Can I Remove a Vehicle From My Insurance Policy?

Removing a vehicle from your auto insurance policy is a common situation for many drivers. Perhaps you sold your old car and bought a new one. Or maybe your teenager is headed off to college and won’t need to be covered anymore.

Whatever the reason, dropping a car from your insurance plan is usually quick and straightforward. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before taking a vehicle off your policy.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about removing a car from your insurance, including:

  • When you should remove a vehicle
  • How to take a car off your insurance policy
  • Potential consequences of removing a vehicle
  • Tips for minimizing gaps in coverage
  • Answering frequently asked questions

When Should You Remove a Vehicle From Your Insurance Policy?

There are a few common situations when it makes sense to remove a car from your auto insurance:

You Sold the Vehicle

If you sold your old car or traded it in for a new one, you’ll definitely want to take it off your policy. Keeping it insured after it’s no longer in your possession would be pointless (not to mention expensive).

As soon as the sale is finalized, contact your insurance company to remove the sold vehicle. Make sure the buyer has their own insurance in place before handing over the keys.

The Car Was Totaled or Stolen

Similarly, if your vehicle was totaled in an accident or stolen, you’ll need to drop it from your policy.

Your insurer will likely require a copy of the police report and settlement documentation from the claim. Once approved, the totaled or stolen car will be removed from coverage.

Your Teenager Is Getting Their Own Policy

When teenagers first start driving, it’s common to add them as a driver to the family’s policy. However, once your teen is more experienced and heads off to college, they’ll usually need their own insurance.

Removing them and their car from your policy prevents you from paying for unused coverage. Just make sure your child sets up their new policy before you take their vehicle off your plan.

You Have More Vehicles Than Drivers

Most standard auto insurance policies cover all drivers in a household for all vehicles on the policy. If you end up with more cars than drivers (for example, a third vehicle but only two adult drivers), your insurer may require removing the extra vehicle.

This prevents situations where insured drivers have access to a vehicle they wouldn’t normally drive or be covered operating. Talk with your insurance company if this applies to you.

How to Remove a Car From Your Insurance Policy

The process for taking a vehicle off your insurance plan is generally quick and easy:

Inform Your Insurance Company

Start by contacting your insurer and explaining that you need to remove a vehicle. Let them know all the key details like:

  • Which specific car you want to drop
  • The reason it needs to be removed
  • The date you want the removal to take effect

This can usually be done with a quick phone call or online via your account portal. Some insurers may require written/email notification.

Provide Supporting Documentation

Depending on why you’re removing the car, your insurance company may ask for documentation like:

  • Bill of sale – Proof you sold the vehicle
  • Police report – Report of the vehicle being stolen/totaled
  • New insurance card – Evidence your teenager got their own policy

Have these ready when you give notice about removing the vehicle to avoid delays.

Confirm the Car Is Removed

Your insurer will send a confirmation when they’ve officially taken the vehicle off your policy. Review this closely and make sure it lines up with your requested removal date.

Also verify your new premium to see the adjusted rate with the car removed. Ask your insurer to resend the documentation if anything is incorrect.

Return the Old Insurance Card(s)

Don’t forget to send back any active insurance cards, documents, or proof of insurance for the newly removed vehicle. Also destroy any old physical cards to avoid potential issues.

Returning outdated documents prevents confusion down the road if you get pulled over or need to prove coverage.

What Are the Consequences of Removing a Vehicle?

While removing a car from insurance is usually seamless when done properly, there can be consequences if the transition isn’t handled right:

Coverage Gap

Ideally you want your old insurance policy to overlap with your new policy by at least a few days when switching vehicles. This prevents any gap where you’re driving without coverage.

If you remove a car too early before securing replacement coverage, you could accidentally be left uninsured for a period. Driving without insurance can lead to serious legal and financial issues.

Rates Increase

Insurers often offer multi-car discounts for insuring more than one vehicle on the same policy. By dropping a car, you may lose your discount and see your rate go up.

Similarly, removing young drivers like teenagers can impact discounts for good student grades or driver training. Always check how policy changes impact your premium.

