Pausing Your Auto Insurance

Pausing your auto insurance can help you save money on vehicles you don't drive all of the time. If you own a motorcycle or convertible that you only drive during the summer months, you can pause auto insurance coverage or cancel it entirely during the winter. Short-term auto insurance policies also exist for coverage that lasts for three to four months, which you can cancel and renew each summer. Use our free comparison tool below to start comparing short-term auto insurance policies.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Nov 12, 2020

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The following is an exported forum post from our discontinued forum. If you would like to reply to this old forum post, please post a comment below.

I own a BMW convertible, but won’t be using it AT ALL in the winters.  I live in Maine, so obviously only a fool would take a convertible out here in the nasty weather we have here.

I really only drive it June-August.  Is there any type special type of coverage? Or can I just pause my insurance during those months?

P.S. I use Allstate

Our Answer

There are absolutely car insurance policies for people like you. Many motorcycle and convertible owners, for example, only drive their vehicles during the summer months. In this situation, you do not need liability insurance on your vehicle throughout the winter months when you’re not driving it.

Alternatively, you can cancel your car insurance entirely during the winter months, buying a three or four month car insurance policy every summer as needed.

Option 1) Canceling Liability Insurance During the Winter

We recommend dropping liability insurance from your convertible from September to May (or whenever you’re leaving your convertible off the roads). Liability insurance is legally required to drive on public roads in Maine (or any other state). It covers any damage you cause to other people or drivers.

However, since you won’t be driving your vehicle for much of the year, you do not need to have liability insurance. As long as your vehicle stays completely off the roads during those months, you can safely drop liability coverage from September to May.

By dropping liability coverage, you can still keep comprehensive coverage on your convertible. You want comprehensive coverage! Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle while it’s parked in your garage.

If there’s a fire or a flood, for example, and your convertible is damaged, then your comprehensive coverage will cover the cost of repairing damage to the vehicle. Your home insurance does not cover your vehicle in this situation.

If someone steals or vandalizes your vehicle, or drops a heavy object on your convertible while it’s in your garage, then comprehensive coverage will cover you – even when you’re not driving your vehicle.

If you cancel liability insurance during the winter, then you should save a considerable amount on your car insurance policy. You’re only paying for comprehensive coverage. Your car insurance company charges lower rates because it knows your car is off the road for most of the year.

Option 2) Cancel Car Insurance Completely During the Winter, then Renew Each Summer

Alternatively, you may want to cancel car insurance completely during the winter months, then renew your policy each summer. That way, you can avoid paying any insurance premiums throughout the winter, then only pay for car insurance when you’re driving your car during the summer.

This option has several drawbacks.

First, you’re losing comprehensive coverage during the winter. That means your car is not protected wherever it’s stored. If your car is stolen or vandalized, for example, then it won’t be covered by car insurance. If your garage burns down or floods, then your convertible will not be covered.

Second, it’s a hassle to cancel and renew car insurance every summer. Some drivers don’t want to worry about it.

If neither of these problems bother you, then you may wish to cancel car insurance completely during the winter when you’re off the road. Then, once you’re ready to drive your convertible, buy a short-term or temporary car insurance policy.

Short-term or temporary car insurance policies tend to be more expensive than traditional six or twelve month car insurance policies. You may not save as much money as you think. You’re also taking on significant risk by leaving your convertible unprotected by comprehensive coverage all winter.

Option 3) Ask your Insurer About Customized Plans

Some insurance companies have customized plans for drivers like you. They have special convertible plans for drivers in winter states, for example, allowing you to stay protected during the summer while saving money when your car is off the road during the winter.

Car insurance companies often offer specialized plans for RVs, motorcycles, and convertibles – particularly for drivers in winter states. Insurance companies know that certain vehicles are only driven in the summer months, so they offer specialized auto insurance policies catered to your needs.

Contact an insurance agent and ask about specialized auto insurance policies. It’s in the car insurance company’s best interest to offer customized plans like this: they keep you as a customer, and you don’t have to cancel your policy when your car is off the road during the winter.

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Other Answers

Answer 1

You sure can!

Make sure to remove all but comprehensive coverage on your cars before the winter season (you’ll want to keep comprehensive coverage while the car is sitting in your garage anyways)

If you haven’t done this already, call up your Allstate agent and get this set up… it’s already December, only a fool would drive a convertible in Maine in December 😉

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