Car Storage Insurance: What You Need to Know

It’s a good idea to keep your car insured, even if you don’t plan on driving it for an extended period. It may even be required, but you have options that can reduce your bill in the meantime.

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If you’re taking an extended break from driving to explore new opportunities, take care of your family, or even restore your car to its former glory, you might be wondering whether you can cancel your car insurance. After all, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to pay for something you’re not using.

But in most cases, it’s best to think twice before canceling your policy. Depending on your future plans and whether you’re still paying off the vehicle, it’s a good idea to keep some level of coverage — and it may even be required. At a minimum, you may be able to purchase a comprehensive-only policy to protect your car against environmental threats while you aren’t driving it.

In the sections below, we’ll cover everything you need to know about car insurance while your vehicle is in storage — including what coverage you need, what you can drop, and how to save.

Key Takeaways:

  • Most states require you to have a minimum-coverage policy if you plan on keeping your car registration current.
  • Some insurers allow you to purchase a comprehensive-only car insurance policy to protect your vehicle against damage while it’s not being driven.
  • If you’re paying off a car loan or lease, your lender likely requires you to have a full-coverage policy, even if you’re not using it.

What Is Car Storage Insurance?

Red car with car cover

“Car storage insurance” isn’t a specific type of policy, but most people use the term to refer to comprehensive-only coverage. Comprehensive insurance protects your car if it’s damaged while parked. This could include natural disasters — such as wildfires, hurricane flooding, or falling trees — but it could also include vehicle theft or vandalism.

Lenders usually require comprehensive coverage and its counterpart, collision coverage, as a condition of your car loan or lease. Otherwise, these are optional insurance products.

Still, some insurers allow you to purchase comprehensive-only insurance if you meet certain conditions. You may not be eligible until your car has been stored for at least 30 days, for example, and you may be required to keep it in a locked garage.

But having comprehensive-only coverage can also help you avoid a coverage lapse that could raise your rates later.

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Comprehensive Coverage Protects Your Parked Car

Parked-car insurance is essentially the same thing as car storage insurance. It’s comprehensive coverage that can protect your vehicle from damage while it’s parked and not being driven. Some people think that nothing will happen to their vehicle when it’s parked, and while the chances are certainly lower, they aren’t zero. Because of this, you need to protect your car by making sure that you have the right kind of insurance coverage.

As we mentioned above, comprehensive insurance covers parked and stored cars. There’s no actual “parked car” or “car storage” insurance policy or coverage. Comprehensive coverage offers protection from various events and situations when it isn’t being driven, such as when it’s parked or in storage. Some of those instances include:

The last one is kind of tricky — technically, if a moving car hits yours when it’s parked, it falls under the other driver’s property damage liability coverage. But if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run or you have damage to your vehicle, such as a broken mirror or windshield, and you’re not sure how it was caused, your comprehensive insurance will provide coverage to repair the damages.

Does it make sense to drop liability coverage?

You may be tempted to drop liability insurance since you won’t be putting your car into any high-risk situations. But unless you’re prepared to cancel your car registration, you’ll still need to have the minimum liability coverage required by most states.

In fact, if anyone drives your car on public roads at all — even for a simple test-drive — your state requires you to have a minimum amount of liability coverage to satisfy the legal requirements to drive.

When to Use Car Storage Insurance

cars in a parking garage

If you have a paid-off car that you won’t be driving for at least 30 days and intend to drive later, purchasing a vehicle storage insurance policy is worth considering. That’s especially true if you wouldn’t be able to cover the cost of replacing the car on its own, or at least without significantly depleting your savings.

Here are a few cases where storage insurance can be particularly useful:

  • Going to college
  • Restoring a classic car
  • Waiting to sell a vehicle
  • Deploying or working overseas
  • Getting treatment for a long-term illness
  • Holding onto the vehicle to give to someone

The Cost of Car Storage Insurance


The good news is that premiums for comprehensive insurance aren’t that expensive. The average comprehensive policy costs an average of $134 per year, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I). But your exact cost may be different depending on various factors, including things like your:

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Long-Term Storage

white car in car garage

Aside from saving money on car insurance, you can save even more by making sure your car isn’t damaged while it’s stored for an extended period. This advice can help you maintain your car’s good condition:

  • Top off your gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer.
  • Store your car in a secure location, such as a storage unit or a locked garage.
  • Purchase a car cover to protect your vehicle from sun damage and other weather.
  • Thoroughly clean your vehicle to prevent potential damage from pests and mold.
  • Use wheel chocks instead of the parking brake, which can cause damage if set for a long time.
  • Store a bucket of desiccant, such as DampRid, in your vehicle to thwart mold and mildew growth.
  • Use a trickle charger to prevent your battery from dying, which can happen in a few short weeks.

Car Storage Insurance FAQs

Getting set up with the right coverage for your stored car doesn’t require a team of insurance agents. This general information can help:

Can you pause car insurance?

Generally, no — you can only drop certain coverages that you won’t be using or cancel your policy altogether. Keep in mind that if you pause or cancel the minimum auto insurance required by your state, you’ll need to cancel your car registration as well.

Can you just cancel your policy while your car is in storage?

Yes, you can cancel your policy while your car isn’t being driven for an extended period of time. State law often requires you to have a car insurance policy as a condition of your car registration — so canceling one may cause the other to be deactivated as well.

Can you take insurance off your car if you’re not driving it in Florida?

Yes, but the state will require you to surrender your car registration and license plate in person at a motor vehicle service center. Otherwise, they may suspend your license, and you could face heavy fines.


  1. National Association of Insurance Commissioners “NAIC Consumer Shopping Tool for Auto Insurance,” Accessed February 14, 2024.
  2. Insurance Information Institute “Background on: Compulsory Auto/Uninsured Motorists,” Accessed February 14, 2024.
  3. Insurance Information Institute “Insuring your classic car,” Accessed February 14, 2024.
  4. Insurance Information Institute “Nine ways to lower your auto insurance costs,” Accessed February 14, 2024.
  5. Insurance Information Institute “What is covered by collision and comprehensive auto insurance?” Accessed February 14, 2024.
  6. Insurance Information Institute “What determines the price of an auto insurance policy?” Accessed February 14, 2024.
  7. Edmunds “How to Prep Your Car for Long-Term Storage,” Accessed February 14, 2024.
  8. Kelley Blue Book “How To Store a Car Long-Term: Everything You Need To Know,” Accessed February 14, 2024.
  9. Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles “FLORIDA INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS Received a Letter,” Accessed February 14, 2024.
  10. Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles “Florida Insurance Requirements,” Accessed February 14, 2024.

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