Cancellation Fees

If you cancel in the middle of your term, some insurers may charge a cancellation fee typically around $50. Avoid fees by waiting until your policy is up for renewal before dropping a vehicle.

You can always exclude the car from use temporarily if needed before permanent removal. This prevents mid-policy cancellation costs.

Lapse in Coverage

Gaps in insurance coverage can severely damage your rates for years. Insurers may increase your premium or even refuse to cover you going forward after a lapse.

Always line up replacement insurance before removing a vehicle from your policy to prevent coverage interruption.

Tips for Removing a Car Without Gaps in Coverage

Follow these tips to remove a vehicle smoothly while avoiding coverage gaps:

  • Shop for a new policy before dropping your old one
  • Pick a removal date that overlaps at least 2-3 days with your new insurance
  • Notify the new insurer about the vehicle change so you’re properly covered
  • Don’t cancel until you have the new proof of insurance card in hand
  • Return old insurance cards/documents to avoid confusion on coverage
  • Double check the vehicle removal confirmation paperwork for errors
  • Ask your agent for guidance on avoiding lapses in coverage

Taking things slowly and communicating with both insurers reduces the chance of any gaps between policies.

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Vehicles

Let’s look at some common FAQs on taking a car off your auto insurance policy:

How long does it take to remove a vehicle from a policy?

In most cases, an insurer can remove a car from your policy within 1-3 business days. However, it depends on your specific company’s procedures. Some may be able to remove it immediately while others could take 5-7 days.

Can I get a refund for the unused premium after removing a car?

Possibly, depending on your individual policy and insurer. Some companies will refund any unused premium for the removed vehicle. Others will simply adjust your account balance going forward. Ask your provider about their refund practices.

Does selling a car to a family member allow it to remain insured?

No, the vehicle needs to be removed from your policy once sold, even to a family member. It becomes their property and responsibility to insure after purchasing it from you.

Can I suspend coverage on a vehicle temporarily rather than removing it?

Some insurers allow you to suspend coverage on a vehicle you aren’t using for a period of time, such as when stored for winter. This prevents having to permanently remove it from your policy.

What happens to drivers listed under the removed vehicle – are they still covered?

Drivers listed under a removed vehicle are typically still covered to operate your other insured autos. However, double check with your provider. Teen drivers may need to be formally added under different cars.

If I re-add the vehicle later, will it impact my rates?

Maybe. Insurers often treat new vehicles added mid-term as brand new policies, which could mean higher premiums. Try to only remove cars at renewal time then add any back at the same time to minimize rate impacts.

The Bottom Line

While removing a vehicle from coverage is fairly straightforward, it’s important to go about it carefully to avoid unintended gaps or lapses. Follow our tips above to ensure a smooth transition when taking a car off your auto insurance policy.

The key things to remember are:

  • Only remove vehicles you no longer own or need covered
  • Line up replacement coverage before dropping the old policy
  • Pick a removal date that overlaps with the new insurance
  • Return any old documents/cards to prevent confusion
  • Verify the vehicle was properly removed from the policy
  • Ask both insurers for guidance on avoiding coverage gaps

And be sure to compare rates from multiple providers when shopping for a policy change. This ensures you get the best new coverage at the lowest price.

With the right preparation, you can successfully remove a vehicle from insurance without issue. Just take your time and communicate closely with your insurance company throughout the process.

How to remove a vehicle from your insurance policy


What happens if I remove a vehicle from my insurance policy?

The vehicle won’t be covered if anyone wants to drive it. The vehicle won’t have insurance against nondriving problems like fire, animal damage, vandalism or theft. You’ll have a coverage lapse, which could increase your future rates. Drivers with car loans are typically ineligible.

Can you take a car on and off insurance?

Even if you’re not going to be driving for a while and you want to avoid paying for coverage, you can’t exactly pause your car insurance. However, some companies may allow you to suspend your liability coverage if you’re putting your car in storage — as long as your lender allows it.

How do I remove a car from my Progressive policy?

Log in to your policy anytime to add or remove vehicles or drivers, change addresses, pay bills, and more. Or call us anytime at 1-800-776-4737, and a Progressive insurance representative will assist you. Keep in mind that some changes will affect the price you pay for insurance, so your premium may change.

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