Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 23, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Paying off your car often means you are now the sole owner of your vehicle
  • Any third party that retained a financial interest in your car is normally removed from your policy once you are sole owner
  • While paying off your car does not immediately lower your insurance, you may be able to change your policy to reduce your costs
  • Once you’ve paid your car off, you may no longer need to carry specific coverage options
  • Before making changes to your policy, ask your insurance provider how changing your coverage will affect you during a loss

When you pay off your vehicle, this is often an accomplishment that leads you to evaluate the other financial aspects surrounding your car.

Carrying car insurance is compulsory in most instances, and when you have a loan on your car, you often need to carry higher levels of coverage.

If you want to lower your car insurance after paying off your car, you may want to alter your coverage options. It’s important to discuss this with your insurance provider before making any changes.

If you have recently paid off your car and want better auto insurance, start comparing at least three to four policies today to find the best fit for you! Enter your ZIP code below!

Paying Off Your Car Loan

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Your insurance policy is a combination of coverage options that protect you and your vehicle, and when you carry a car loan, this is often necessary.

However, when you’ve paid off your car, you may find that the coverage you were required to carry is no longer necessary under your loan contract.

You may want to evaluate your current coverage to look for more cost-effective alternatives.

Your loan provider, sometimes called the lienholder, is a third party that bears financial interest in your car as long as your loan is active.

Once you pay off your loan, the coverage you are required to carry will change, and coverage that protects the vehicle from damages is no longer necessary.

The previously necessary coverage options commonly include:

While paying off your car loan does not immediately lower your insurance premium, it does remove policy requirements that you were required to follow. Removed policy requirements can allow you to reduce your premium costs through other methods.

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Reducing Your Insurance Costs

Discounts or premium credits are not the only way to reduce your insurance costs, though they are one of the easier and safer options. Discounts do not lessen the amount of coverage you carry, instead offering reductions in your premium for:

  • Safe driving courses
  • Good driving record
  • Installed safety features
  • Anti-theft devices

Additionally, you can reduce your car insurance costs through changing your coverage options and reducing or eliminating coverage choices that are on your policy.

When you pay off your car, you may be able to alter, reduce, or remove coverage from your policy that your lienholder required, which can often reduce the cost of your coverage.

Many lienholders or third-party interests require physical damage coverage on any vehicle that a loan is active for. You would have to carry comprehensive and collision coverage to protect the vehicle while the loan is active.

Once you pay off your vehicle, however, you will no longer be required to carry these coverage options; you can choose to remove them to reduce your insurance costs.

Before making changes to your policy, make sure to consider how it can affect you in the future. Removing coverage from your vehicle that you don’t need currently can seem like a good idea, but this may leave you open to losses in the future.

A car accident can create a tremendous amount of financial strain or burden very quickly. Speak with your insurance provider to assess your risk and how changing your policy will positively and negatively impact you.

Conclusion

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Paying off your car often means you start searching for other ways you can lower your expenses, such as reducing your insurance premium payments.

However, paying your car off does not mean your insurance will immediately decrease since your insurance is calculated based on risk factors, not on vehicle ownership.

Once you pay off your car, you can often change the coverage options you carry since you no longer have loan requirements to fulfill. For example, you may be able to remove physical damage coverage options from your policy, which can often lower your premium costs.

Physical damage coverage is a big factor when it comes to policy pricing.

If you are considering adjusting or reducing your coverage, it’s important to speak to your provider before making the change.

Your insurance provider can help you assess your risk factors, your coverage needs, and what policy options work with your budget. Depending on your risk exposure and your needs, it may be beneficial to continue carrying coverage options that are no longer required.

Looking for better auto insurance rates? Try our FREE online quote tool and start comparison shopping today! Enter your ZIP code below!

References:

  1. http://www.insuranceclaimshelpforyou.com/insurance-lienholder.html
  2. http://www.iii.org/article/auto-insurance-basics-understanding-your-coverage
  3. http://www.iii.org/article/how-can-i-save-money-auto-insurance
  4. https://www.thebalance.com/comprehensive-vs-collision-coverage-527402
  5. http://www.moneycrashers.com/factors-affect-car-insurance-rates/