Updated June 15, 2022
If you’re not driving your car, you won’t cause a car accident with it. Do you really need car insurance for a parked vehicle?
The short answer is yes — damage can occur even if you park your car in a garage or storage facility. Luckily, you can get a special car storage insurance policy that will protect your car if it’s affected by vandalism, theft, weather, or damage from animals. Find coverage limits and insurance premiums for parked cars by doing your own online car insurance comparison.
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Parked car insurance is another name for having only comprehensive insurance.
There are several requirements you must meet to drop liability coverage.
Insurance coverage for cars in storage is very affordable.
What is parked car insurance coverage?
What is parked car insurance?
While there’s no such thing as "parked car insurance", comprehensive insurance coverage may be able to help you financially if your car is hit while parked.
The term “parked car insurance” is simply another name for dropping liability coverage and carrying only comprehensive coverage for a vehicle you’re not driving. This is a popular choice for people who keep cars in long-term storage (such as classic car collectors) and for military personnel deployed for long stretches of time.
The car insurance you need for a parked car depends a lot on how you store it.
Cars in long-term storage
A vehicle in storage for a long time probably doesn’t need more than comprehensive insurance because it’s unlikely to be hit by another car, which means you won’t need collision insurance or uninsured motorist coverage.
Car insurance companies can offer comprehensive-only coverage as a stand-alone policy, but only under certain circumstances. You have to prove you have a second vehicle (a “daily driver”) covered by property damage and bodily injury liability meeting your state’s minimum insurance requirements.
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Cars stored at home
If you park your unused car in your driveway, you probably need more than comprehensive coverage. Your vehicle could still be damaged in a hit-and-run, and comprehensive-only coverage wouldn’t cover that.
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.
Types of insurance coverage
There are three key types of insurance to familiarize yourself with when figuring out how to insure your parked car.
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.
Collision insurance covers damage to your car and is usually for accidents where you’re at fault. It covers the cost of repairing your car.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is for when the other driver is at fault, and either they don’t have insurance or their insurance isn’t enough to cover the cost of repairs. This also covers hit-and-runs in some states.
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What if someone hits my parked car?
Who is at fault if a parked car is damaged? It depends on the circumstances. Usually, the at-fault driver’s insurance would pay, but there are some circumstances where that’s not true.
I hit a parked car
If you hit a parked car, you must try to find the car’s owner or leave a note with your contact information and insurance company so the other driver can file an insurance claim. If you don’t do this, you could be found guilty of a hit-and-run.
Your own insurance should help with repairing the other car in this type of incident. If you have collision coverage, that will help with damage to your car.
Someone hit my parked car
If you know who hit your parked car, their liability insurance should help cover the damage. Stay calm and get their contact and insurance information. If you don’t know who hit your car, your comprehensive coverage or uninsured motorist property damage coverage should kick in.
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Frequently Asked Questions
If you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance, your rates shouldn’t go up. However, if you have to go through your own insurance company or a claim is filed against you by another driver, your premiums will probably go up.
This depends on your state. Most states require insurance for registered cars. However, California allows you to notify the DMV that you’re not driving your vehicle anymore. An affidavit of non-use will allow you to keep a registered vehicle without insurance. But it will be more expensive to insure the vehicle when you bring it out of storage because of the coverage lapse.
Usually, no, because you aren’t the owner yet. Most lenders require full-coverage auto insurance for as long as you’re still paying the loan. If you’re leasing the car and drop your full coverage, the lender may purchase force-placed insurance to cover their interests and add it to the cost of your lease.
You could, but you shouldn’t. Canceling your auto insurance policy creates a gap in your coverage history, which makes you look like a higher-risk customer. Your vehicle also won’t be protected from accidents if you drop your coverage.
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Data scientists at Insurify analyzed over 40 million auto insurance rates 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. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how their car insurance premiums are priced by companies.