Everything You Need to Know About Storage Insurance For a Car

April 11, 2024

The importance of car insurance is hard to overstate: millions of road traffic incidents occur every year, so it’s only natural you’d like to protect yourself while driving.

But what if your car sits parked for a while or in a garage for a long time?

For such cases, you can use stored car insurance, also known as storage auto insurance or storage insurance for a car.

Read on to learn the features and benefits of storage auto insurance and whether you have decent alternatives to this coverage.

Storage Insurance for a Car: Definition, Features

Many car owners think that if they don’t use their vehicle for a long time, they can cancel or not purchase insurance at all. Even if you don’t plan to drive the car, there is always a risk of damage, not to mention that auto insurance is mandatory in most states.

For example, if a car is parked in an open lot, strong winds can break branches from nearby trees and fall onto the roof, hood, or windshield. And if the car is stored in a garage, mice can gnaw wires, hoses, etc. Therefore, it is very important to have an insurance policy that covers all possible risks.

A car insurance storage policy is a policy that provides full coverage for your car during its idle period.

Insurance for cars in storage provides financial compensation for various non-collision risks, namely:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Damage from natural disasters, rodents, etc.

Policies from different insurers may have their own limitations and exclusions, so it is important to carefully study the documents and ask questions if you need clarification on anything.

Familiarize yourself with the deductible amount to ensure that you can cover losses out of your pocket if needed. Since there is no other party to hold responsible, you will have to pay the deductible before repairs or insurance compensation begins.

Why You Shouldn’t Forego Insurance for a Stored Car?

The risk of damage is not the only reason why you should not neglect insurance for a car in storage.

The absence of storage auto insurance has the following consequences:

Inability to drive legallyEven if you simply need to relocate the car to another spot without car parking insurance, you are violating the law on mandatory insurance. To change the parking location of the vehicle on legal grounds, you will have to reinstate the canceled insurance coverage or obtain a new one if you didn’t have it before.
Increased premiumsA gap forms in your insurance history when you cancel a policy before its expiration. As a result, the company may categorize you as a high-risk driver. Consequently, when reinstating the policy in the future, you may face higher insurance premiums.

While not using the car and not having parking coverage can reduce expenses, you will encounter numerous problems increasing your spending. Therefore, we strongly recommend purchasing storage auto insurance.

Car Storage Insurance Cost

In 2024, full coverage car insurance for an owner will cost an average of $2,545 per year, while minimum coverage will cost $740.

how much is parked car insurance

Source: marketwatch

The cost of storage car insurance is individual and varies depending on several factors:

Driver’s AgeYoung people, due to insufficient driving experience, are more likely to be involved in accidents and are often at fault. For drivers in their 20s, car storage insurance is usually two times more expensive than those aged 30-65.
GenderMen are more likely to be involved in accidents than women, as they are more prone to risky behavior behind the wheel. Insurers consider this statistic and may charge a higher amount for insurance for a parked car.
StateWhen determining the cost of parked car insurance, insurance companies consider the crime rate and the number of thefts and accidents on the roads in the driver’s state. For example, parked car insurance in Vermont will cost 47% less than the national average. The highest prices are in Florida – 56% above the national average.
Make and ModelThere are accident and theft statistics that determine the most “risky” cars. For instance, HONDA or BMW will be more expensive because they are known for fast driving and high accident rates.
DeductibleThe deductible is the amount the policyholder covers out of pocket in the event of a claim. The higher the deductible, the lower the car insurance storage premium, and vice versa.

Alternatives to Storage Coverage Auto Insurance

  • Temporary policy suspension: Some insurers may allow you to temporarily suspend your insurance policy without canceling it. However, if your car is stolen or damaged during this period, you will have to cover the damage out of pocket.
  • Lowering coverage to the minimum: You can reduce the amount of coverage to the allowed minimum if you tolerate associated risks or cannot afford more expensive coverage.
  • Complete insurance waiver: You can waive insurance coverage completely if you won’t move the car at all. This is extremely risky, though, as your car will not be protected from theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and other possible incidents.

That said, purchasing storage auto insurance usually remains the best choice.

How to Choose a Storage Auto Insurance Company

License availabilityWhen checking licenses, pay attention to three factors: the license type, the date of issue, and the expiration date
RatingsStudy insurance company ratings, including solvency ratings, on reputable sources
ExperienceRely on well-known companies with a track record of at least 15–20 years in the market
Customer reviewsListening to people who have already dealt with insurance services makes sense. Regarding review websites, if possible, contact those who left reviews (especially if the review contains factual information rather than just emotions) and try to find out the details.

Last but not least, check whether storage insurance cost with the insurance company in question makes sense. You need cost-effective coverage for the time your car isn’t used.

How To Prepare a Car for Extended Storage

Step 1 – Choose the Right Storage Location

Leaving a car on the street for long is obviously risky. However, if you have no other option, make sure the area is well-lit, has surveillance cameras around, and is away from driveways, road turns, and other risky zones.

For long-term storage, the best options are a heater garage or a covered, guarded parking lot. In this case, storage auto insurance might only become a pleasant addition to the peace of mind you’ll already have.

Step 2 – Remove All Unnecessary Items From the Car

For safety reasons, especially if the car is stored outdoors, remove all removable valuables: money, documents, radar detectors, dash cameras, stereos, child seats, etc. If you live in an unsafe area, you may even want to take out windshield wipers, external antennas, etc.

Step 3 – Fill Up the Gas Tank

A full tank will protect the car from condensation that might otherwise form on the tank’s walls and drain to the bottom of the tank. However, if the car is old, make sure there’s no fuel leakage.

Step 4 – Check Tire Pressure and Charge the Battery

Tires gradually lose air, so inflate them before leaving the car in storage. Likewise, ensure the car’s battery is charged so the alarm will work in case of a theft attempt.

Step 5 – Leave the Car in Gear

During long-term storage, it is better not to leave the car on the parking brake; the springs will stretch, and the brake pads may “stick” to the discs or drums.

    • With a manual transmission, you can leave the car in first gear
    • With an automatic transmission, you can leave it in the P (parking) mode

It is also important to wash the car well, as dirt is harmful to the paintwork of the body, plus corrosion can develop underneath it. For additional protection against dust and moisture, apply wax to the car’s body surface.

Willing to connect to the best auto insurance companies in your location?

Get your instant quote now, or email us at contact@coverexplore.com to learn more about how to choose your best auto insurance, including storage coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is storage insurance for a car?

Storage insurance for a car is auto coverage designed for vehicles that have not been used for a long time. This coverage protects against risks that can damage a parked or garage-stored vehicle.

What does storage insurance cover on a vehicle?

Insurance for stored cars covers risks unrelated to collisions: theft, fire, flooding, hail, hurricanes, falling objects, etc.

How much is storage insurance for a car?

The insurance cost will vary depending on your age, gender, driving experience, state of residence, car make, etc.

Can you have storage insurance on a financed car?

Yes, you can have storage insurance on a financed car. This is a fairly common practice in the United States. You must coordinate all the nuances with your insurance company and lender.

Are there alternatives to insurance for parked cars?

Alternatively to buying storage auto insurance, you can temporarily suspend your existing policy or lower your coverage to the minimum. Another option (the least advisable) is to waive your auto insurance.

Victoria Berezhetska

Victoria Berezhetska is a Content Lead at Phonexa.com and an expert contributor to CoverExplore. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with extensive working experience as a PR specialist and content writer. At CoverExplore, she helps customers find the right educational material through easily digestible blog posts and buying guides backing their insurance coverage choice. Victoria covers diverse topics around digital and insurance marketing, including auto, home, health, and life insurance.

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