It’s long been ingrained in us that auto insurance is something that we just have to have. If you own a vehicle, it’s likely something that you’ve been paying for month after month, for years on end. However, drivers actually have more insurance options than they realize, and given that financial situations can change at a moment’s notice, it’s important to understand the best way to manage your car insurance.

Those who are trying to cut costs for an extended period of time may find that searching for lower insurance rates isn’t enough and might want to cancel their insurance premiums entirely. Before you call your insurance company, let’s explore another option—pausing your insurance.

Keep in mind that if you do want to explore a new policy rather than pausing your current one, you can do so with ease at Insurify. With just a few clicks, you can receive a 100-percent free, no-obligation car insurance quote from over 10 companies at once!

Should I suspend my car insurance temporarily? 

Most car insurance companies realize that drivers aren’t using their vehicles every single day. And while it’s a state requirement to carry auto insurance when you’re on the road, some lifestyle changes might necessitate that you suspend your auto policy. Why? You may want to think about putting a pause on your coverage if:

  • You’re going on an extended vacation, and your car will be parked at home for weeks or months on end.
  • You’ll be serving in the military and may need to temporarily relocate abroad.
  • Your vehicle needs repairs and isn’t currently driveable, or you simply don’t use it any longer.

Some drivers who are struggling financially due to COVID-19 might find that they’d rather suspend their insurance than have a record of non-payment. Many auto insurers are making changes to payment policies and offering rebates and discounts, so make sure to read our official guide to COVID-19 and car insurance before you simply cancel your insurance.

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that you should never have any coverage gaps when it comes to your insurance history. This can affect your premium for years into the future and may even be illegal in some states.

Which companies will let me suspend my car insurance coverage

The rules surrounding the suspension or pausing of a car insurance policy aren’t the same across all auto insurance companies. It’s best to contact your insurance company to determine your options. If you find that you can’t suspend your coverage, your insurance agent will have additional options to help keep your car insurance rates low.

Should I cancel my car insurance policy outright?

There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to maintaining your auto insurance coverage, and while some drivers might want to pause their policy temporarily, others find that completely canceling works better for them. Before you make any changes, think about the following:

  • Individuals with a car loan will likely not have the option to pause their policy.
  • If you can, a suspension is favorable over canceling, as you won’t have to worry about a lapse in auto coverage.
  • Canceling your policy might seem like the best choice, especially for non-use vehicles, but you could be susceptible to out-of-pocket expenses if your car is vandalized.
  • Most providers are sympathetic to financial concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic and may be able to offer you payment plans that allow you to keep your coverage in place.

Policyholders who decide that canceling car insurance coverage is the best option should make sure they fully understand the process so that there aren’t any problems when they do purchase insurance in the future.

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Other ways to save on car insurance in the short term

Perhaps neither canceling nor suspending your car insurance is the right option for you, but you’re still trying to avoid paying higher rates—what can you do? Drivers have a range of options to temporarily save money on their auto policy, but some come with certain levels of risk:

  • One way to lower your premium is to select higher deductibles for your collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Keep in mind that you will be responsible for paying these larger amounts out of pocket should you have an accident.
  • You could remove these two types of coverage altogether and only pay for liability insurance, but this can be very dangerous, especially if you’re still driving your vehicle.
  • Some individuals would rather lower their liability limits, meaning that in the event of an accident, your auto policy would pay less than it would prior to making any changes.

Some drivers aren’t in a position to make these changes to their auto insurance policy but still can’t afford to pay higher premiums. In this case, you’ll want to call your insurance company and ask if there are any discounts available to you or specific payment plans that might help you save money temporarily.

When all else fails, shopping for a new policy might be your best bet. Head over to Insurify where you can get real quotes—not estimates—and enroll in new coverage today. The prices you find on Insurify might even help you gain some leverage when negotiating ways to save with your current insurance provider.

Pausing Car Insurance FAQ

Where can I compare cheap car insurance quotes online?

Rather than spending hours requesting quotes from individual insurance websites, visit Insurify instead. Compare quotes from 10+ companies at once and save up to 70 percent on your current insurance premiums.

Can I suspend my car insurance temporarily?

Your insurance provider might allow you to briefly put a pause on your car insurance, but it’s best to reach out to an agent directly to determine if this is the best option for you.

How do I pause my car insurance policy with GEICO?

Contact GEICO at 1 (800) 207-7847 and explain that you’d like to pause your policy. The agent will be able to let you know what the process looks like based on the state you live in.

Conclusion: Pausing car insurance the right way

Every motorist is different, and for some, pausing a car insurance policy might be the smartest thing to do. Others will find that making changes to their deductibles and limits helps them save money, and even still, additional options could be available that better meet your needs.

Drivers who want to maintain continuous insurance coverage and want to do so by purchasing a new policy will find a wealth of information at Insurify. Compare real-time quotes in a matter of minutes and find the policy that works for you!

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Updated June 25, 2020

Courtney Elder has loved to write since age six, yet she didn’t turn it into a career until many years after that. She graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in Communications, and when she’s not creating content for Insurify, she’s exploring Portland, OR with her kids.