5 Need-to-Know Reasons to NOT Suspend Car Insurance
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UPDATED: Feb 13, 2019
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It is possible to suspend your car insurance for a period of time, depending on the particular insurance company involved. This assumes your car will be parked off-road, in a garage and not moved at all during the period that coverage will be suspended.
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Even if you are leaving the area for an extended period of time and won’t be using your vehicle, it may be wise to maintain at least minimum comprehensive coverage for fire and theft or other mishap. This coverage is inexpensive in comparison to full liability coverage and could be very beneficial should your vehicle be damaged while it is parked and waiting for your return.
Some states require at least minimal insurance coverage even if your vehicle is stored. These states acknowledge that it is easy for a vehicle owner to fire up a stored vehicle and take it out for just a brief ride while insurance coverage may be suspended.
For More Information, Contact the NAIC
Laws regarding auto insurance coverage vary from state to state. Consideration must be given to the particular requirements for insurance services in the state in which you live and drive your motor vehicle, before purchasing an auto policy.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the Center for Insurance Policy and Research website, features a listing of links to all 50 US state insurance departments.
The NAIC link also provides helpful information for men and women serving our country in the armed forces. Service members should ask their insurance agents specific questions about the company’s practices regarding policyholder’s military deployment. Shopping around can help find insurers who specialize in providing for the auto insurance needs of military personnel.
Before leaving on deployment, active duty personnel should check policy renewal dates and make arrangements for premium payments while away. It is important that insurance coverage not lapse while service members are away.
Remember, not all states and insurance companies allow for coverage to be suspended. Some companies allow for suspension of liability coverage for a period of time but other coverage will remain in force.
Ask your insurance agent which types of auto coverage can be suspended during your military deployment. A typical auto policy includes coverage for liability, uninsured motorists, personal injury, medical, collision, and comprehensive. Depending on the state in which you reside, some or all of these items may be suspended while you are away.
It’s also important to note that if coverage is suspended fully, you may not be able to recover monies for damage to your vehicle due to weather, random acts such as a tornado or earthquake, or vandalism. For these reasons, you may wish to keep at least minimal comprehensive coverage in your absence.
In addition to providing useful information about auto insurance for service members, the NAIC website also provides tips for service members regarding home, life and health insurances using a helpful quiz format.
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Additional State Rules
Some states will ask service members to file an affidavit of non-use with their state Department of Motor Vehicles to avoid fines for failing to maintain proper vehicle insurance coverage. The last thing you want to do is drive without insurance in most any state.
Laws vary from state to state but are often severe for motorists caught without any insurance coverage. For example, in California you may suffer revocation of your driver’s license and vehicle registration and pay large fines.
When you are able to drive again, the only insurance coverage available will be through the state’s assigned risk pool. While each state guarantees auto coverage in this manner, the cost of annual premiums will most often be three to four times the cost of a standard auto policy.
Shop for the Best Auto Coverage
Service members should be especially careful when shopping for auto insurance when they return from deployment overseas. According to a recent article posted on line by MSN Money, returning servicemen and women may be significantly more likely to suffer an auto accident following their return from active duty.
According to MSN, car insurer USAA reviewed the driving records of military personnel before and after their deployments, and discovered that a number of habits ingrained in military training actually led to traffic accidents once service members returned stateside. More than 171,000 deployments were taken into account from 2006 to 2010.
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