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rental car damage and liability insurance

What is car storage policy?

Car storage policy, also known as car storage insurance, provides comprehensive coverage for a vehicle that will not be driven for an extended period of time. It is a way to reduce your car insurance costs while still maintaining minimum liability insurance and avoiding a coverage lapse.

Key features of car storage policy:

  • Only covers damage from non-driving incidents like weather, vandalism, etc.
  • Typically does not include collision coverage or liability coverage
  • Much lower insurance rates compared to regular car insurance
  • Allows you to keep insurance history intact during storage period

With proper preparation, car storage policy can be an affordable way to insure your vehicle when it is not in use.

Keep your comprehensive car insurance while storing your car for a long period of time

Types of Car Insurance Coverage

There are several main types of car insurance coverage to understand when considering car storage policy:

Comprehensive Coverage

This covers damage to your vehicle that is not caused by a collision, including:

  • Weather events like hail, floods, wind damage
  • Fire
  • Vandalism or riots
  • Falling objects
  • Theft or larceny
  • Animal collisions
  • Explosions

Comprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle if any of these incidents occur. It is the minimum coverage recommended for a stored vehicle.

Comprehensive-Only Coverage

This is a specialized type of policy that includes comprehensive coverage only. Liability coverage and collision coverage are dropped.

Comprehensive-only coverage provides protection for your stored vehicle against non-driving damage risks. It does not cover any incidents that occur when driving the vehicle.

Liability Coverage

This coverage pays for damage you cause to others if you are deemed responsible in an accident. It includes:

  • Bodily injury liability - covers medical bills for injured parties
  • Property damage liability - covers repairs to the other vehicle or property

Most states require minimum liability coverage even on stored vehicles.

Collision Coverage

This pays to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident with another car or object. It covers:

  • Collisions with other vehicles
  • Accidents where you are at fault
  • Hit and runs

Collision coverage is not necessary for a stored vehicle not being driven.

Comprehensive-only is the minimum recommended, but additional coverage may be required by lenders, laws, or to avoid an insurance coverage lapse. Speak with your provider about coverage options given your situation.

Requirements for Car Storage Policy

There are certain requirements to be aware of when getting car storage policy:

Minimum Liability Insurance

Most states require drivers to carry minimum liability insurance coverage. Some key points:

  • Rules vary by state, but range from $10,000 to $25,000 in coverage
  • Even stored vehicles usually need minimum liability
  • If dropping liability, you may need to:
    • Cancel vehicle registration
    • Not park on public roads
    • Follow state protocols
  • Consult your insurer and DMV on minimums

Lienholder and Loan Requirements

If you still owe money on an auto loan, your lienholder may impose insurance requirements, such as:

  • Maintaining comprehensive and collision coverage
  • Not reducing liability coverage
  • Keeping their name on the policy

Check the specific terms of your loan before adjusting coverage.

Avoiding Coverage Lapse

Car insurance companies look at your past insurance history when pricing your policy. Gaps in coverage are seen negatively and can increase your rates.

To avoid this:

  • Do not fully cancel your policy
  • Maintain at least minimum coverage
  • Insurers prefer reduced coverage over dropped coverage

Maintaining continuous coverage through a car storage policy prevents issues with coverage lapses down the road.

Be sure to understand all state and lender regulations before reducing insurance on a stored vehicle. Consulting with your insurer can help navigate minimum requirements.

Benefits of Car Storage Policy

There are several advantages to maintaining insurance through a car storage policy rather than fully canceling coverage:

Lower Insurance Rates

The main benefit of storage policy is reduced insurance rates. For example:

  • Comprehensive coverage costs $150/year on average
  • Liability coverage costs $500/year on average
  • Collision coverage costs $350/year on average

With a comprehensive-only policy, you may see rates lowered by up to 80%, saving hundreds per year.

Exact savings depend on your insurer and location.

