Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florid...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 7, 2021

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We all understand that car insurance is essential.

But what if you have a vehicle in storage?

Do you need a car storage insurance policy on a motor vehicle you are not using?

Car Storage Insurance Explained

Storage Insurance – Key Takeaways
AutoInsureSavings.orgStorage car insurance is also known as Parked Car Insurance, and GEICO, Allstate, USAA, and many other auto insurers offer Comprehensive-Only Coverage as a Storage Protection Plan.
If you plan to put your vehicle in storage, you do not need to cancel your current car insurance policy. Your car is still at risk of damage or theft while it is in storage.
Having the minimal amount of car insurance coverage on your car while you keep it in storage will prevent you from having a lapse in your coverage that could otherwise show up on your insurance history and affect your future car insurance rates.
It is legal to drop liability insurance on a car that isn't driven or parked on public roads. And if you cancel your registration and turn in your license plates to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
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There are several reasons why you may have your car in a storage facility or garage. 

Whatever your reason may be, it is likely you have questions about or might consider whether you should keep your auto insurance coverage on your car if you are not driving for an extended period of time. 

Why You May Need Car Storage Insurance
You have a classic or hobby car you work on for a few months before you drive it.
You have a sports car or utility truck you only drive during certain months of the year.
You have inherited a vehicle from a family estate or inheritance but don't plan to drive it.
You have a vacation home with an automobile meant only for that location.
You are a military member about to go on deployment.
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Suppose you are already paying auto insurance premiums for the car you drive daily or a second car for a family member.

In that case, it probably seems like a waste of money to pay for an additional car insurance policy for a vehicle that you never use.

But there are some benefits and car insurance options you might consider for your vehicle.

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Why Do I Need Car Insurance for My Car in Storage?

Even if you do not plan to drive your car, there is still a risk that it could be damaged while your car is in storage.

Car insurance can still provide you with auto coverage against theft, vandalism, fire, flooding, or property damage caused by falling objects.

If you decide to cancel your car insurance policy for your stored car, and your vehicle becomes damaged while in storage, it may require you to pay for the repairs out of pocket.

All car insurance policies include similar coverages, but some coverages are optional, and some are required by state law.

While you may not feel you need personal injury protection or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, it is a good idea to keep comprehensive coverage while your car is in storage.

Comprehensive-Only Car Insurance Protects Against
Damage from animals
Damage caused by weather
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Comprehensive coverage will cover the cost of any vehicle damage that occurs while you are not driving it.

You may require an auto insurance policy on your stored car if you are still paying off the loan on it, however.

Your lienholder might require you to keep car insurance on that vehicle until your loan is paid off, even if you do not plan on driving it for a while.

What Kind of Insurance Do I Need for a Car in Storage?

You will need comprehensive insurance.

While you have your automobile in storage, you want to make sure to protect it against theft or damage caused by fire, flood, vandalism, falling objects, or any other type of damage that could occur while your car is parked.

It is a common misconception that if your car is damaged in your garage, it will be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. But that is not true.

Instead, it would help if you made sure to have comprehensive coverage to pay for damages to the vehicle in most cases.

What is Storage Insurance?

Truth be told…There isn’t a coverage known as car storage insurance.

That is just a term used in the industry to describe the minimal amount of car insurance coverage people take out for their stored cars.

Another unofficial name for it is called parked car insurance. Again, not a real coverage name.

Because you are no longer driving your car, you do not need certain forms of car insurance that you would need if you had your car on the road.

Most car insurance providers will give you the option to drop certain car insurance types such as bodily injury and only take out comprehensive only coverage. 

Insurance CompanyComprehensive Insurance Cost*
GEICO Insurance$187
Allstate Insurance$198
State Farm Insurance$211
Liberty Mutual Insurance$234
Progressive Insurance$229
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*Cost of a comprehensive car insurance policy with a $500 deductible. Your results will vary by zip code when you get car insurance quotes.

That will enable you to continue to protect your car from damage or theft, even if it is in storage.

If you cannot drop liability insurance or uninsured motorist coverage, you may still reduce that coverage down to the minimum amount with many car insurance providers.

How Does Storage or Comprehensive Coverage Work?

