Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • You can purchase a single auto insurance policy and insure multiple vehicles on the same plan
  • If you have several cars on a single policy, you need to contact your agent when you want to remove a car
  • Getting a car that you sold off of your insurance is as easy as asking the agent to make the change
  • If you sold the vehicle weeks ago, you may have to provide proof of sale to backdate the change on your policy
  • When you total a vehicle and file a claim for the damages, the claims agent will tell you when to remove the car

Car insurance is one of the many things you don’t learn about in high school that you should probably take the time to research. As long as you plan on applying for a driver’s license and purchasing a car of your own, you’ll have to buy at least basic coverage.

When you don’t know how your coverage works or how to update your policy, completing even the smallest transaction can be intimidating.

Managing your insurance would be very difficult if you had to buy individual auto insurance policies for every car that you owned.

You can easily compare car insurance quotes to help you narrow down the companies to the ones that offer you the best deal. Enter your zip code above to begin.

Thankfully, a lot of insurance companies sell policies that protect all different types of private passenger cars under a single policy number. If you have a multi-car policy, here’s how you get a car off of your insurance:

Do you have a multi-car policy?

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Some insurance companies sell single-car policies and others sell multi-car policies. You can have several single-car policies with the same carrier, but your insurance is structured differently when you have all of those cars insured under the same multi-car plan.

One of the biggest differences is that under a multi-car plan, every car on the plan has the same policy number.

Having a single policy number is beneficial for you when you’re organizing your records. It’s also beneficial because all of the cars on the plan will fall under the same term.

You don’t have a different expiration date for every car because the premiums are pro-rated whenever a car is added or removed from the policy. Look at your declarations page to see if it lists a single car or all of your cars.

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Are you the named insured on the policy?

You’re free to cancel your insurance at any time regardless of the type of auto insurance policy that you carry.

It doesn’t matter if you have days left on your term or you have months left on it, it’s your right to cancel your insurance policy during the term as long as you’re a named insured on the plan.

A named insured is more than just an insured driver. The named insured is the person who takes out insurance, the person who legally owns the property being insured, and the person who is legally obligated to comply with the terms of the contract.

As long as you are a named insured or policyholder, you can change your policy or even cancel it if you submit a request in writing.

When can you get a car off of your insurance?

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Technically, you’re allowed to remove a car from your insurance at any time and for any reason. You could be tired of paying the premiums or you could simply not own the car anymore, it’s up to you what type of changes you’d like to make to your policy.

Even though you’re free to choose, it’s best that you avoid canceling your coverage if you don’t have coverage elsewhere and you need it.

It’s not typically for an experienced car insurance consumer to cancel their coverage off of a car of theirs for no reason. There are a few main scenarios where it makes a lot of sense to endorse an insurance policy by removing a vehicle. Here are a few acceptable reasons:

  • You have sold the vehicle
  • You have signed over ownership to a friend or family member who is now insuring it in their name
  • The car was totaled in a loss and you have signed it over to the insurance company
  • You decided to insure the car with another carrier for better rates
  • You have registered the vehicle out of state
  • The car is in storage and you don’t need physical damage protection

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What to Keep in Mind before Removing a Car

If you don’t time your policy changes just right, you could be fined for the DMV for canceling coverage on a registered car. All states have some sort of mandatory insurance requirements in place.

Failing to comply with those requirements, even if it’s just for a few days, could be a decision that costs you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Here’s what you need to keep in mind before you process a change:

  • Make sure to turn your plates into to the DMV if you suspend your plates and put the car in storage
  • Be sure that you sign a release of liability to place the burden of insuring the car on the new owner if you sell of gift your vehicle
  • Cancel your car insurance effective the day after your new policy if you buy insurance with a new carrier
  • Don’t take your car off of your policy after a claim until you get the green light from your adjuster
  • Don’t take insurance off of your vehicle in the old state until you register the vehicle in your new state

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What do you have to do to remove a car from your policy?

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As long as you keep all of the above considerations in mind before you make a change to your policy getting the car off of your insurance should be quick and easy.

Since you’re not canceling the policy altogether, you can probably make the change by phone. Tell your agent the effective date, and the car should be removed.

The only complication that can arise when you’re changing your insurance is if you need to backdate the cancellation. That will require a bill of sale or proof of insurance elsewhere.

The bill of sale is needed when you sell your car and when you purchased insurance in your name with another carrier you’ll need to show proof of that effective date.

Changing your policy isn’t too difficult. With some carriers, you can even make the changes on your own if you can access your policy online.

Once your policy is up-to-date, make sure you’re paying a fair rate by getting several different online quotes at once. Enter your zip code below to compare today.

References:

  1. https://www.thebalance.com/how-do-i-get-a-multi-car-discount-527538
  2. https://www.irmi.com/online/insurance-glossary/terms/b/backdated-liability-insurance.aspx
  3. http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/01-auto/auto101.cfm
  4. http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/auto/auto1209.htm
  5. http://www.rmiia.org/auto/steering_through_your_auto_policy/Glossary_of_Auto_Terms.asp
  6. http://www.helpinsure.com/auto/autoglossary.html
  7. https://www.thebalance.com/can-i-cancel-car-insurance-anytime-527400
  8. https://www.thebalance.com/what-to-do-after-a-total-loss-auto-accident-527138
  9. https://www.thebalance.com/penalties-for-driving-without-insurance-in-south-carolina-527506
  10. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/forms/reg/reg135