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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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: Apr 14, 2022

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In a nutshell...

  • In some situations, such as a military deployment or spending time abroad, it may be possible to suspend your auto insurance
  • By suspending your auto insurance, you will avoid having to make payments on the policy along with having a lapse in coverage
  • If you have a car loan, it is less likely that you will be able to suspend your auto insurance coverage

Car insurance is required to own a vehicle in every state, and it is never a good idea to drive without insurance.

However, if you are not going to be driving for an extended period of time, you may want to avoid paying insurance premiums during that time frame.

Suspension of your policy may be an option, but only in limited scenarios.

If you cancel your auto insurance policy, you should be prepared to pay a higher premium upon seeking to have coverage again. Enter your zip code above to get FREE car insurance quotes today!

Contact Your Auto Insurance Agent


The first step in inquiring about whether your auto insurance policy can be put on hold is to speak with your insurance agent directly.

They will be able to best inform you as to what is permissible under your policy and what paperwork you will need to complete.

If you are a military member, when you are shopping for auto insurance policies be sure to inform the insurance agent of your military status.

You may be eligible for additional discounts, which will help the insurance agent guide you through the process of suspending your auto insurance in the event that you are deployed.

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Complying with State Requirements

Your state may have a requirement that you file an affidavit of non-use of your vehicle with the state department of motor vehicles upon canceling or suspending your auto insurance policy.

Failure to comply with the requirements could result in fines and higher rates when you seek out coverage again.

The department of motor vehicles for your state maintains records on current auto insurance policies for registered drivers.

If you are caught driving without the required insurance or do not have current insurance, there will be a record of that.

Think Carefully Before Canceling Your Auto Insurance Policy


If you are unable to suspend your auto insurance, you may consider canceling your policy.  Before you do, you should be aware of the cost and potential consequences.

If you cancel your auto insurance policy before the term end, you may not be entitled to the refund of any of your paid premium.

Your insurance company may also cancel your policy if you choose to stop making payments.

If your policy is canceled by either you or your insurance company, it is possible that your premium could go up the next time you want to purchase auto insurance.

While there are many other factors that ultimately affect your premium, any auto insurance company can tell if a previous auto insurance policy was canceled due to non-payment.

Maintaining Car Insurance on a Vehicle that You Lease or Do Not Own in Full

If you do not own your car in full, it will be much more difficult to try to suspend your auto insurance policy for a period of time.

Many lenders or dealerships leasing a car will require some form of auto insurance coverage for the duration of your car loan or lease.

Typically, car dealerships and lenders will require a form of collision coverage or comprehensive coverage along with whatever minimum car insurance coverage is required under state law.

It is critical to retain a copy of your car lease agreement so that you know exactly what your obligations are and what your payments cover.

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Recap of Putting Your Car Insurance On Hold

The option to suspend your car insurance coverage is most readily available for military members who are going on a deployment.

In other scenarios, your auto insurance policy or state law may not permit you to simply suspend your policy.

In this case, you may consider canceling your auto insurance coverage, but this is a very risky decision.

Your insurance agent is the best source of information for you on what suspension options may exist for your particular auto insurance policy.

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