Owning a vehicle is a big responsibility. Even if you never take it on the road, it is usually a good decision to take out auto insurance. This can help to protect your investment. However, the laws vary from state to state.
Your car is broken or in storage. Maybe it’s sitting in your driveway. Maybe it’s in the garden of a friend. Maybe your convertible is stowed away for the winter. Whatever the situation, you are probably curious if you need insurance or not.
Do you have to pay insurance for a car if you do not drive it?
The answer depends on the situation.
Generally, the law requires that all registered vehicles must be covered by the minimum statutory insurance. As long as the vehicle is registered in the state – and this registration is active and has not expired – this vehicle must carry insurance.
So if you want to avoid insuring a vehicle for a certain period of time – like winter – you need to cancel your registration.
Laws on this process vary from state to state. They also differ between the insurers. For some providers, you can temporarily reduce your insurance costs, such as: For example, if you do not drive a vehicle. Some companies provide comprehensive insurance if your vehicle is for example.
How Comprehensive or Only “Comp Only” Insurance Protection Works
If your vehicle has full coverage, it protects the vehicle from fire, theft, vandalism and weather damage. Your insurance company may also call this coverage “Comp-Only” coverage
Comp-only coverage is a popular option for protecting vehicles that you currently do not drive. It is much cheaper than fully comprehensive insurance but still protects against unexpected events.
The rules for only Comp contracts vary between insurance companies.
For example, in some companies, you need to store your vehicle in a certified and protected warehouse. Others only issue the directive if your vehicle is stored for at least six months.
It is important to know that the insurance “comp only” does not legally register your vehicle. If your vehicle has only fully comprehensive insurance, it is forbidden to drive this vehicle on the road. The states require that you have at least one liability insurance. With fully comprehensive insurance, your vehicle does not have collision protection or liability insurance.
What if nobody has been driving the car for months?
So your car will not be stored, and it’s just an extra vehicle that nobody has to drive in the next few months. Do you still have to insure yourself?
In most states, you must continue to take out liability insurance for your vehicle. If you intend to drive this vehicle at any time – even if it has not been driven for months – you must have at least a liability insurance.
If you forfeit your insurance, your vehicle registration will be void. In this case, you can no longer drive your vehicle.
In other words, your vehicle must be insured for registration. In most states, this means that you must keep the liability insurance for your vehicle as the absolute minimum – even if your vehicle has not been driven for months.
However, if no one has been driving for months, you should remove the comprehensive insurance from the vehicle – including optional cover types such as the accident insurance. Some may also wish to take out comprehensive insurance
(which protects your vehicle against vandalism, natural disasters, and theft). Comprehensive insurance is not required, but it is a good idea even if your car is not driven.
You can ensure a car for someone who is not driving yet while you are excluding yourself from the policy
There are a number of situations where you do not drive but still, want to take out insurance. You may be a licensed driver, but you keep your car for someone else to drive.
In this situation, you can exclude yourself as a driver from the policy while still taking out insurance for the car under your name.
If you are in this unique situation, you must contact your insurance company. Normally, your insurance company wants to know why you are in this situation. You may be asked if you have a license, for example, or not who the main driver of the vehicle is.
Insurance companies are generally fine with this situation. Normally, an insurer wants a licensed driver in the policy – like a family member living in the household. You may also request the background, personal information, and history of this family member.
Insurance companies are not flexible with this agreement if you use them to avoid high insurance costs associated with past accidents or DUIs. If you ensure a vehicle on your behalf
For example, because your wife has several DUI’s, your insurance company is not very accommodating.
A vehicle that is not on the road may not need to be covered by the law. But what should you do?
Protect the value of the vehicle
Maybe you are planning a car for a few months or a year in the garage. You want to keep it, but you do not intend to drive it. In this case, you may not need car insurance. But having it can be crucial to you. For example, if someone breaks into your home and the vehicle is damaged, you want to be sure that you have coverage for it. Storm damage can also occur. With comprehensive car insurance, you have protection.
Protection of valuable or classic vehicles
Most drivers should maintain a guideline for their valuable old car. Antiques and vintage cars usually have a significant value. And it’s harder to get parts for repairs. For that reason, your policy should reflect the value of the car and the way you use it. Most vintage car insurance is affordable. You can choose a low kilometre policy. This can significantly reduce your costs.
Is there a chance someone puts on the street?
Another risk is when someone dares to hit the road by car. For example, a driver in your home can decide if the car is still driving well. They are behind the wheel. And they collide with a telephone pole. Worse, they can damage someone else vehicle. In these situations, it is always advisable to have comprehensive insurance, collision insurance, and general liability insurance. Already five minutes on the way can be worthwhile.
If you are not sure what is right for you, discuss your options with your car insurance. Find out what type and extent of coverage are best for your situation. In many situations, your agent can work with you to find cost-effective car insurance. These guidelines may reflect the limited amount of time you are operating the vehicle.