Can I add or remove coverages in the middle of my policy?

You can add or remove coverages from your car insurance policy at any time. If you add coverage, your monthly insurance rates will go up, or you may owe a payment if you originally paid in full. Removing coverage will only result in a refund if you paid in full. Whether you add or remove coverage, you can't backdate the change.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: May 9, 2022

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What You Should Know

  • You can change your auto insurance coverage at any time
  • Changes in your auto insurance rates will appear on your next bill
  • If your rates go down, you will get a refund only if you paid in advance.

There are many reasons you might want to add or remove coverages on your insurance policy. But when can you make changes, and how do they affect what you pay for insurance? Can you add or remove coverage on your policy in the middle of the term, or do you have to wait?

Before you make changes to your policy, we can help you understand the best time to do it, how it might make your insurance more expensive, and why you might not get a refund. We’ll also explain how finding auto insurance quotes online can help you get more coverage for your money.

Before you add or remove coverages from your current policy, see if switching insurance companies will give you a better deal. Enter your ZIP code above to compare free quotes from top auto insurance companies today.

When can I add or remove coverages on my auto insurance policy?

You can make changes to the coverage on your insurance policy at any time. However, it’s important to be sure of the changes you want to make and to find out how much it will cost before you go ahead.

Most insurance companies will be happy to price out the changes for you before you make it final. You can do this over the phone, or you might be able to see the cost difference on the insurance company’s website or app before you complete it. Adding coverage is, not surprisingly, most likely to result in a rate increase.

What are additional coverages you might want to add to your auto policy? You may have decided that you’re not comfortable with the liability-only policy you originally chose and decide to upgrade with comprehensive and collision. Or you might want to add extra benefits like roadside assistance or rental car coverage. And while it’s not an additional coverage type, you might decide to increase your liability limits for better protection.

You may also want to remove coverage from your policy. A common reason to remove coverage from your policy is that you have paid off your car loan and no longer need to carry full coverage. You might want to see the savings right away from that change, and you don’t have to wait until renewal to do it.

However, it’s always recommended that you consider carefully before dropping coverage. Make sure you are aware of the potential financial risk, especially when removing comprehensive and collison coverage, as you will no longer have any coverage if your car is stolen, vandalized, or if you’re at fault in an accident.

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What will it cost to add additional coverage to my policy?

The cost of adding coverage will really depend on what you add, the deductibles you choose, and of course, the usual auto insurance factors like driving record and vehicle model.

When you add additional coverage insurance, rates do go up as a general rule. The insurance company will charge more for the extra protection they’re extending to you.

The extra cost will be added to your policy going forward from the day you add it and won’t be backdated.

That also means that you can’t get backdated auto insurance for the extra coverage. For example, you can’t discover your car has been stolen and then call the insurance company to add comprehensive insurance and have the theft covered. As another example, you can’t increase your property damage limits right after you run into a Mercedes. You must have the coverage already in place for the claim.

You can, however, have that additional coverage for property removed after the accident. As long as it’s in place on the day the incident occurred, you’re covered.

When will I have to pay for the additional coverage?

If you’re on a monthly billing plan, you will likely see the extra cost of the additional coverage show up on your next monthly bill. It will be spread across the remaining monthly bills for the policy term.

If you have already paid for the full policy term, you will likely be billed for the entirety of the extra premium. So, if your insurance was $650 for six months, and the additional coverage added $100 on top of that, you’d be billed for the $100 right away.

Will I get a refund if I remove coverage?

Similar to adding coverage, if you remove coverage, you’ll see a reduced bill on your next monthly installment. However, since the coverage change only affects your rates going forward, you won’t see a refund.

Again, if you did pay for the entire term upfront, you will be owed a refund of the difference.

What are additional coverages vs. coverage extensions?

While you may have heard it, “coverage extensions” is not a term that is commonly used in auto insurance but is rather used in property insurance such as a homeowners policy. It usually refers to the additional areas to which the coverage can be extended. For example, your home insurance coverage may extend to cover outbuildings or even a second home at another location.

Additional coverage can have a lot of different meanings, and it’s again not a term commonly used in auto insurance. However, you can think of additional coverages in auto insurance as anything you choose to buy that’s beyond what you are required by law to carry. This may also be called optional coverage.

In some cases, auto insurance can be extended beyond the car you purchased it to insure. The best example of this is when you rent a car and use your personal insurance to cover it rather than buying insurance from the rental car company.

How and When to Add and Remove Coverages: The Bottom Line

Aside from legal requirements or the rules of your loan, it’s up to you what coverage you want to pay for. You can make changes to your policy, including adding and removing coverage, whenever you like.

If you’re looking to make changes to your coverage, it’s a good time to see what changes you can make to your insurance bill as well. You might even be able to get more coverage for less money when you shop around.

As you look into the cost of adding and removing coverage onto your current policy, compare what that coverage would cost with other companies as well. Enter your ZIP code now to see free quotes from top insurance companies in your area.

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