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Christopher Robinson
Christopher Robinson

Parked Car Insurance UPDATED

In almost every state, vehicle owners are required to meet certain auto insurance requirements to drive legally on public roads. However, you may be wondering if you need to purchase car insurance if you seldom drive your vehicle and keep it in the garage most of the time. While a rarely driven car has a significantly lower chance of being involved in an accident, it's still a good idea to insure it. Below is a comprehensive guide to parked car insurance.

parked car insurance

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Maybe you're putting your car in storage while you take an extended vacation or spend the winter in a warmer climate. There are a number of reasons why you might not need to use your car for a time, and why you might consider dropping your car insurance coverage while your car's not in use.

You may realize some short-term savings by not paying a monthly insurance premium for your stored car, but there are drawbacks to canceling a policy. You might want to review your options for reducing your coverage instead.

For one, canceling your coverage creates a gap in your insurance history that may put you in a high-risk category with your insurer. That may mean you have to pay a higher premium when you decide to reinstate your policy down the road.

Without insurance, you'd also be solely responsible for anything that happened to the vehicle during its time in storage. If a tree were to fall on the garage or some other mishap were to take place, you'd likely have to pay out of pocket to repair the car.

Some insurance companies may require your vehicle to be in storage for a minimum number of days before they will approve your request for the reduced coverage (for example, a 30-day minimum). Don't take your car out even for a short ride while the liability coverage on your policy is suspended, because you wouldn't be covered if you had an accident or damaged someone's property while you were driving.

You may wonder if you need insurance for a vehicle that is not in use, even if it's not kept in storage. For instance, suppose you've inherited an extra vehicle or your hobby car is disabled for an extended period of time while you rebuild its inner workings. Even if your car isn't on the road, it may be a good idea to maintain certain coverages on it because mishaps can happen even if your car never leaves the driveway.

For instance, if you don't have comprehensive coverage, you'll need to pay out of pocket for repairs if your car is damaged by hail or a fallen tree. So, even if you suspend other coverages for a car you don't drive, you may want to consider keeping comprehensive coverage. Your insurance agent can explain what coverages you may need or want to consider if you own a vehicle that's not in use.

There's a lot to consider when it comes to insurance for a car that you're not driving. If you decide to reduce your coverage for a vehicle that's in storage, be sure to set a reminder to revert to your former coverage levels when you expect to need the vehicle again.

Insurance providers usually require vehicles to be stored for at least 30 to 60 days to qualify for car storage insurance. Also, if your long-term parking solution is on the street, you probably need to register your car and carry property damage liability insurance.

Comprehensive insurance covers damage from environmental factors, like flood and fires. It will also kick in if your vehicle is stolen or vandalized. Parked car insurance is typically a comprehensive-only policy unless you choose additional types of coverage.

Data scientists at Insurify analyzed more than 40 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partner providers across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Service's database of auto insurance rates. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how companies price their car insurance premiums.

Jennifer Pendell is a personal finance expert. She specializes in breaking down dense subjects to make them easier for consumers to understand, with a particular interest in homeowners, renters, and auto insurance concepts. She studied at the University of Iowa.

Legally, you don't need insurance coverage for a car that's not being driven and is in storage. However, if the vehicle gets stolen, vandalized, or damaged in an accident or weather-related event, you'll be responsible for any resulting expenses if you don't carry insurance. Keeping your vehicle insured, even to a lesser degree, while it's in storage protects your car against threats that go beyond accidents that occur while driving.

Technically, there's no dedicated insurance for a car in storage. The closest thing to vehicle storage insurance is comprehensive car insurance coverage, as it protects your vehicle against the types of damage it could suffer while parked on your property. Suppose a tree crashes through your garage during a windstorm and crushes your car. Without comprehensive coverage, you're out of luck. But with it, you're protected against weather-related damage caused by wind, hail, hurricanes, and fire. You're also protected if your vehicle gets stolen or vandalized.

Some insurers, including Progressive, allow you to keep comprehensive coverage while dropping collision car insurance coverage. However, if you have a car loan or lease, your lienholder will likely require you to keep your comprehensive and collision coverages at all times, even when the vehicle isn't being driven.

Your insurer may allow you to temporarily suspend car insurance coverage for a certain period. Your policy isn't canceled; however, if your car gets stolen or damaged during the suspension period, you'll have to pay for any damage to your vehicle. Note that Progressive doesn't offer this option.

If you're going this route, be sure to cancel the vehicle registration before the insurance coverage to avoid creating a gap in car insurance coverage. You may also be required to turn in your plates and store the vehicle in a locked facility.

You may pay a higher rate for car insurance when you obtain coverage in the future. Before considering these options, think about how long the vehicle will be out of commission. If you plan to repair the vehicle and have it back on the road soon, then it may be better to keep the coverage you already have on it.

Please note: The above is meant as general information to help you understand the different aspects of insurance. Read our editorial standards for Answers content. This information is not an insurance policy, does not refer to any specific insurance policy, and does not modify any provisions, limitations, or exclusions expressly stated in any insurance policy. Descriptions of all coverages and other features are necessarily brief; in order to fully understand the coverages and other features of a specific insurance policy, we encourage you to read the applicable policy and/or speak to an insurance representative. Coverages and other features vary between insurers, vary by state, and are not available in all states. Whether an accident or other loss is covered is subject to the terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in the claim. References to average or typical premiums, amounts of losses, deductibles, costs of coverages/repair, etc., are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. We are not responsible for the content of any third-party sites linked from this page.

Technically, there's no dedicated insurance for a car in storage. The closest thing to vehicle storage insurance is comprehensive car insurance coverage, as it protects your vehicle against the types of damage it could suffer while parked on your property.

If someone has hit your parked car, you should treat it like any other accident. First, don't move your car. If you can locate the person who hit your car, exchange information with them. Then, call the local authorities to file a police report and notify your insurer.

If someone hits your parked car and leaves the scene, the accident could be considered a hit-and-run. This is a crime, and you should contact the police to file a report. The police might also be able to help you identify who hit your car. Reference your policy details or talk to your insurance company to see which coverages you have to protect you against a hit-and-run. Depending on the state, you may need collision or UMPD coverage in order for the damage to be covered.

When someone leaves a note after hitting your parked car, it should include their contact information and insurance company information. Call their insurance company and look for witnesses who may be able to provide additional details.

If you file a claim with your own auto insurance company, you may see a rate increase. Filing a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance generally won't raise your rate since you're not the one who caused the damage. However, some insurance companies will increase your rate any time a claim is filed, regardless of fault, depending on your state. 041b061a72


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