Maintain Insurance History

Keeping a storage policy prevents gaps in your insurance record. This avoids:

  • Higher premiums when restarting coverage
  • Difficulty finding affordable coverage
  • Being classified as a "high risk" driver

Insurers want to see continuous coverage. Even if not driving, maintaining a policy can provide savings down the road.

Protection for Vehicle

Although not driving, a stored vehicle still faces risks like:

  • Weather damage
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Falling objects

Maintaining comprehensive coverage gives protection against these threats. This can prevent large, unexpected repair bills in the future.

Peace of Mind

Knowing your vehicle is protected while in storage can provide peace of mind. Although costs are reduced, you still have coverage against common risks.

In summary, the potential savings, benefits for your insurance history, continued protection, and added peace of mind make car storage policy an appealing option over canceling your policy completely.

Steps for Getting Car Storage Policy

Here is an overview of the typical process for obtaining car storage policy:

Check with Insurance Provider

  • Contact your insurance provider to ask about storage options
  • Inquire about comprehensive-only policies
  • Ask about any storage time requirements (often 30+ days)
  • Discuss required coverages based on your loan or state laws
  • Get quotes for comprehensive coverage

Table of Average Comprehensive Rates by Company:

Company 6 Month Premium
State Farm $100
Geico $112
Progressive $125
Allstate $140

Cancel Vehicle Registration

  • If reducing liability coverage, cancel your registration
  • Follow your state DMV's protocols for storing an uninsured vehicle
  • Remove license plates while car is in storage
  • Avoid parking on public roads without liability insurance

Store Vehicle Properly

  • Keep the stored vehicle in a locked, covered location like a garage
  • Install protections like car covers or wheel locks
  • Disconnect the battery and drain fluids
  • Follow checklist to prepare car for storage

Properly storing your vehicle helps minimize risks.

Adjust Policy When Removing from Storage

  • Inform insurer ahead of driving to restore full coverage
  • Reinstate liability and collision policies
  • Re-register your vehicle and put back license plates
  • Complete maintenance checklist to make road ready

Be sure to reactivate a standard auto policy before driving the car again.

Following these steps helps ensure you get the most value from car storage policy during periods of prolonged non-use.

Returning Car to Regular Use

When you are ready to start driving your vehicle again after storage, there are important steps to take:

Restore Full Coverage Policy

  • Contact your insurance provider in advance
  • Reinstate collision and liability coverage
  • Increase coverage limits back to normal levels
  • Remove any exclusions for regular use
  • Double check all required coverages are active

Full coverage ensures you are protected when driving again.

Re-Register Vehicle

  • If registration was canceled for storage, re-register vehicle with DMV
  • Place license plates back on car
  • Keep registration and insurance documents in vehicle
  • Perform any inspections required by your state

This makes your car legally ready for public roads.

Complete Maintenance

Before driving, complete maintenance tasks:

  • Change fluids like oil, transmission, brake fluid
  • Check tire tread and pressure
  • Connect battery and test electronics
  • Inspect brakes, lights, wipers etc.

This helps maximize safety and prevent issues.

Review Insurance History

  • Request driving record from DMV
  • Review CLUE auto insurance report
  • Correct any errors immediately
  • Maintain clean history

This could help secure lower premiums.

Shop for Regular Car Insurance

  • With clean record, request quotes from multiple insurers
  • See if lower rates available compared to previous insurer
  • Consider bundling home and auto policies

An occasional insurance review can identify savings opportunities.

Following these tips will help ensure a smooth transition back to driving after your car storage policy. Take time to complete the necessary steps before getting back on the road.


In summary, car storage policy allows you to reduce your auto insurance costs by providing comprehensive-only coverage for a vehicle that will be out of operation for an extended period. This maintains protection against non-driving risks like weather and theft events. Storage policy prevents insurance coverage gaps, offers significantly lower insurance rates, and still complies with minimum state liability insurance requirements. With proper preparation for storing your vehicle and restoring complete coverage when driving again, car storage insurance can provide an affordable insurance option during times of vehicle non-use. For many drivers, it offers an optimal balance of cost savings and continued protection. Speak with your insurance provider to discuss options and requirements.

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