Stored Vehicles Car Insurance: Insurance on Stored Cars

Stored vehicles car insurance is comprehensive-only coverage for when your vehicle is in storage. Comprehensive insurance on stored cars averages $12/mo or $144/yr. Car insurance for vehicles in storage does not allow you to drive the car legally. You can't pause your car insurance, but you can get parked car insurance.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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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: Jan 25, 2021

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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 counts as stored vehicles’ car insurance), covering non-accident related damage, vandalism, and theft.
  • Every state requires that any registered vehicle maintains an insurance policy.
  • Many insurance companies offer reduced-rate options for vehicle storage insurance, saving you up to $400 a year.

Stored vehicles car insurance can be a cost-effective option. If you want to find cheap car insurance on stored vehicles, you should be aware of the laws in your state regarding vehicle storage. Car insurance on stored cars may not be required in this case, making it possible for you to save money with vehicle storage insurance. 

You may choose to keep your vehicle in storage rather than driving it because it’s considered a classic car, which is eligible for classic car insurance (read our classic auto insurance guide for more information). In many cases, rather than standard storage, you might keep your classic car in a climate-controlled environment or parked in your garage at all times.

For an automobile to be qualified for stored vehicles 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.

Using your ZIP code, start comparing car insurance quotes online right now to find storage insurance for vehicles.

Vehicle Storage Insurance Cost

What is parked car insurance? Generally, this refers to a type of comprehensive-only insurance that covers damages to a 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
StateAverage Annual Car Insurance RatesAverage Monthly Car Insurance Rates
New Hampshire$103.03$8.58
Rhode Island$122.17$10.18
North Carolina$123.00$10.25
New Jersey$123.18$10.26
New York$156.66$13.05
South Carolina$165.38$13.78
New Mexico$166.89$13.90
West Virginia$195.04$16.25
North Dakota$227.64$18.97
South Dakota$228.59$19.04
District of Columbia$230.25$19.18
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Storing a vehicle securely isn’t cheap. Add in the cost of insurance and the amount may simply be too much.

What does comprehensive car insurance cover?

Full coverage car insurance includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. If you plan to drive your car at all, even just around the block, you have to keep liability coverage, which is mandated in every state. Collision insurance helps to repair your own vehicle in the event of a car accident.

Comprehensive insurance is what comes into play for stored vehicle coverage. What does storage insurance cover on a vehicle? 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 or fires impact your vehicle.
  • Theft or vandalism occur.

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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 – 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, you won’t have to pay anything other than the small base amount.
  • Classic car insurance  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.

Canceling Car Insurance for Stored Vehicles

If you decide to cancel your coverage because your vehicle is in storage, car insurance companies will automatically inform your state DMV or other car insurance authority of your cancellation, as they are required to do by law.

You will receive a notice from your DMV or other insurance authority that your coverage 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, 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 and turn in your plates, you are “unregistering” it until the time comes that you want to drive it again.

These laws 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.

If you take this option, your vehicle is uninsured. Homeowners insurance will cover the cost of your property inside your vehicle if it is stolen, but it won’t cover the loss of your vehicle itself. This 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 another provider.

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

Frequently Asked Questions: Stored Vehicles and Car Insurance

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

If you’re going to store 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. 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, as 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. 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 search for storage insurance for cars whether you’re in Michigan, Virginia, or California.

#3 – Does ICBC have storage insurance for cars?

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

#4 – Can you drive a car with storage insurance?

No. Driving a car with only comprehensive coverage is breaking the law, as you also need to meet your state’s liablity insurance requirements to drive on public roads.

#5 – Do you need insurance on a car that doesn’t run?

Yes, you will still need parked car insurance even if your vehicle doesn’t work. Any registered vehicle needs to carry insurance.

If you are ready to start shopping for comprehensive insurance for your stored vehicle, use our free rate comparision tool below.

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