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Do I Need To Insure My Car During Winter Storage?


It is not uncommon to put a vehicle in storage over the winter months. If you are not planning to use your car during the winter, it makes sense to keep it safe and protected from the harsh weather.

It may be tempting to cancel your auto insurance coverage during this time, while your vehicle is not being driven on public roadways. After all, it could save your several months of car insurance premiums. However, there are some major drawbacks to canceling your insurance while your car is in winter storage.

What Are the Disadvantages of Canceling Car Insurance for Winter Storage?

Cons of canceling auto insurance during winter storage include:

  • Lender and state requirements: You may not have the option to drop your car insurance if you financed your car. As a condition of your loan, continuous coverage is likely required. In addition, mandatory minimum auto insurance may be required for your vehicle registration to remain valid.
  • Gap in coverage: If you cancel your policy when you put your car in storage, it creates a gap in coverage, which makes your auto insurance history look riskier to insurers. This could mean higher premiums when you reinstate your policy.
  • No protection for your vehicle: With no comprehensive coverage, you will not be protected from damage that could occur during the period your car is parked in storage. A vehicle does not have to be on the road for mishaps and damage to occur. A roof collapse, a tree falling on the building, fire, theft – anything is possible.

What Are Your Options for Insuring a Car In Winter Storage?

You may be able to reduce your auto insurance premiums without canceling your coverage entirely for winter storage. One way to do this is to lower your coverage amounts. You are not likely to need collision or liability coverage while your car is stored in a garage, as it is virtually impossible to be involved in a wreck under those circumstances. However, some lenders may require borrowers to maintain both comprehensive and collision coverage for the duration of the loan.

Some auto insurance companies offer coverage specifically for vehicles in storage. This type of policy includes only comprehensive coverage, to protect you against damage to your car while is non-operational. Storage coverage is much more affordable than full car insurance coverage, and it keeps a gap in coverage from showing up on your insurance history.

This type of coverage only protects you while your vehicle is in storage. It is a violation of law to drive your car without auto liability insurance. Your vehicle registration could be flagged and suspended if you drop the state mandated minimum coverage. To avoid this, it may be possible to file an Affidavit on Non-Use with the DMV.

If you plan to put a car in storage for the winter, speak with our friendly agent. We can help you obtain the car insurance coverage you need at the best available rates.

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