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How to Handle Car Insurance in the Military

2019 09 25 blog military

By Erin Thompson on October 23, 2019 in Insurance Basics

Being in the military can add some extra confusion to auto insurance. From reassignments to deployments, there’s a lot to know and understand about how insurance works and what you may need. We’re here to help and are diving into all things auto insurance for the military here.

Reassignments and auto insurance

If you’re being reassigned and moving to a new state, you may see a change in your auto insurance rate. Whenever you change your address, and that includes even just moving down the street, there’s always a chance that your rate will be affected.

The best thing to do when you find out you’re moving is to call your current insurance company and check if they provide coverage in your new state. If they don’t, it may be time to shop around for a new provider.

Deployments and auto insurance

Being deployed can bring up some concerns about your auto insurance. If this relates to you, you have a couple of options for how to handle your insurance while you’re gone.

1. Cancel some coverages

The most common way to deal with auto insurance during a deployment is to cancel some coverages and lower your limits on every coverage you decide to keep.

For many, it makes the most sense to cancel everything except for Comprehensive Coverage. This helps keep you from having a gap in coverage and is a low-cost option for while you’re deployed.

2. Remove yourself from your policy

If you’re on a policy with other people, you may want to simply remove yourself as a driver from that policy. The rest of the people on the policy will still need coverage, so removing yourself as a driver from that policy will keep everyone else active.

You may run into some issues with having a gap in coverage when you get back and try to reinstate a policy though. So, you’ll want to be aware of that and talk to your insurance company before removing yourself. They’ll let you know what to expect when you return and can talk through if that is really your best option.

3. Cancel your policy

A last-ditch option would be to cancel your insurance policy altogether. This may make sense if you’re the only one on it. Canceling your policy would mean you would have a gap in coverage when you get back and try to re-purchase a policy though.

Typically you’d see an increase in your auto insurance rate if you have a gap in coverage. Some companies, like Say, won’t factor in your gap in coverage if you’re in the military and had a gap because of a deployment. So check with your provider and learn how it will work before you make any decisions.

Keep in mind that if anyone else plans to drive your car while you’re away, you’ll need to make sure the vehicle has insurance coverage.

Leased cars and military deployments

If your car is leased, you may not be able to suspend coverage. The bank or leasing company may require you to keep the typical level of leased car insurance on your vehicle while you’re gone. Talk to your insurance provider and leasing company about your specific situation.

Planning your auto insurance

You’ll want to look at all your options for auto insurance before moving or a deployment. The more research you do upfront, the less likely it is that you’ll run into an issue with your coverage.

Erin Thompson is the Marketing Manager for Say Insurance. She's responsible for guiding the strategic direction of all Say marketing campaigns. Prior to joining Say, Erin worked for a media agency based in Columbia, MO. She spent several years developing successful advertising campaigns for a diverse set of clients across the United States. Erin began her career in television advertising after earning her Master’s from the University of Missouri Journalism School with an emphasis in Strategic Communication. Her love of communication and helping people directed her to the insurance world.