Stored Vehicles and Car Insurance

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Car insurance may not be required for stored vehicles
  • 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
  • Storing a vehicle securely isn’t cheap

If you want to save money on your 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 may not be required in this case, making it possible for you to save some money.

Many people purchase cars to keep in storage for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is that they purchase a vehicle to fix up and they plan on working on it for a number of years.

Another reason to keep a car in storage rather than driving it is if you have a classic car. 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.

In order for a vehicle to be qualified as a stored vehicle, 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.

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Canceling Your Car Insurance Due to Storage


So, 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 auto insurance authority of your cancellation. The reason they do this is because 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 cancelled 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.

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.

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.

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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.
  • Reduced Mileage 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.

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.

Car Insurance Costs and Storage Costs

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

Storing a vehicle securely isn’t cheap. Add to that the cost of insurance and the amount may simply be too much.

In order to save as much money as possible, you need to shop around for different options.

Enter your zip code to compare car insurance rates for storage vehicles in your area!

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