No matter how long you store a vehicle, it’s important to keep it insured. In this way, your car is financially protected in the event of damage. You also avoid penalties for coverage gaps from your state or insurance company.
In this guide, you’ll learn how parking insurance works, when you need it, and how to avoid higher premiums when parking your car long-term. We at the Home Media Reviews team checked that out best car insurance companies, and we recommend two providers that offer auto storage insurance.
What is car storage insurance?
Insurance companies do not offer policies specifically for cars in storage. However, comprehensive coverage that protects your car in most non-moving and non-driving situations can act as vehicle storage insurance. This type of coverage is usually part of a fully comprehensive car insurance policy liability insurance and collision protection.
If you’re storing a car, it’s a good idea to have some form of auto insurance coverage. Even if you don’t actively drive your car, it is still at risk of damage. Dropping coverage makes it harder to pay for repairs your car may need once it’s taken out of storage.
Here are some common problems you may encounter while your car is in storage:
- Natural disasters such as floods, fires and weather events
- Damage to cables or straps caused by rodent activity
- Falling objects such as branches or other objects in a storage facility
A comprehensive insurance The policy will typically cover all of the above damage, making it ideal coverage for cars in long-term storage. If your car is damaged by problems covered by your policy, your insurer will offer a payout to cover repairs up to the actual cash value of your vehicle minus your deductible.
Disadvantages of no liability insurance
If you’re dropping liability insurance to save money to cover an unused car, there are a few downsides you need to be aware of. You cannot park on a public street, so the car must be stored in a garage, driveway or private storage room.
You are also unable to legally drive the car, not even to take it to another storage facility, as you likely do not meet your state’s legal insurance requirements for operating a vehicle. If you need to change your car’s storage location, you’ll need to restore liability insurance to be roadworthy.
What insurance coverage should you have when your car is in storage?
If you need to store your car for an extended period of time, it is best to contact your provider to discuss your insurance options. It may be possible to reduce your insurance coverage to fully comprehensive insurance only. Some insurance companies only offer comprehensive coverage for cars parked for 30 days or more.
However, keep in mind that if your vehicle is leased or financed, your lender will likely still require you to have collision damage waiver.
Car storage insurance costs
There is no standard cost for comprehensive car insurance as insurance providers consider a number of factors to determine rates. These factors include:
- age of the driver
- Make, model and mileage of the vehicle
- The driver’s file, including tickets
- Insurance history such as B. Previous claims
- Creditworthiness of the driver (depending on the state)
- coverage level
Location is also a very important consideration when companies determine insurance costs. Each state has its own minimum coverage requirements. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to get comprehensive insurance. You may need to take out additional insurance, e.g uninsured driver insurance.
According to the latest study on insurance costs from the National Association of Insurance Commissionersdrivers in the United States paid an average annual comprehensive insurance premium of approximately $172 in 2019.
How to avoid damage while a car is in storage
There are precautions you can take to avoid possible damage when storing your car for an extended period of time. These steps can also help you avoid filing a claim and rising insurance premiums.
- Protect your car: When you park your car in a garage, it is protected from the elements. If you don’t have a garage structure available, consider using a weatherproof car cover.
- Wash your car: Baked dirt, bird droppings or water stains can damage your vehicle’s paintwork over time.
- change the oil: Used motor oil contains contaminants that could damage your car’s engine if left unattended.
- Fill the gas tank: This prevents moisture from accumulating in the gas tank and keeps seals from drying out.
- Keep the battery charged or disconnect it: Your battery loses charge over time, so it’s good to start the car and drive it for at least 15 minutes every two weeks. If this is not possible, disconnect the battery to prevent it from draining.
- Do not apply the parking brake: Brake pads and brake discs can fuse together if they are in contact for too long.
- Fully inflate your tires: Keep your tires inflated to avoid flat spots. If your car will be stored for more than 30 days, you should remove the wheels and place the car on jack stands.
You should also cover any entrances to your garage that rodents might enter. To avoid theft, remove your license plates and keep them in your home.
Motor vehicle storage insurance: Conclusion
If you intend to store your car for a long period of time, talk to your insurance agent to see if you can switch to a car insurance policy that better suits the circumstances. Although there is no vehicle storage insurance, comprehensive insurance alone can save you money while your vehicle is in storage.
Our recommendations for car storage insurance
If you want to protect a stored car, we recommend a comparison Car insurance quotes to ensure you get the best prices for your needs. When our team researched the best insurance providers, State Farm and USAA topped our rankings.
State Farm: Editor’s Choice
State Farm is the country’s largest insurance provider. The insurer offers affordable rates, with good drivers typically paying around 14% less than the national average. State Farm also offers discount options like Drive Safe & Save™ and Steer Clear® programs. The company holds one Financial strength rating A++ from AM Best and a Rating A+ from the Better Business Bureau.
Continue reading: State farm insurance review
USAA: Low tariffs for the military
The USAA has built a strong reputation in the insurance industry for what it offers cheap car insurance to its members. The vendor holds one A rating from the BBB and a Financial strength rating A++ by AM Best. However, note that USAA only offers auto insurance to military personnel, veterans, and their families.
In addition to vehicle insurance, USAA offers life insurance, home insurance, and ride-sharing insurance.
Continue reading: USAA Insurance Review
Car Insurance: Frequently Asked Questions
Because consumers rely on us to provide objective and accurate information, we have developed a comprehensive rating system to formulate our ranking of the best auto insurance companies. We collected data on dozens of auto insurance providers to rank the companies based on a variety of ranking factors. The end result was an overall rating for each provider, with the insurers with the most points topping the list.
Here are the factors our reviews take into account:
- Cost (30% of total score): Auto insurance rate estimates and discount opportunities generated by Quadrant Information Services have been included.
- Coverage (30% of total score): Companies that offer a variety of insurance coverage choices are more likely to meet consumer needs.
- Reputation (15% of total score): Our research team considered market share, industry expert reviews, and fiscal year to assign this rating.
- Availability (10% of total score): Auto insurance companies with greater state availability and fewer licensing requirements scored highest in this category.
- Customer Experience (15% of total score): This score is based on the number of complaints reported by NAIC and customer satisfaction ratings reported by JD Power. We also considered the responsiveness, friendliness and helpfulness of each insurance company’s customer service team based on our own buyer analysis.
*Data correct at time of publication.