There are plenty of reasons why your car may be in storage. Perhaps you’re still social distancing because of COVID-19, or maybe you’re going on vacation for an extended period, or maybe you just don’t drive one of your cars. 

Either way, you may be wondering if you need to maintain car insurance for a vehicle that is not in use, even if it’s not in storage. 

Well, this depends on other aspects of your car insurance policy, like if you have other cars insured or if you’re still making payments on your car. Read on to find out what your car insurance policy options are, based on your circumstances!

Make sure you check out Insurify before buying your car insurance policy. Insurify allows you to compare car insurance quotes from up to 20 different companies, all in one place. That way, you can make sure you get the best policy for the lowest price—within minutes! 

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You’re Better Off Keeping Your Policy Active

It might be tempting to cancel your car insurance policy entirely if you’re going on an extended vacation or leaving the country for a year or so, but that might cost you a lot more in the long run. 

This is because canceling your car insurance policy would count as a coverage lapse, which means your insurance premiums will be through the roof when you start driving again. The average cost of a 60-day lapse in car insurance coverage leads to a 23 percent increase in insurance premiums. It might just be cheaper to keep your policy active than to incur higher premium charges because of a lapse in coverage. 

Additionally, if you’re still making payments on your car, your lienholder may require you to keep a car insurance policy active for that car. 

If you stopped driving because of COVID-19 lockdown measures in your state, or if you’re simply working from home full-time, you can still drastically reduce how much you pay for car insurance each month by opting for a comprehensive-only policy and comparing car insurance prices on Insurify before buying your car insurance policy

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What is car storage insurance?

Most companies call car storage coverage, “comprehensive-only coverage.” 

As the name suggests, this policy only provides comprehensive coverage. Whether you keep your stored car in your own garage, a friend’s garage, or a storage facility, there is still a chance that vandalism, theft, or Acts of God like fire, flood, or hail could cause property damage to your car. In cases such as these, your insurance agency would cover the cost of the damages. 

Since your policy only provides comprehensive insurance coverage, as opposed to liability insurance and collision insurance in addition to comprehensive coverage, you won’t have to pay as much. 

When to Buy Car Storage Insurance

There are many scenarios in which you might want to consider buying comprehensive-only insurance:

  • If you have a hobby car you want to work on for a few months before you drive
  • If you have a sports car or heavy truck you only drive during certain months of the year 
  • If you inherited a car from a family member but don’t drive it 
  • If you have a summer or winter home with separate cars meant only for that location
  • If you stopped driving a certain car because of COVID-19 social distancing measures 

Some car insurance companies may require you to have another traditional auto insurance policy active before purchasing comprehensive-only insurance for a stored vehicle. If that’s the case, you may consider jumping on a friend’s or family member’s car insurance policy and adding your car to their policy. 

If that’s not an option, you could opt for just state-minimum liability insurance without adding any other auto policy add-ons. Make sure you use Insurify to compare auto insurance quotes between different companies, so you don’t end up overpaying!

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How to Become Eligible for Car Storage Insurance

All states, except New Hampshire, require you to have a car insurance policy. The minimum auto insurance coverage you require to legally drive is liability coverage, but this isn’t the case for cars you may have in storage. 

Each state has a different set of requirements regarding what counts as a “stored vehicle.” Some might require you to park it in a specific type of storage facility, while others may require it to be in storage for a designated period of time. Make sure you check in with your state’s DMV before deciding where and for how long you’ll put your car in storage.  

Regardless of what qualifies as a “stored vehicle” in your state, you absolutely must have liability coverage if you decide to resume driving your stored vehicle. Even if you’re just driving your stored vehicle from the storage facility to your home garage, you will still need to reinstate a regular, traditional auto insurance policy with liability coverage

If you get caught driving without liability insurance, even in New Hampshire, you risk having to pay a hefty fine and might even have your license suspended. Needless to say, that will also lead to a substantial rise in your car insurance premium—so make sure you have the right insurance coverage if you decide to drive your stored vehicle

How to Get Cheap Car Insurance for your Stored Car

The best, most effective way for you to find affordable car insurance is to use Insurify. 

Insurify lets you compare car insurance quotes from up to 20 different car insurance companies all in one place. 

Make sure you’re not overspending on car insurance—especially for a car in storage! 

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Updated June 25, 2020

Tanveen Vohra is currently a content writer for Insurify. Tanveen has a background in college media, having produced videos, news articles, and feature pieces for various student magazines and newspapers at SUNY Buffalo. She recently moved to the Boston area, and now works full-time for Insurify, helping produce blog content. In her spare time she frequents climbing gyms and explores film photography.