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Do I have to pay my insurance premium while my car is in the shop after an accident?  

Yes, you still need to pay your car insurance payment while your vehicle is being repaired.

Just because you don’t have use of your vehicle for a few days -- or even a few weeks – doesn’t mean you can drop car insurance coverage on it, which is what would happen if you didn’t keep up with your payments.

Your car insurance company is still insuring your vehicle even during the times it’s not on the road. Car insurance isn’t something you turn on and off when you’re not driving your car.

Whether your vehicle is in the shop being fixed or in your garage for a couple of weeks while you’re out of town on vacation, your car insurance payments need to paid on time to keep your policy valid and your car protected.

For instance, your car could be damaged while sitting in the mechanic’s lot by a hailstorm. By having comprehensive coverage active on the car, the damage would be covered. 

Here are a few other reasons why you shouldn’t drop your car insurance policy while your car is in the shop:

  • Car insurance is required by most states for any registered vehicle. If your car is found without insurance by the state, even for one day, you can be penalized.
  • If the mechanic needs to drive your car to check it out and is pulled over he could be ticketed with driving without insurance if your policy is canceled.
  • If your car is financed or leased, you’re required to keep liability, collision and comprehensive on the car at all times.
  • Having a lapse in car insurance coverage can raise your rates. (See "When you're late on the car insurance bill.")

If choose to not pay your insurance premium to save money, you could actually end up paying more in the long run. Insurance companies like to see continuous coverage in place and can charge higher premiums or refuse to offer you a policy if they see a gap.  A better way to save money is to compare car insurance rates and see if another insurer is offering cheaper rates than what you currently pay.

If you’re in an accident that totals your car, it’s still recommended that you keep your car insurance policy on the vehicle intact until the settlement process is complete.  Then you can take insurance off the car because the car's title should go to the insurer and will no longer be registered in your name.