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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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Apr 23, 2019

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If you are in the military and deployed overseas then it’s quite possible you want to cut down on expenses while away. Military personnel can cancel their car insurance before deployment however this is NOT always a good idea.

There are a number of instances when it may make more sense to simply reduce your coverage (or keep your existing policy) rather than just cancelling insurance altogether.

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Car insurance can cover a number of different things, not just accidents. If you want some type of coverage on your vehicle while you are gone, there are things you can do to keep the premiums lower.

Can you suspend your car insurance while you are overseas?

Most car insurance companies will not allow you to suspend your insurance coverage while you are away overseas. It never hurts to check with your insurance company to see what their policy is on suspending the insurance, but it is not common practice.

If anything, you are able to cancel your policy while you are gone but this is not always the best option.

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What are the negative aspects of canceling your car insurance policy?

It may seem like cancelling your auto policy is the smart thing to do when you are overseas however there are a couple of things to keep in mind before making this decision. Auto insurance companies support the military but they certainly support their for-profit risk models more.

When you cancel your policy and go without any insurance, it is considered a lapse in coverage and this is always cause for higher rates should the lapse be long enough.

When you come back from overseas and try to get new insurance, you more than likely will end up paying more for your policy because of the previous lack in coverage.

Another reason you may not want to cancel your policy is that car insurance covers more than just accidents. Even though you are not driving the car, this doesn’t mean it won’t be stolen or have damage caused by fire or weather-related calamities.

What are some instances in which keeping your car insurance would be beneficial while overseas?

Besides having coverage for damages caused by fire, weather, or theft, there are other benefits to keeping your car insurance while you are deployed overseas.

If someone else in your household will be driving your car (even only every now and then) it is a very good idea to keep your car insured. The best way to do this is to list the other driver on your insurance policy so that if something did happen and a claim needed to be filed, there would be no question as to whether or not that driver was covered.

Another reason that you may need to keep insurance coverage on your vehicle is if you are leasing or financing the vehicle. The leasing company or bank requires that you carry full insurance coverage on your car while you are making payments.

This ensures that their investment is covered in the case of an accident or natural disaster.

Even though full coverage is required in the case of financing, there are things you can do to lower the rates that you pay for your car insurance.

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If I decide to keep my car insurance while deployed how can I get a lower premium?

Whether someone else will be driving your vehicle, you want to protect it from fire or theft or you need full coverage for a leased vehicle, there are ways to keep the premiums lower.

If you are just storing the car while you are away, you may choose to cancel your liability and collision coverage and just have comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage will help cover damage that is caused by anything other than an accident, such as fire, theft, fallen trees, wind and more.

Another way to save money on car insurance while you are overseas is to increase your deductible. The higher your deductible is, the lower your premium will be. This is probably the easiest way to automatically lower your premiums and a good option for those who need full coverage for a leased vehicle.

You can also choose to lower the limits of your coverage. This means that your insurance company would cover less if there was a claim, but you would still be carrying insurance, which will prevent a lapse in coverage.

If someone else in your family will be driving the vehicle while you are away, it is a good idea to keep insurance coverage on the vehicle; in fact, most states require that you carry some type of car insurance coverage.

Depending on the driver, this may cause your rates to either increase or decrease, as the driving history and credit history of each driver is taken into account when the rates are determined.

If you are getting deployed overseas and have questions in regard to your car insurance, the best thing to do would be to speak with your insurance agent, as they should know what the best way to go is.

You can also shop around for a different insurance company or even contact companies like USAA who specialize in auto insurance for military personnel and families.

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