Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • When you have a vehicle that is not being driven, you may believe that car insurance is not required
  • However, your vehicle is still at risk of being damaged, vandalized, or stolen, even when it’s parked and unused
  • If your vehicle is being stored or not being driven, you may want to get storage coverage
  • Storage coverage is a car insurance policy designed to protect cars that are not being driven
  • This type of coverage does not qualify as minimum levels of coverage that many states require before you can operate a car on the road

When you decide that a vehicle will not be driven for a length of time, you may think that you no longer need car insurance coverage on that vehicle.

However, it’s often a better choice to protect your vehicle with coverage designed for cars that are not being driven; storage coverage is a policy type designed for these situations.

Even when stored off the road, your vehicle is still exposed to risks from weather, vandalism, and theft; storage coverage can help protect you from these loses.

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What Storage Coverage Normally Provides

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It’s important to understand what storage coverage provides for your car and, more importantly, what it does not provide before you purchase it.

Storage coverage is normally a car insurance policy composed primarily of comprehensive coverage, which is a policy option that helps to protect you from losses that are not related to a collision.

Storage coverage usually applies to losses that happen when your vehicle is being stored or not driven, so anytime your vehicle is being driven, storage coverage will not apply.

Storage coverage will help you recover from losses that occur from the following:

  • weather-related incidents
  • vandalism
  • theft

If you live in a location prone to theft or acts of vandalism, you may want to speak to the insurance provider about the costs associated with this coverage.

If you plan to take your vehicle between storage and active use states often, you may want to see if there is another option available to meet your needs.

If you drive your vehicle while only carrying storage coverage, you may not be covered for any losses that occur.

Additionally, in most states it is mandatory that you carry minimum levels of insurance; you could face legal repercussions for not having the right coverage before operating your car again.

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Coverage For Vehicles Not Being Driven

While purchasing car insurance coverage for a vehicle that is not being driven may be a smart choice, there are times it may not be right for your needs.

It’s crucial that you look at your coverage needs, taking into account several different factors before you make your final decision. These factors include:

  • Car’s value
  • Length of non-use
  • Deductible amount

Your vehicle’s current value or future value should always be reviewed before making your coverage choices.

Depending on your vehicle’s value, your replacement costs associated with a loss could be very high. Insurance carriers also look at your vehicle’s current value when determining whether to repair or replace your vehicle.

When looking at your vehicle’s value, remember to be objective in your assessment.

Many insurance providers look at different sources and statistics to determine a vehicle’s worth, meaning they may make a different determination about the value compared to what you may come up with.

Another factor to consider is the length of time you plan for your vehicle to not be driven. If you plan to keep your car off the road for a short amount of time, then changing your policy may not be the best choice.

However, if your vehicle will be unused for a longer period, such as during an extended vacation for months at a time, then storage coverage may be your best choice.

You also need to take the insurance deductible into consideration before you come to a final decision. The deductible is a predetermined amount of any claimed loss that you will be responsible for.

The deductible normally applies to comprehensive coverage claims, which means that your storage coverage policy may also carry a deductible.

Remember to choose a deductible amount that you can manage in the event of a loss. Every insurance carrier is different, but some common deductible amounts are:

  • $250
  • $500
  • $1000

The deductible may be required up front before the loss is covered, or it may be deducted from your claim settlement before closing out your claim.

Before making any final decisions, speak to your insurance carrier about your unique situation and the options available to you.

If you find your current provider is unable to meet your coverage needs or provide you a deductible you can manage, you may want to consider looking at alternatives, such as another insurance carrier.

Conclusion

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Maintaining active coverage on your vehicle, even when it is not being driven, is often a good decision. Finding the right coverage to protect your car is important as there are still ways your car may be damaged when it is parked and not being driven.

Purchasing storage coverage provides coverage for your vehicle when it is not being driven. Normally this coverage is appropriate if your vehicle is stored in one of the following places:

  • a garage
  • a storage facility
  • someplace off the road

It’s important to look at your coverage options regardless of which vehicle you own; age, value, and current condition may all be factors in determining what coverage you purchase.

Your current insurance provider, if you have one, should be able to discuss options with you. However, you may want to consider other carriers as well, since each carrier offers different options at different prices.

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