October 3, 2009

Deploying Overseas: Check Your Auto Insurance Coverage Before Setting Sail

Industry experts advise that, before deploying overseas or engaging in training, members of the military check into their auto insurance policies to ensure they hold the proper amount of coverage. Many military workers can save money and pay lower premiums while overseas. However, this is only if they actively contact their insurance company to discuss the auto insurance coverage they or their family will need while they are gone.

Military personnel may be able to save money on their auto insurance policies by opting to suspend coverage for the months that they’re abroad. All major insurance companies have plans to offer limited or suspended coverage to service members. It is also possible to simply opt out of certain coverage while away. . It’s often recommended to drop collision coverage, liability, medical payment coverage, personal injury coverage, and uninsured motorist coverage while in training or abroad. This is an especially wise choice if nobody will be driving the insured vehicle during the time of deployment. There’s no sense in paying for coverage that won’t be used. Limiting coverage can also potentially save hundreds of dollars for military personnel.

If a service person has family in the United States that will be using the insured vehicle, auto insurance coverage can be a bit more complex. Different plans offer different protections for military families. In this case, it’s not a great idea to cancel or suspend active coverage on a vehicle that might be in use. If coverage is suspended, any accident that occurs while a service person is overseas could result in disastrous costs, including possible fines and legal ramifications for a family member driving an uninsured vehicle. Speaking directly with an insurance agent is the best way to avoid these types of situations while still finding ways to lower car premiums. Members of the military should contact their auto insurance agents to discuss possible changes to their own coverage, and ensure their families’ coverage is kept intact. Most major auto insurance companies also offer discounts or extended coverage for members of the military.

The bottom line is that military members need to review coverage before any sort of training or overseas employment. Otherwise, they’re potentially paying far too much for car insurance and may be neglecting the coverage that his or her family needs. Given the state of the current economy, it may also be advisable for members of the military to do some price checking, making sure to take into account any military discounts offered by the auto insurance company. Even a small amount of research could potentially save thousands of dollars over the lifespan of an auto insurance policy.