn about the car insurance requirements in your state.

When should I suspend car insurance temporarily?

You might consider suspending or temporarily reducing your car insurance when you're:

  • Moving to another country
  • Going away to college and not driving
  • Experiencing a health condition that doesn't allow you to drive for a long period
  • Waiting for a suspended driver's license to be reinstated
  • Being deployed overseas with the military

Depending on your state's rules and insurer, you may be able to pause your car insurance if you won't be driving for an extended period. If putting a pause on your car insurance isn't possible, you can reduce your coverages or cancel your policy for the time you don't need it.

When not to pause your car insurance

Cancelling or reducing your insurance if you're putting your car in storage for a long period might save you money now. However, before you decide to suspend car insurance temporarily, remember that some coverages — like comprehensive coverage — can protect your vehicle even when it's off the road.

  • If you're worried about theft, natural disaster, or other events outside your control, maintaining a policy with comprehensive coverage might be a good idea.
  • If you plan to let someone borrow your car during the time you won't be driving it, consider keeping optional coverages like comprehensive and collision to protect you financially from damage to your car while someone else uses it.
  • If you plan to drive again within a few months, consider keeping some level of coverage so you don't have to quote an entirely new policy and get a potentially higher rate.

How does suspending car insurance work?

If you have a car lease or loan, check with the lender before you start the process. They may require you to maintain a minimum level of comprehensive and collision coverage, in addition to the state-required liability coverage, even if your car isn't being driven. If you no longer need your leased car, find out how to get out of a car lease.

Next, find out if you can cancel your car's registration with your state's department of motor vehicles by submitting an affidavit of non-use or other forms.

Then contact your insurance company to reduce or cancel your insurance coverage for the period when you won't be driving. Progressive representatives are available to customers and can be reached by calling 1-866-749-7436. Before removing liability coverage, you should also find out from your state BMV or DMV if you need to file any forms, such as an affidavit of non-use, because your car isn't being driven.

How can I reactivate my insurance after suspending it?

Once you're ready to take your car back on the road, contact your insurance company to reinstate your coverage, increase it, or get a new policy. If you cancelled your policy, you'll need to apply for a new one in order to be covered again.

Once your insurance is in order, contact your state's BMV or DMV to reinstate your car registration and submit any necessary paperwork. Don't take your car out of storage until all of this is sorted — if you drive without proper insurance coverage or valid registration, you may be fined.

Are there other ways to lower my premium without suspending my insurance?

Yes, there are other ways to lower your car insurance bill without pausing or suspending the policy. Consider these other steps you can take to lower your car insurance premium:

  • Remove some optional coverages

    You'll need to keep the legally required auto insurance coverages. But you can remove optional add-ons like roadside assistance and custom parts and equipment coverage to save money while you're not driving.

  • Take your name off a shared insurance plan

    If you share an insurance policy with family members or were added to a friend's car insurance and you won't be driving for a period, you might be able to remove yourself from the policy. Simply have yourself added back onto the policy when you're ready to drive again.

  • Switch to a higher deductible

    If you have enough savings to pay a higher car insurance deductible in case of an accident, you may qualify for a cheaper car insurance premium.

  • Get non-owner car insurance

    If you don't own a car but you regularly drive someone else's, look into non-owner car insurance, which tends to be less expensive than standard car insurance.

  • Opt for usage-based car insurance

    Usage-based insurance (UBI) helps align your insurance premium to how much and how safely you drive. If you drive very little, and you use safe driving habits when you do drive, signing up for a UBI program like Progressive's Snapshot might get you a lower rate. Keep in mind that if your driving habits prove risky, your rate could go up instead of down.

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