So you’re thinking of storing your car in a storage facility. You’re looking forward to working with a crew that will truly take care of your car, and all of the other benefits of long-term storage.
To prepare, you’ve checked your tire pressure and engine oil, wiped down the interior, and put a protective coat of wax on the exterior. And then you suddenly have one final question: do you have to insure a car in storage? Or should you cancel your policy, since you won’t be regularly using your car while it’s there?
The short answer is… yes, you should still keep your insurance active.
While you might be eyeing the savings you’d keep by dropping your monthly premium, there are a number of reasons why you should keep it active.
However, you can definitely consider reducing your coverage so that it makes more sense, given that you won’t be driving your car as much (if at all).
The Basics of Parked Car Insurance
Most insurers will offer what is sometimes referred to as “parked car insurance,” which is what you’ll want to ask them about. Essentially, this is when you retain your comprehensive coverage but drop the liability and collision. Since you probably won’t be colliding with anyone while your car is safely in park, this is a low-risk change to your policy.
Comprehensive usually covers things like vandalism, theft, and damage due to the environment (like a tree limb falling on your car)—unfortunate things that might happen if your car is sitting in your driveway, which is another reason why putting your car in storage is so important. For most insurers, a comprehensive policy will still be required even when your car is in storage, just in case.
And of course, if you do plan on driving your car every now and then (or, when you’re ready to take it out of storage), make sure to add your liability and collision coverage back on. Check with your specific insurance company to learn about their policies and procedures when it comes to car storage insurance, as this can vary. For example, some companies might require that your car is in storage for a certain number of days before they’ll approve the change.
How Much Does Parked Car Insurance Cost?
The cost of comprehensive-only coverage will depend on many factors, including your age, gender, driving record, car model, and location. If you have a luxury or classic car, the company might decide it’s a high risk of being stolen, so your premium will be a bit higher.
But one thing is for sure: it will cost less than the full coverage you have now. According to Insurance.com, averages are around $192 per year for comprehensive coverage.
Should I Maintain My Regular Car Insurance While My Car Is Stored, and Why?
So by now it should be clear: if you’re looking for the minimum coverage, as well as the opportunity to save a few bucks, you should look into car storage insurance that just includes comprehensive coverage.
However, is that the right choice for everyone? Not always.
One of the biggest risks you run is that if you forget to switch your coverage before driving, you won’t be protected from things like a hit and run. Here at the Vault, we offer in and out privileges for your car. It can certainly be tempting to grab your vehicle for a leisurely drive, especially with our beautiful San Diego weather these days!
What Is Continuous Insurance Enforcement Legislation?
You may have also heard about Continuous Insurance Enforcement legislation, which allows insurance companies to give discounts to new customers who have had continuous or nearly continuous auto insurance coverage. This bill was on the California ballot back in 2010, but it was narrowly defeated.
Currently, some other states like Texas and New York have similar legislation in place, so we could see this come back to voters’ hands in coming years. If it passes, it’ll be another compelling reason to keep your insurance as is, instead of making changes when you put your car in storage. One thing to note is that the legislation is applicable to new customers as well as existing, so you could switch to a new insurer and still get discounted rates.
What to Know About Car Storage Insurance at the Vault
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about before you move your car into long-term storage! Another thing to know about is the additional insurance policy we have here at the Vault, which is a “Garage Keepers” policy. This covers our clients’ cars in case of an operational incident. However, one of our car storage facility requirements is that you still maintain the comprehensive portion of your policy while your vehicle is stored at The Vault.
Need some help? We also work with preferred insurance brokers who can answer any questions you might have about your policy options while storing your car.
And if you’re ready to store, we’re here for you. Give us a call at 619-333-8898 or fill out our contact form, and one of our team members will reach out to you shortly with more information.