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September 25, 2012

Should You Insure that Stored Vehicle?

There are many reasons why an individual may want to keep a vehicle but never drive it. It’s possible that they’re holding onto the vehicle for sentimental and nostalgic reasons; it could be that they’re a collector who wants to own the vehicle but doesn’t want to drive it; or it may be that they’re setting the car aside for a few years until their son or daughter reaches an age at which he or she can drive it. For whatever reason a vehicle is kept but not driven, the end result is that the vehicle is stored indefinitely.

When a vehicle is stored but isn’t driven, many people wish to avoid paying for insurance on it. Unfortunately, storing an automobile doesn’t completely remove its exposure to risk and it’s important to ease the potential financial burden of that risk. Generally, this involves having some sort of insurance coverage.

The Many Risks to Stored Cars

You might think that not taking your vehicle out on the road each day reduces its exposure to risks enough that there is no need to cover it with insurance, but consider the following:

  • You still have liability risks. Children playing around the vehicle could be injured or, if playing inside, could release the brakes and allow the vehicle to roll down the driveway and into your neighbor’s property.
  • There is still a risk of damage to the vehicle. If you store the vehicle outside it’s exposed to the elements, vandals, thieves, random balls, bicycles and all manner of potentially damaging items. If you store the vehicle inside a garage it could still be damaged by many of the same items, by other property you stored in the garage, by another family vehicle, and by acts of Mother Nature that could penetrate your garage, such as flood.
  • You may, someday, change your mind and want to drive it. It’s not always a good idea to allow a vehicle to sit for years without running. For that reason and many others you may someday decide to put the key in the ignition and take the car for drive around the block. It doesn’t take a long distance to arrange the perfect elements for an accident.
  • You may decide to sell the vehicle. If you decide to sell the car not only will you have strangers looking it over and touching it, which could potentially cause damages, but they may wish to take the car out for a test drive.

Insurance: The More Affordable Option

When you stop to consider all the risks your parked or stored vehicle is exposed to, you can quickly see that keeping insurance on the vehicle is actually the more affordable option. If you cancel the insurance, you’ll have to pay completely out-of-pocket for the damages or simply lose the value of the asset, even if you park at home because home insurance will not cover a stored vehicle.

This doesn’t mean that you have to keep the same insurance coverage that you currently have on the vehicle. You can modify the coverage based on the risks you wish to cover. If you want to have full coverage just in case you or one of your kids decides to take the car out for a joy ride, then you can do so. If that isn’t a concern you can talk to your insurance company about the possibility of only covering it against fire, Mother Nature, body damage and so on.

You may also be able to get coverage with discounts if you let your auto insurance company know the vehicle is never driven. If your vehicle is parked in a closed storage space, such as a garage, you may get additional discounts since it’s protected from certain risks. If the car you’re storing is a classic, you may be able to get specialized insurance for vintage, classic and antique automobiles as long as it’s at least 15 years old.

Finally, remember that in many states you may be required to turn in the license plates for any vehicles that you do not have insurance coverage on. After turning in the plates you may need to find alternative parking arrangements for the vehicle depending on where you live.

If you’ve got questions about insuring a stored vehicle, give us a call. We can help you find an affordable Missouri SR22 insurance policy or other policy that offers you the protection you need so you don’t have to sacrifice your financial security over a stored automobile.

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