When you are in the military and sent overseas, it’s important to look at how this move is going to impact your auto insurance.
In most instances, you’re not going to take your car with you because it’s not cost-effective to bring the car, plus you likely won’t need it because of being confined to a military base for the majority of your deployment.
You have to figure out what you’re going to do about an auto insurance policy.
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How to Show You are Overseas
Just because you’re deployed doesn’t mean that the laws don’t still apply. If you have a vehicle, it needs to be registered with the state – and that likely means you need an insurance policy on it as well.
However, many insurance companies are willing to work with you if you are in the military.
You will need to show that you have been deployed overseas. This might be a temporary deployment of three, six, or nine months or it might be a PCS (permanent change of station).
Many career military personnel will receive at least one PCS overseas, which often lasts two to four years. Whatever the situation might be, you need to figure out how you’re going to deal with your car.
Whether it sits in a driveway or storage, it’s important to have the insurance on it – or at least make sure you are squared away to remain compliant with state regulations.
Your deployment paperwork will need to be sent to the insurance company. Different insurance companies are going to require different paperwork. As such, you might have to work with your military branch to get what is being asked of you.
While most deployments are scheduled in advance, some are last minute. This possibility of late notice means you might not have the ability to contact the insurance company until you are already overseas.
As a result, you need to make this a priority as soon as you have the time to take care of the situation.
Do you pay, cancel, or suspend your policy?
There is a big decision that you have to make when it comes to the auto insurance when you’re overseas.
- Do you continue paying the policy?
- Do you cancel it?
- Do you suspend the policy?
The easiest solution is to keep paying the premium. However, it’s also going to be the most expensive.
If someone is going to drive your vehicle while you’re gone, though, it might be necessary. If no one is going to drive the car, you could also get quotes from insurance companies to get the lowest possible premium so you’re not spending more than what’s necessary.
If you don’t want to deal with the expense, then you could cancel the policy as long as the state allows for it.
The only problem with canceling is that it could cost you more when you return because you haven’t had continuous coverage and when they ask for proof of insurance, it won’t be possible for you to furnish it.
The other option is to suspend your policy. Many insurance companies provide this as an option, though it’s not always possible. It will depend on the insurance company as well as the laws in your state.
If you choose an insurance company that is military-friendly, it will be easier to deal with such a thing if you do find yourself suddenly deployed overseas.
Contact Your Insurance Company
The moment you have the opportunity to address your car insurance, you need to contact your insurance company. Let them know of the situation and where you are being deployed. The insurance company will be able to help you weigh the options that are available to you.
You might be able to suspend or cancel. If no one is driving your car but you don’t want to cancel, you might also be able to get the insurance company to lower the premiums.
Lower premiums are often possible because of:
- Not being on the road
- Lowering your coverage
- Being deployed in the military
There’s no real way to know what your full list of options are until you call and talk with the insurance company.
In the end, being deployed overseas with the military means you have to take some kind of action with your car insurance.
Every situation is different based upon your finances, how long you’re going to be gone, and if someone else is going to be around to drive your vehicle.
Canceling your policy is dangerous, but you might be able to work a deal to keep paying at a more affordable premium or suspend your coverage until you get back into the United States.
Whatever you decide, make sure you compare quotes to get the best deal possible!