Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jul 30, 2020

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • Car insurance may not be required for stored vehicles
  • You can get comprehensive-only coverage for your vehicle which covers things like dings from things falling on your car, vandalism, or theft
  • Every state requires that any registered vehicle maintains an insurance policy
  • Many insurance companies offer reduced-rate options for vehicles that aren’t being driven, saving you up to $400 a year
  • Storing a vehicle securely isn’t cheap

Stored vehicles and car insurance go hand in hand. If you want to find cheap car insurance — and who doesn’t — then you should be aware of the laws in your state when it comes to putting your vehicle in storage. Car insurance on stored cars may not be required in this case, making it possible for you to save some money.

Another reason to keep a car in storage rather than driving it is if you have a classic car, which is eligible for classic auto insurance. In many cases, rather than regular storage, you might keep your classic car in a climate-controlled environment or even parked in your garage at all times.

For a vehicle to be qualified for stored vehicle car insurance, it must be kept in a locked facility. You cannot park your car in your yard and claim that you are storing it; this is not considered storing, only parking.

With just your ZIP code, start comparing car insurance quotes online right now for storage insurance for vehicles.

How much is storage insurance on a vehicle?

When making the decision about whether to keep your insurance on a stored vehicle, you also need to consider the cost involved.

What is parked car insurance? Generally, this refers to a type of coverage that is comprehensive-only car insurance and covers accidents that can occur to the vehicle while it’s stored away or parked long-term in a garage. You might not end up in a car accident, but plenty of other things can happen to a parked or stored car.

How much does storage insurance for a car cost? You can see the average comprehensive rates here for the five-year period between 2011 and 2015. This information comes from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Average Annual Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates by State
StatesAverage Comprehensive Car Insurance Rates
New Hampshire$103.03
Rhode Island$122.17
North Carolina$123.00
New Jersey$123.18
New York$156.66
South Carolina$165.38
New Mexico$166.89
West Virginia$195.04
North Dakota$227.64
South Dakota$228.59
District of Columbia$230.25
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Storing a vehicle securely isn’t cheap. Add to that the cost of insurance and the amount may simply be too much.

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What Comprehensive Car Insurance Covers

Full coverage car insurance is a term that has a few types of coverage in it. One is called comprehensive, and that’s what you get when you have stored or parked car insurance.

The Insurance Information Institute has compiled each state’s liability requirements. If you plan to drive your car at all — even just around the block— you have to keep liability coverage. Then there’s collision insurance which can help repair your own vehicle in a car accident.

But you’re here to find out about storage insurance, and comprehensive is what’s important here. Comprehensive covers damage in the event that:

  • A tree limb falls on your vehicle
  • A ladder or tool falls off its hook on the garage and scratches your car
  • Natural disasters and fires
  • Theft
  • Vandalism

This video from Allstate summarizes what comprehensive insurance covers in the video below.

You don’t want to end up with a stolen vehicle that’s just lost without a car insurance policy to help replace it.

Other Insurance Options for Stored Vehicles

Many insurance companies offer particular insurance options at a much-reduced rate for vehicles that aren’t being driven:

  • COMP Insurance – comprehensive coverage designed to provide vehicle coverage against damage while it is stored. It also covers theft of your stored vehicle but does not provide liability insurance, which means you would still have to turn in your tags because you won’t be carrying the state minimum.
  • Low Mileage Car Insurance Coverage – a reduction of what you already have based on a new mileage calculation. Typically, you can save between $200 and $400 a year when choosing this option. In addition, because you won’t be driving, you should also consider dropping your collision insurance if you have it.
  • Pay As You Go Insurance – for when your vehicle is tagged with a tracking device. You only pay a base amount plus a predetermined amount for each mile you drive. If you aren’t driving, then you won’t have to pay anything but the small base amount.
  • Classic car insurance. This allows you to drive occasionally. Your car must qualify as a classic.

You can also choose to purchase storage car insurance, which is usually available through your car insurance company. If not, check with the storage company that you are using, as they often provide this coverage to protect you against theft and damage while your vehicle is being stored.

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Canceling Car Insurance For a Stored Vehicle

Can you pause your car insurance? You’ve decided to cancel your car insurance because your car is in storage. Car insurance companies will automatically inform your state DMV or other car insurance authority of your cancellation. The reason they do this is that they are required to do so by law.

What typically happens is that you will receive a notice from your DMV or other insurance authority that your insurance has been canceled and you have a certain amount of time to provide proof of insurance.

If you live in a state that allows you to cancel your insurance while it is being stored, then you will also be informed that you must turn in your license plates while your vehicle is being stored, or else start a new insurance policy.

Every state requires that any registered vehicle maintains an insurance policy.

But do you need liability insurance on a car in storage? You don’t, but most states require that you take some extra steps with the DMV before you can drop liability coverage.  Once you store your vehicle, by turning in your plates you are “unregistering” it until the time comes that you want to drive it again.

It does vary by state. For instance, the North Carolina Department of Transportation requires that you turn in your license plate before dropping liability coverage. On the other hand, California’s DMV allows you to file your car as Planned Non-Operable before your registration renews. At that point, you are no longer able to drive, tow, or park your car in a public area.

You need to be aware that if you take this option, your vehicle is uninsured. Homeowners insurance will cover the cost of your property inside of your vehicle if it is stolen, but it won’t cover the loss of your vehicle itself.

This consequence is something to consider before you make the decision to completely cancel your insurance. You may want to choose storage insurance for your car with Progressive, Geico, or any number of other car insurers.

Enter your ZIP code to compare rates of car insurance for vehicles in storage in your area.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Stored Vehicles and Car Insurance

We’ve added a few more FAQs below.

#1 – How do I prepare my car for storage?

if you’re going to put your car away for an extended period of time, you’ll want to take some steps to make sure it stays in good condition during that time. This video from Roadshow gives you some tips for storing away a car.

Most importantly, make sure to wash and wax your car before it goes into storage.

#2 – Can you put storage insurance on a car with a loan?

It’s highly unlikely that you can put storage insurance on your vehicle if it’s being financed or leased. That’s because most lenders require that you keep full coverage car insurance for the duration of your loan.

If you don’t keep full coverage, lenders can purchase force-placed car insurance on your behalf. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau notes that this is generally a lot more expensive than if you had just purchased your own policy. And the price may be tacked onto your loan.

In order to save as much money as possible, you need to shop around for different options. You can check around for storage insurance for cars whether you’re in Michigan, Virginia, or California.

#3 – Does ICBC have storage insurance for vehicles?

Yes, they have specialized coverages for off-road vehicles, vehicles in storage, and luxury vehicles.