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Can I add or remove coverages in the middle of my policy?

What to Know

  • You can add or remove coverages with car insurance at any time, but there are limitations
  • Be careful when modifying your liability insurance coverage because you will need to meet state minimum requirements
  • There are other modifications you can make to your car insurance policy besides adding, removing, or suspending coverages

Can anyone change their car insurance policies at any time? Yes, you can add or remove coverages with car insurance whenever you want, even in the middle of your policy term. After making the changes, you should immediately see a difference in your rates.

Now, there are some restrictions for making changes to your policy. Of course, some of these limitations depend on your state and insurance company. But in many cases, you need to avoid a lapse in car insurance.

That said, what can you do instead of adding or removing specific coverages from your car insurance policy? If you want to reduce your coverage to lower your monthly rates, your car insurance company may still provide you with options.

Read on to learn about what you can do when you want to add or remove coverages with your car insurance company or momentarily lower your rates. And to see rates from top car insurance companies in your area right now, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool above.

How do you add or remove coverages on your car insurance?

If your needs or situation change, you may need to adjust the amount of car insurance coverage you have. For instance, you may want to:

  • Add rideshare insurance as you start working for a transportation network service company.
  • Increase the level of liability coverage you have before adding a new driver to your policy.
  • Remove comprehensive and collision coverage if your vehicle loan has been paid off.
  • Reduce your liability coverage if you will not use your vehicle that much for a specific amount of time.

If you want to make changes to your car insurance, you have a few options:

  • Call your car insurance company via a toll-free number and talk to a representative.
  • Contact your insurance agent directly and notify them that you want to add or remove coverages to your policy.
  • Manage your policy online, if available. You can create an account on your car insurance company’s website, click on “Manage My Policy,” and add or remove coverages by following a few prompts.

You should immediately see the changes reflected in your insurance rates. And in many cases, your car insurance company will prorate the coverage you add or remove.

What are your options for modifying your car insurance?

To increase your car insurance coverage, you can add additional coverage or increase your policy limits. You can remove some coverage if you find that you don’t need it (anymore) or suspend coverage indefinitely.

Sometimes, suspending coverage is better than canceling your policy. If you cancel coverage, you could have a lapse in coverage and face higher insurance rates when you decide to purchase insurance again.

Some companies, like USAA, GEICO, and Progressive, might allow you to suspend your insurance. They will drastically lower your rates, especially if the military deploys you.

That said, there are also limitations to how much car insurance you can remove based on the type of coverage. There are restrictions for adding coverage, as well.

Adding Coverage to Car Insurance

What are additional coverages? Also, what is the difference between additional coverages vs. coverage extensions?

First, it helps to understand what you can find in a basic car insurance policy and what your car insurance company considers optional coverage.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are the basic car insurance coverages:

  • Bodily injury liability protection
  • Property damage liability protection
  • Collision car insurance coverage
  • Comprehensive car insurance coverage
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (MedPay)
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist protection

In 49 states (except New Hampshire) and the District of Columbia, liability protection is mandatory. PIP, MedPay, and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection are mandatory in select states.

These collision and comprehensive car insurance coverage are part of full insurance coverage in every state, even California. However, these are optional unless your loan or lease requires it.

Some companies might also offer car rental reimbursement, GAP, and rideshare driver insurance. Adding these coverages will increase your insurance rates.

With that understood, additional coverage insurance is a type of car insurance you add to your policy. It must be a different type of insurance than you have previously. For example, getting collision coverage after having your policy for a few months or years is an addition.

A coverage extension usually refers to the extension of your existing coverage to another vehicle. For example, when you buy a new car, your insurance policy will automatically extend to cover it until you have had a chance to contact your insurance company and officially add it. Another example is when your insurance is extended to cover a rental car.

Adjusting Insurance Limits

Sometimes, you might want to adjust your insurance limits to increase your coverage or lower your monthly rates.

How much insurance do you need? For example, in Alabama, you must carry these minimums in liability car insurance for at-fault car accidents:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury liability for each person
  • $50,000 in bodily injury liability for each accident
  • $25,000 in property damage liability insurance for each accident

That means that in Alabama, you will need to have a policy worth at least $50,000 in bodily injury liability insurance and $25,000 in property damage liability insurance. You can increase the limits on both for added protection. However, how much insurance you need depends on a number of factors, and in most cases carrying more than the legal requirement is a wise choice.

Increasing your liability limits might increase your insurance rates. Likewise, you could see lower rates by lowering your liability limits.

Temporarily Suspending Coverage

Depending on your situation, you can temporarily suspend part of your coverage. For example, you may consider putting your liability insurance on hold if you have comprehensive car insurance coverage and know that you will not use your car for an extended period.

A comprehensive-only car insurance policy is essentially storage coverage. Check to see if your current car insurance company allows it because not all companies do.

Some instances where you will not drive your car for long periods include:

  • An injury that prevents you from driving
  • Military deployment
  • A suspended license
  • An extended stay in another state or country

A comprehensive-only policy protects your car from damage that might occur while it’s stored, such as a fire, but does not allow you to legally drive the car.

What are your limitations for adding or removing car insurance coverage?

Before making changes to your car insurance policy, make sure you review state laws and regulations. Also, make sure you know what your car insurance company allows. In general, you should keep the following in mind before making changes to your car insurance policy:

  • You may not limit your liability insurance below state minimums.
  • If you have an auto loan or are leasing your car, you are likely required to carry full coverage.
  • Your car insurance company may not allow a storage-only policy.
  • Even if you can suspend your liability protection indefinitely, but you cannot legally drive your car without that coverage in most states.

Additionally, if you add insurance coverage right after an accident, that coverage will not cover any damages stemming from said accident.

How else can you save on your policy besides removing coverages?

Here are a few things you can do outside of removing coverages that you might need later:

  • Raise your deductible. If you decide to raise your deductible, you can immediately see a decrease in your monthly car insurance rates. However, that means you will need to pay more out-of-pocket if your car takes on damage and needs repair.
  • Move toward a mileage-based policy. Some car insurance companies will lower your rates if you drive below a specific number of miles during the year.
  • Look for other discounts based on car usage. For instance, if you have a student away at home, some companies offer a discount for that. If you’ve switched to working at home, let your car insurance company know for reduced rates.

As you can see, you might not need to add or remove coverages to reduce car insurance rates. Ultimately, consider all your options and make sure you are properly protected.

We hope that this information has helped you decide whether to add or remove coverages from your car insurance policy. Now, if you want to see rates from top car insurance companies in your area, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool below.

References:

  1. https://www.iii.org/article/what-covered-basic-auto-insurance-policy