Can I Pause My Car Insurance?

Can I Pause My Car Insurance?

Last Updated: Jun 2024 | Categories: Car Insurance, General, Popular

Can I Pause My Car Insurance? 


Clients often reach out to ask us if they can “pause” or “freeze” their car insurance. This question can come up because of many situations such as financial strain, vehicle breakdown, etc. So, can you hit the pause button on your insurance policy? 


When is Removing Coverage the Best Option?  

Removing coverage from your car insurance may be considered when the vehicle is not being driven for an extended period. For example, if you’re traveling for several months, storing the vehicle for the season, or if it’s broken down, it may make sense to pause coverage temporarily. 

This makes more sense than cancelling your policy for a number of reasons. First of all, cancelling your policy leaves you completely unprotected. If while the vehicle isn’t being driven and there is a fire, theft, or weather event, you’ll be left with a ruined car and no options. Keeping comprehensive coverage on a vehicle when you aren’t driving it helps you in the long run if something happens.  

Plus, if you cancel your policy, you’re creating a gap in your insurance history which may lead to higher prices in the future – new policy set up also often requires a down payment when you’re ready to drive again. 


Suspension of Coverage & Reinstatement of Coverage.

In insurance we use the terms “SEF 16 (Suspension of Coverage)” and “SEF 17 (Reinstatement of Coverage)” to describe changes made to a car insurance policy to create a “pause” and reinstatement of coverage.  

SEF 16 allows you to suspend coverages such as third-party liability, accident benefits, and family protection (usually called “road coverages” or “PLPD”). This leaves comprehensive or specified perils coverage, as well as the ability to drive other vehicles with permission, keeping your insurance history intact as well. 

Sometimes suspending coverage using the above change reduces your monthly premium, and other times, you see a change in the billing only after the coverages are reinstated. Reach out to your Cheep Insurance broker to discuss your options.  


Pausing Coverage vs. Cancelling Policy.

It’s important to differentiate between pausing coverage and canceling your policy. When you pause coverage, your policy remains active, but specific coverages are suspended. This can be better than a cancellation, as it allows you to reinstate coverage seamlessly when needed. On the other hand, canceling your policy terminates all coverages, and you would need to purchase a new policy when you’re ready to drive again. 

Make sure to note that if you suspend coverages using these options, you must let your broker know when you are ready to drive the vehicle again. If you drive the vehicle while this change is in effect, you are considered driving without insurance, as the vehicle does not carry “road coverages”. 


In conclusion, pausing or freezing car insurance can be done through SEF 16 if the vehicle is not in use for an extended period. However, it’s crucial to keep mandatory coverages active and to reinstate full coverage when the vehicle is back on the road. Always consult with your insurance provider to understand the implications and ensure you have the right coverage for your situation.