When you know you will not have your car on the road for an extended period, you might consider speaking with your insurance agent about car insurance policy options.

You may be leaving home for several weeks or months, going on vacation, or visiting relatives in another state.

While you may not want to pay the full amount for your car insurance coverage during this time, you do not want to endure a lapse in your insurance history.

Keep in mind; you also don’t want to leave your car unprotected from damages while it is not in use.

Car insurance policy before and after a lapse by price with Progressive, Liberty Mutual, GEICO, and Allstate Insurance.Illustration of auto insurance quotes with continuous coverage and with a lapse. Canceling your auto insurance creates a lapse and puts most drivers in a high-risk category with car insurance companies, resulting in higher premiums. Your results will vary when you get car insurance quotes.

Storage or comprehensive insurance can help you avoid any lapse in coverage as you continue to protect your car from any damages it may endure.

It is possible you could reduce the amount of car insurance you currently have on your vehicle by eliminating unnecessary options like uninsured motorist, liability, and collision.

When to Buy Storage Insurance For Your Vehicle

There are several instances where you may require to switch to storage or Comprehensive Only insurance.

Many car owners put their vehicles in storage if they own multiple cars.

Some will do so if they own a sports car they do not want to drive during winter months or an antique vehicle that is too valuable to have out in the sun or rain for a long period of time. 

If you have a car you are considering selling and want to protect it from possible damage. You may want to keep it in storage until you find the right buyer.

It is essential to contact your agent or car insurance provider when you decide to place your vehicle in storage and choose to reinstate coverage.

Even if you are only taking the car out for a quick drive around the block, you should contact your agent before doing so.

You do not want to end up getting involved in a severe crash with no auto insurance coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Do I Prepare a Car for Long-Term Storage

It would be best if you did several things to protect your car while it is in storage. Here are a few tips for storing your car safely.

— Keep it covered. Storing your car inside a garage is the best way to keep it safe, but if that’s not possible, you can also use a weatherproof car cover or consider renting a public storage unit.

— Change the oil. If you are storing your car for more than 30 days, you should consider getting the oil changed. That’s because used engine oil contains contaminants that can cause damage to your engine.

— Fill up the tank. Another tip for long-term storage. Add a fuel stabilizer and topping off your tank will prevent moisture from accumulating inside and keep your seals from drying out.

— Do not use the parking brake. If your brake pads are in contact with the rotors for too long, they could fuse. Instead of using the parking brake, consider buying a tire stopper to prevent the car from moving.

What Happens if You Drop Full Coverage Insurance on a Financed Car?

If you decide to drop comprehensive and collision insurance on a car you still owe money on; it is considered a violation of your finance contract.

This action could cause serious issues with your loan. The lender may be able to place single interest coverage, also known as force-placed insurance, on your car and add that insurance premium to your loan amount.

It is best to speak with your auto lender before you drop any car insurance on your stored car to determine the consequences.

Do I Need to Follow the State’s Minimum Insurance Coverage When Getting Vehicle Storage Insurance?

When you have your car in storage, it is not required that you follow your state’s minimum insurance requirements.

You are allowed not to have liability coverage on your vehicle as long as the car is not parked on a public road or driven, and if you cancel the registration and turn in your license plates.

Can you Keep an Uninsured Car in Your Driveway?

It might be possible to keep your car parked in your driveway and not your garage until you obtain insurance coverage, or it may be illegal, insurance wise.

Depends on the laws in your state. Although the insurance law varies from one state to the next, there shouldn’t be any problem if you own the land.

However, if you are renting the land, you will need to have permission from your landlord.

My Car is in Storage Can I Temporarily Suspend My Car Insurance?

Yes, you can temporarily suspend your car insurance.

Remember that you will need to add yourself back to the auto policy when you start to drive the car once again.

Failure to add yourself or the car back on your car insurance policy could result in denial of any future car insurance claims.

While it is rare to suspend car insurance temporarily, it can provide you with a financial benefit if you place your car in storage for an extended period.

To learn more about needing car insurance coverage if your car is in storage, contact the insurance agents at AutoInsureSavings.org.

Or make sure to enter your zip code for free car insurance quotes.  

Our licensed professionals will be happy to answer any questions you have.

References & External Links


Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.