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, you can suspend some auto insurance coverages to save money, without entirely cancelling your policy. You should avoid completely cancelling your auto policy if you plan to drive again in the future, as a lapse in car insurance coverage will likely mean a higher premium when you 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, you may consider filing one with your BMV or DMV. This form lets your state know your car isn't in use. Be sure to check with your BMV or DMV to see if you need to file this or any other form while your car isn't in use.
Which aspects of insurance can I suspend?
Check with your insurer to see what coverages you can remove. Both comprehensive and collision insurance are optional in every state. You can cut out these coverages while still keeping the basic liability requirement as part of your policy, as long as you don't have a car loan or lease. In addition to liability, some states also require personal injury protection (PIP) or protection against uninsured and underinsured motorists (UM/UIM). You may also need to keep those on your policy to avoid a lapse in coverage.
When should I suspend car insurance temporarily?
Depending on your state's rules, you may be able to pause your car insurance if you won't be driving for an extended period of time. You might consider suspending car insurance if you're:
- Taking a long trip and you won't be driving
- Going away to college and not driving
- Healing from an injury that doesn't allow you to drive, such as a broken leg
- Waiting for a suspended driver's license to be reinstated
- Being deployed overseas with the military
How can I suspend my car insurance?
If you have a car lease or loan, check with your lender to 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.
Next, contact your insurance company to temporarily suspend all or some of your insurance coverage for the period when you won't be driving. Progressive representatives are available to customers and can be reached at 1-866-749-7436. Before removing liability coverage, you should also contact your state BMV or DMV to see 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 out on the road, contact your insurance company to ask about reinstating your coverages or policy. Depending on your insurer and how long you've gone without an active policy, you may need to apply for a new one.
Once your insurance is in order, contact your state's BMV or DMV to check that your registration is still valid, and submit any necessary paperwork with your updated insurance details. Don't take your car out of storage until all of this is sorted; if you're caught driving without proper insurance coverage or valid registration, you may be fined.
Are there other ways to lower my premium without suspending my insurance?
Suspending car insurance isn't the only way to lower your car insurance premium. Consider these other steps you can take:
- Remove insurance add-ons. You'll need to keep the legally required auto insurance coverages. However, you can remove optional add-ons like roadside assistance and custom parts and equipment coverage.
- Take your name off a shared insurance plan. If you share an insurance policy with family members and you won't be driving for a period of time, you might be able to temporarily remove yourself from the plan. That will allow others on the plan to keep driving as usual. Simply add yourself back onto the plan when you're ready to drive again.
- Switch to a higher deductible. If you have enough savings to pay a higher deductible in case of an accident, opting for a higher deductible will mean a lower premium.
Looking for more information about auto insurance? Our car insurance resource center has you covered.