Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Written by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

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In a nutshell...

  • You can buy auto insurance in six-month or annual terms
  • If you decide to keep your car in storage or you’re not going to be driving for long periods, you can suspend coverage
  • Be sure that you don’t suspend your auto insurance if your registration is valid or you could be fined by the DMV
  • Some insurance companies will only suspend coverage if they surrender their plates and show a receipt as proof
  • If you suspend your policy, keep comprehensive coverage to pay for parked car damage claims

You’re allowed to cancel your insurance at any time and for any reason. Even though it’s an option, it’s not always in your best interest to terminate your plan when you don’t need insurance for weeks or months.

You may be able to cancel some of the coverage on your policy instead of canceling your policy altogether. In the industry, canceling coverage that’s typically required by law is called suspending your coverage.

Make sure you have the coverage you need for the best price. Compare car insurance quotes today by entering your zip code above.

If you’re interested in suspending your insurance, here’s a guide to help you make the right decision:

What does it mean when you suspend your car insurance policy?


Usually, the word suspension refers to something bad. When your registration is suspended, the motor vehicle agency has taken action to keep your car off of the road until you pay or comply with laws.

After you cancel the policy, you’re left shopping for insurance again when you’re ready to drive. This means you’ll lose the following savings:

  • Insurance experience credits
  • Other discounts that you were already receiving

When your driving privilege is suspended, the agency has taken away your driving privilege for one reason or another.

A car insurance suspension is one that you initiate. If an insurance company wanted to suspend your coverage, they would just process a cancellation or non-renewal.

When you want to temporarily halt your coverage, you can request the suspension in writing. In most cases, all of the coverage is placed on hold, but sometimes you can keep comprehensive coverage.

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Why would a driver want to suspend their coverage?

When you own a car you need insurance. Insurance not only protects your assets, but it’s required by law. The average person will buy a policy and keep the policy in force by making payments and renewing the plan at the end of the term.

While it’s not ordinary, there could be a time where you don’t need coverage.

You could always keep your coverage intact the way that it is, but there’s no reason to pay large insurance bills when you know that you’re not going to need the protection.

Here are some life events that create the need to suspend insurance:

  • You’re putting your sports car or motorcycle in storage during the winter months
  • You plan to explore the world and you’ll be keeping your vehicle at home
  • Your car is not running and you don’t plan on repairing it for an extended period of time
  • You’re surrendering your plates because you are recovering from surgery and won’t be driving for a long period of time
  • You’re going away to college and won’t be taking the car with you
  • You’re in the military and you’re being deployed

What type of coverage do you suspend?


By law, the state requires vehicle owners to carry mandatory coverage options. Most of the time, liability coverage is mandatory. When you suspend a policy, you’re suspending those coverage options that are usually required.

Some of the coverage options that you can temporarily place on hold include:

  • Bodily Injury Liability
  • Property Damage Liability
  • Medical Payments/Personal Injury Protection
  • Uninsured Motorist Protection
  • Collision
  • Rental Car

Can you keep any coverage on a suspended policy?

If you want to keep liability insurance, a suspended policy isn’t what you need. Suspended plans are those that don’t include coverage needed when you’re operating the car.

You can’t keep liability insurance but you can keep coverage to pay for damage to your car while it’s parked. If you want to protect the car, always keep comprehensive coverage.

Whether or not you’ll have to pay premiums when your car insurance is suspended depends on the type of suspension that you request.

If you suspend everything, nothing will be due for the days the coverage is on-hold.

Those who decide to keep their comprehensive coverage will pay very low premiums. The premiums will be billed on the schedule you already had set up.

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Benefits of Suspending Coverage


Don’t make payments when you don’t need coverage. Reinstate coverage with a phone call when you need it.

Don’t lose your loyalty discount. Don’t lose your credits for keeping coverage with no lapse. If you’ve already canceled your policy and you need coverage, it’s time to shop around.

You should always compare premiums to find the best deal. For quick comparisons, use our online rate comparison tool. Enter your zip code below to get started for FREE!