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Do You Need Auto Insurance for a Parked Car?

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If you’re putting your vehicle in storage or are just not planning to drive it for a while, you may be wondering whether you need auto insurance for a parked car.

Your reasoning seems logical: “I’m not driving my car anymore. I even removed the license plate. Do I need insurance?” Yes, you do. It’s called parked car insurance, and it can save you and your car should something unforeseen happen. We’ll talk about your options, depending on your circumstances, in this article.

We’ll also identify the best car insurance companies in the industry. Our team of experts has reviewed every major insurance provider to help you find reputable companies with low rates. Enter your zip code above to get free insurance quotes from top providers in your area.

Protecting Your Parked Car With Auto Insurance

Whether you’re working from home, moving to a pedestrian-friendly city or are simply trying to cut down on your monthly expenses, there are many reasons you may stop using your car. However, you’ll still need car insurance coverage for a parked car, even if you’re not driving it. 

Suppose it’s damaged by nature or falls victim to vandalism. Having a car insurance policy can save you from having to pay out of pocket for repairs due to unforeseen circumstances. But, depending on your insurance carrier, you can save up to 30% by choosing car storage coverage for your parked vehicle. 

Typically, damage to parked cars is covered by comprehensive insurance. Collision coverage can also cover damage if another driver hits your parked vehicle. Usually, comprehensive and collision insurance are optional, but if you’re parking a leased car or one that’s being financed by a car loan, it might be required by your lender.

Do You Need Auto Insurance for a Parked Car?

So, what’s the necessary auto insurance for a parked car? It will likely vary based on how you store the vehicle.

If you plan on placing your car in long-term storage for an extended period, a comprehensive-only policy can save you a lot of money. Since your vehicle likely won’t be hit by another car if it’s parked in a storage unit, you won’t need collision insurance or uninsured motorist coverage. Usually, comprehensive-only coverage is offered as a standalone policy as long as a second vehicle (your daily driver) is covered with property damage liability and bodily injury liability coverage. 

If you’re just parking your unused car in your driveway, comprehensive-only coverage will protect it should it become damaged by hail, high winds or other weather calamities. It will also protect you against vandalism or vehicle theft. However, you won’t have any property damage coverage if your vehicle is damaged in a hit-and-run accident.

Before you switch policies, contact your insurance agent to find out any specifics about your provider’s comprehensive-only policies. Typically, you’ll need to keep your vehicle stored for a minimum of 30 to 60 days to qualify for car storage insurance. 

Should You Keep Liability Coverage on a Parked Vehicle?

Whether you can drop liability auto insurance for a parked car will depend on if you have another vehicle you’re using as a daily driver. Many insurers allow you to cancel your liability insurance as long as you can prove you have a working vehicle that you use for your daily commute, running errands and so forth.

In addition, many states require a car to be registered and carry property damage liability insurance if it’s merely parked on a street.

When Can You Drop Your Auto Insurance?

If your car is registered, most states require that it be covered by an auto insurance policy. However, if the car has a full coverage auto insurance policy, you may be able to drop your comprehensive and collision coverage after your car depreciates to a minimal value.

Some states, such as California, allow you to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles that a registered vehicle is no longer being driven and that liability coverage has been canceled. The DMV can give you an affidavit of non-use, which allows you to keep an uninsured vehicle registered. 

However, if you do this, it may be more expensive to insure the vehicle once you bring it out of storage. Plus, without any coverage, any damage will be your responsibility. Given the minimal cost of a comprehensive-only policy, it’s typically not worth the risk.

Tips for Saving Money on Auto Insurance for a Parked Car

Auto insurance rates are highly personalized, and many factors insurers use to determine premiums are personalized, but there are still ways to save money on auto insurance for a parked car.

First, here are the main things that providers look at when setting auto insurance coverage costs:

  • Your age, gender and marital status
  • Where you live
  • Your credit history
  • Your driving record and past insurance claims
  • How often you drive
  • The vehicle you drive
  • The types of coverage you choose
  • The coverage limits and deductible you choose

Of course, you can’t change things like your age or driving history, but many other factors are in your control. For example, you can raise your deductible or buy your homeowners insurance from the same company as your auto insurance and bundle policies. If you own more than one car, ask for a multi-car discount. Also, consider taking a defensive driving course, which can lower your rates. Finally, if you’re a college student, ask for a discount. Insurers typically lower rates for students.

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Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance

If you’re looking for auto insurance for a parked car, one of the best ways to get low rates is to shop around and get several auto insurance quotes. Our research shows that GEICO and USAA provide the best mix of service and customer satisfaction. Keep reading to learn more about these insurers, or enter your ZIP code below to start getting quotes from these and other providers in your area.

GEICO: Most Discount Options

GEICO, the nation’s second-largest insurer, is one of our top insurance providers, earning an overall score of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars from our review team. GEICO is known for its low prices and easy-to-use apps. In addition, the company gives many discounts on insurance, including those for service members and students.

USAA: Best for Military

If you’re in the military, you can get coverage from USAA, which is reserved for service members, veterans and their families. We give the insurer a score of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars for its great industry reputation, low costs and positive customer reviews. Plus, USAA holds an A++ rating from AM Best, which means it has a superior ability to pay out customer claims.


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