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Question

Can I avoid paying for insurance for my car while I am away for active duty military leave?

The car is owned by my father (because he has good credit) and I’m the co-signer. We took out a loan and are required to have full coverage no matter what, but if the vehicle isn’t being driven and it’s off the road does it really matter? I’ve already talked to my dad’s insurance and they said the only thing they can do is take me off the policy (currently listed as a temporary driver to the vehicle ). They are still going to put my dad as the primary driver for the car, and they said we have to keep full coverage on it. My dad isn’t going to drive the car at all, and he said he’s not going to pay for the insurance cost every month. Im already going to be making payments on a car while I’m away, and I don’t want to pay for insurance if I’m not even driving it. Any advice?

Agent Answer

Neil Richardson

The reason banks require comprehensive and collision coverage on a vehicle in storage is because it could be damaged by a fire or a collapse of the building in which it is stored. In addition to the bank, Massachusetts requires any vehicle registered in the state to also be insured. If you took the vehicle off of your father’s policy you would have to return your license plates/tags to the state until you re-insure it. It’s possible that getting yourself removed from the policy and paying your father for the vehicle’s portion of the insurance premium while you’re deployed would be the least expensive option. However, there are two other options I would recommend looking into.

First, I would contact USAA and get a quote for your vehicle. They offer accommodations for deployed service members who are insuring a financed vehicle with them. The second option would be to contact a local insurance agent in your area and inquire about a physical damage only car insurance policy. This type of policy only covers the vehicle against damage, which is what your bank requires, but does not provide any state required coverage. If you go this route then you will be required to return your plates and registration tags to the state.
Unfortunately you won’t be able to completely avoid insurance costs, and there is no way to tell which of the three options will be the lowest until you get quotes. Call USAA for a quote, call a local agent about physical damage only insurance, and have your dad contact his insurance company to find out what your vehicle would cost to insure if you were removed from the policy. This will help you determine which option makes the most sense for your situation.

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