Insuring a Parked Vehicle: What You Need To Know

If you're looking for parked car insurance, what you probably need is storage coverage. This kind of coverage protects your vehicle while it is parked for an extended period of time and no one is driving it. Most states require car insurance, and storage coverage can help you fulfill the requirement while saving money.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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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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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Dec 24, 2021

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The Highlights

  • While there’s no such thing as parked car insurance, you can purchase storage coverage
  • Some companies will allow you to cancel collision and liability and keep your comprehensive, so that your parked car is safe
  • There are risks involved with reducing your policy to storage coverage, especially if you plan on parking your car on a public street

Each state in the U.S. has laws requiring a minimum amount of insurance for a car to be driven legally on public roads. Generally speaking, minimum coverage is much more affordable than comprehensive or collision coverage.

However, what happens when you rarely use your car? If your car merely sits for weeks on end, you’re probably wondering if parked car insurance exists.

The good news is that you can save money by comparing car insurance options if you don’t use your vehicle very often. Even if you drive very rarely, you should still have insurance on your automobile. If you don’t, you won’t be able to drive without risking serious consequences.

If you have a vehicle that you rarely use and you want to find affordable parked car insurance, shopping around for rates can save you a lot of money. If you want to see what quotes might look like for you, enter your ZIP code into our free tool.

Is there such a thing as parked car insurance?

While parked car insurance might not exist, most companies have something called storage coverage.

Storage coverage is meant for cars that are mostly parked and driven only a few times per year. This coverage skips liability and collision and instead offers comprehensive protection. Storage coverage is meant to protect your vehicle from damage that commonly occurs to parked cars.

That damage includes the following occurrences:

  • Weather
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Natural disasters
  • Fire
  • Floods
  • Animal damage

If you park your car in one place for the vast majority of time, you probably qualify for this insurance. While your rates will decrease by as much as 80%, the best way to save money is to store your car off the street.

This is a great option for cars you rarely drive, vehicles in need of repair, and enlisted military members who have been deployed. Sometimes, you can suspend your coverage if you don’t plan on using your car for a while.

Do you really need insurance on your parked car?

While you might think skipping insurance on a parked car is a good idea, it likely isn’t.

Even if you only occasionally use your car for driving, you need to have your state’s minimum coverage.

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If you’re caught driving without insurance you’ll face consequences, mostly in the form of fees. It varies by state, but some states will suspend your license and registration.

You should also have some sort of coverage to avoid a lapse in your insurance. Having a history of a lapse in coverage is a negative mark against you when you later apply for insurance. It can also leave you with higher rates.

What happens if someone hits your parked car?

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as insurance for hitting a parked car. This is one of the biggest risks of having nothing but storage coverage on your vehicle. If someone hits your parked car and you didn’t have it in a secured location, like a garage, it will be treated like a regular collision claim.

In fact, according to the National Safety Council, accidents with parked cars are a growing concern due to distracted driving.

This means that you’ll have to pay out of pocket for all the damage to your car. One of the requirements for storage coverage is that you keep your vehicle safely out of harm’s way. If your car is hit by someone without insurance, you won’t have any protection.

One of the reasons for this is that storage coverage is meant to be as affordable as possible. You would need collision or underinsured/uninsured insurance to cover damage from an accident, which costs more than storage coverage.

Another reason you’ll be on the hook for the damage is because it’s illegal to park your car on a public street if you don’t meet the minimum requirement for your state.

If someone hits your parked vehicle, and they have insurance, you’ll be able to file a claim with their insurance company.

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How do you buy parked car insurance?

To obtain insurance coverage for your parked car, the best thing you can do is to call your company and ask if they offer that type of plan.

Most companies will have their own regulations concerning a parked vehicle. For example, many companies require that the car remain in storage for 30 days before you can obtain storage coverage.

If you would like storage coverage, try the following steps:

First, you will need a policy with the company in which you’re interested. Most insurance companies will require you to have one vehicle insured at your state’s minimum obligation before they allow a second vehicle to drop below that standard.

Next, you need to own the vehicle outright. Cars that are either leased or financed through a loan require a certain level of insurance protection, and you’ll violate the terms of your agreement if you revert to storage coverage.

Finally, you should cancel your registration. If you drop below the minimum amount of insurance that your state requires, but keep your registration, you might incur a fine.

Parked Car Insurance Companies

Not all companies offer storage coverage, but most of the largest do. If yours doesn’t, consider it an opportunity to shop around for less expensive parked car insurance quotes.

The good news is that most companies offer some form of storage coverage. For example, GEICO parked car insurance is easy to obtain, especially for deployed military members.

USAA parked car insurance is equally as good for deployed military members, especially if their car remains parked on a base.

State Farm parked car insurance requires canceling your collision and liability and keeping only your comprehensive coverage. Progressive offers the same deal for parked vehicle storage.

Of course, you should always check your state requirements. For example, for states like Texas, California, and Florida, parked car insurance regulations vary greatly.

Find Affordable Parked Car Insurance Today

While there might not be such a thing as parked car insurance, you can find storage coverage. Other companies will allow you to cancel everything but your comprehensive coverage to keep your parked car safe.

When you want to see parked car insurance rates, you should shop around for the best prices. If you’re ready to see what prices might look like for you, enter your ZIP code into our free tool.

Are you looking for free insurance quotes?

Your one-stop online insurance guide. Get free quotes now!

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