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 insuran...

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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 Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Nov 9, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • It’s illegal to drive without car insurance in most US states, all except New Hampshire
  • Several instances call for the removal of a car from an insured’s policy. For example, if the vehicle is stolen, or sold
  • Technically, you can get a car off your insurance any time. However, depending on the insurer’s policy, some penalties may apply
  • There are different methods of removing a car from your insurance policy. You can suspend your coverage, cancel your policy, reduce your coverage, or remove yourself from a policy

In most parts of the country, you are required to purchase minimum liability insurance before you hit the freeways with your new ride. As a result, most car owners in the US have auto insurance.

But what if something happens and you don’t need the policy anymore? What if you change your mind? What do you do then? Well, if your car is stolen, written off, or you have decided to sell it, you can get it off your auto insurance policy.

What’s the sense in paying auto insurance premiums for a car you don’t use anymore?

Remember that if you are caught driving without insurance, you will pay hefty fines. When looking for auto insurance products, compare numerous online quotes before making a decision to purchase.

Comparison shopping is the only way to guarantee the best rates in the market. Use our free rate comparison tool right now to get started!

What are your options?


You should never go without car insurance. However, getting a car off your insurance may be necessary from time to time.

While it may not be as easy as halting your Netflix subscription, removing an out-of-use car from your policy can be a good way to save money.

While there are several ways to do that, your options may be limited by factors such as whether you have a car loan or why you are taking a hiatus from using the vehicle. Here are some of the options available:

  • Remove yourself from the policy
  • Reduce your coverage
  • Suspend your coverage
  • Cancel your policy

Your choice will depend on the reasons for your wanting to remove the car from the policy. Is it a permanent or temporary thing? Insurance companies have different policies and procedures when it comes to these matters. Check with your insurer for specific instructions.

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– Removing Yourself from the Policy

If your insurer allows it, removing yourself from the policy is a good option is you will be going away for a short period.

You could be going away on military deployment or vacation and you won’t be using the vehicle. However, this option only works if the car is insured with several drivers.

If you are the riskier driver, temporarily removing yourself from the policy can actually reduce the premiums — there is no point in removing yourself from the policy if it doesn’t save any money.

The vehicle will still be covered from theft, vandalism, animal damage, and other non-driving issues. Removing oneself from a car insurance policy isn’t the same as being an ‘excluded’ driver. It only means that you are not listed as one of the drivers.

With some insurers, you can still drive the vehicle for a 30-day period when you come back to visit. You should consider switching policies if your provider is too restrictive. Shop around, compare quotes from different auto insurers until you find a good coverage.

– Reducing Your Coverage


If you are planning on going away for an extended period, cutting back coverage on your vehicle might be a good option. For starters, you can reduce your coverage to only what is needed in your state. Remove all the unnecessary coverages; after all your car will be in storage.

With this option, you won’t pay for unneeded coverage when the vehicle is temporarily out of use.

Reducing your coverage is also a perfect way to ensure that you don’t have a coverage lapse. Having coverage lapses can drive up your insurance rate when you go back to shopping for insurance.

If you have a car loan, you may be required to keep some coverages. However, you can still get favorable rates despite a coverage lapse if you shop around and compare as many quotes as you can.

– Suspending Your Coverage

Suspending coverage doesn’t remove the vehicle from your policy, it only pauses it until you are ready to use the vehicle again. Before you go ahead and suspend your coverage, contact your state’s department of motor vehicles to see what’s required for the process.

You may have to halt the state required auto insurance coverage by filing the affidavit of non-use.

The affidavit of non-use is simply a piece of writing letting the state know that you will not be using your vehicle for a specified period. Talk to your insurer too, they may allow it sometimes, but they don’t always let customers suspend their coverage.

However, if you have a car loan, you will not be able to suspend your car insurance.

– Canceling Your Policy

Canceling your policy is still an option, but just like suspending your policy, you will not be able to do so if you have a car loan. You may be required to pay a penalty, but that will depend on the circumstances surrounding the cancellation.

Notify the insurance company of your intentions in advance; this gives the insurer a chance to work with you towards creating a policy that works for your current situation.

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Canceling your policy works best only if you are getting rid of your car for good, or if it’s stolen. It is the only way to get a car completely off your insurance. Canceling because you won’t be using the vehicle temporarily isn’t the best idea.

Your car won’t be protected from non-driving problems such as:

  • theft
  • vandalism
  • fire

It’s advised that you always carry the required coverage while driving on US roads. Make sure that the insurer doesn’t continue to bill you after cancellation.

Compare car insurance quotes to see how much you could save on the coverage you need.