Service members are faced with a number of complications during deployment. Although there are a number of emotional stressors to deal with before shipping out, there are also some financial ends you’ll want to tie up to ensure you’re being responsible with your money while you’re away.
One of the most common ways service members mismanage their money during a deployment is paying for services they cannot use while overseas. Whether it’s cell phone services or utilities, you’ll want to pause or cancel these services accordingly.
One of the more complicated services you may want to cancel, pause or reduce is car insurance. Car insurance is a big expenditure generally costing over a hundred dollars per month, so any way to save on that is good for your checkbook. There are three main options for service members preparing for deployment to deal with their car insurance.
Those in tight financial situations may find that cancelling car insurance is the best option to stay financially afloat. However, there are some serious drawbacks to consider before you cancel your car insurance.
The first is higher rates upon your return. When you cancel car insurance, even for a year, you break your length of coverage and you might get stuck with a higher rate. You should also check with your state coverage laws, as some states require vehicles be covered at all times, even in storage or when out of use.
Continuing your coverage is obviously the most expensive of your options. However, continuing your normal coverage is a good option if you have a shared vehicle or someone plans on using the vehicle while you’re away.
This is also a good way to keep your service intact without setbacks, though you may be able to save a little on your insurance while you’re away by decreasing the number of insured drivers by one.
The best option for most people is a suspension or reduction of services in the interest of saving money during deployment. While you may typically pay full coverage on multiple drivers, taking off liability, collision and payments and personal injury protection can shave hundreds off of your insurance payments.
Many insurance companies offer a complimentary suspension service to service members faced with deployment to save money without higher fees. Just be to sure to stay within the minimum legal requirements and start saving today.
Remember that there are pro’s and cons to each of these options so find the one that best fits your lifestyle and needs. Also keep in mind that switching car insurance is one of the many things your attorney in-fact will be able to take care of you while you’re away.
Image courtesy of thedalogs under a Creative Commons license on Flickr.