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Auto Insurance for Parked Automobiles (2021 COVID-19 Update)

Things to Remember

  1. If you’re driving less during COVID-19, you may be able to lower your auto rates by switching to a policy for parked automobiles.
  2. You can save up to 30 percent on your auto insurance rates with coverage for a parked automobile, but not every automobile qualifies for parking coverage.
  3. Does your rate go up if someone hit your parked vehicle? Yes, unless you file a report with their auto insurance company.

Interested in auto insurance for parked vehicles? Interested in protecting your vehicle while parked? Insuring parked vehicles or stored vehicles may seem unnecessary, but could save you in the long run.

When your vehicle is not being driven, you’re likely not going to be found at-fault for an accident barring a freak incident where your parking brake disengages. But what type of auto insurance coverage do you need for a vehicle that’s in a parking spot?

Whether you have a vehicle in storage, sitting in your driveway, or going undriven due to the coronavirus, see what your options are. Type your ZIP code into our free and helpful tool above to find affordable auto insurance quotes for parked automobiles now.

If you’re wondering how to find an affordable auto policy for parked automobiles, here’s what you should know.

Table of Contents

What are the requirements for comprehensive-only coverage?

The requirements for parked-car coverage vary by insurer, so it really depends on your situation. If you are now self-isolating, having your groceries delivered through Instacart, DoorDash, or any of the other food delivery services, it may be worth considering.

Keep in mind that most insurers will only allow you to drop to comprehensive-only coverage if you have a different automobile on the policy that is fully insured, so it also depends on your home situation.

If you have multiple vehicles to choose from just in case, you might want to think about it. Contact your insurer to see if you qualify.

Just remember to set a reminder on your calendar or even put a reminder on the vehicle’s dash to call and revert back to your old coverage before you take the vehicle out for a drive.

How much does a parked auto policy cost from Geico, State Farm, or USAA? What is the parked automobile coverage price in Florida? Read on to learn more.

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How do I protect my vehicle while parked?

It’s virtually impossible for a parked vehicle to cause damage to property. The risk of third-party loss is low, but there’s still a possibility that something could happen to your automobile.

It might not sound very logical to insure property when it’s not in use, but in some scenarios, you might legally have to do so.

Since auto insurance is a mandatory requirement, vehicle owners can’t rush their efforts to save money by terminating their existing auto insurance.

First off, why would you want to cover an automobile that isn’t even going to be driven? It’s for all those incidentals. What if something falls on your vehicle, or what about fires and floods?

Let’s look at what’s included in your auto insurance and why you want to keep comprehensive, at the very least.

Comprehensive-only coverage is what parked-auto insurance is all about.

What happens to insurance when someone hits your parked automobile?

You will simply handle this scenario as a normal claim if someone hits your parked vehicle that is not in storage. The situation is much different if your vehicle has comprehensive-only coverage. In a hit-and-run case, you have no security because a storage protection stipulation is to keep the vehicle away from other vehicles.

Auto storage coverage is meant to be cost-effective. If your vehicle is in storage and protected based on the stipulations in your policy, it is very unlikely it will be struck by another vehicle.

You can save considerably less by having uninsured motorist coverage on the insurance policy. Additionally, you’re not legally permitted to park your automobile on a public road if you cancel your liability coverage.

Do I need insurance for a vehicle that doesn’t get driven?

o, you’ve moved to a city or you’re taking more public transportation, either way you’re not driving. You may be wondering, “Do I have to insure my vehicle if I am not driving in it?”

Well, maybe not, but maybe you should.

To ensure your parked automobile is safely insured, first, make sure your end of the deal is taken care of: Consider comprehensive coverage.

Store your vehicle away properly. You must prepare your automobile if you’re planning on leaving it undriven for a long period of time. Make sure you remember what steps to take before storing it away.

So, you’ve cleaned up and prepared your automobile. Now, what sort of coverage do you need?

Car Insurance Coverage Options
Coverage ConsiderationsDescription
LiabilityMost states require you set amount of liability coverage which protects other drivers in the case of an accident
ComprehensiveThis coverage and collision coverage are typically required by your lender or lease holder. If you own your vehicle outright, this is an optional coverage. It will pay for damage from non-accident related events such as hail, vandalism, and theft.
CollisionThis provides financial protection for your vehicle. It will pay for damages after a crash.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)This coverage will pay for your own medical costs including lost wages.
Medical Payments (MedPay)Similar to PIP, MedPay covers injury costs but doesn't cover lost wages like PIP does.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist ProtectionInsurance companies are required to offer this coverage to you and it will pay for your own damages beyond what another's liability covers when they're responsible for an accident.
Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)You may owe more on your vehicle than it's worth because of how quickly cars depreciate. This coverage will pay the difference between the value and what you owe if your vehicle is totaled.
Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)This option provides an "umbrella" of coverage over several types of insurance.
Rental ReimbursementIf your car is a total loss or needs repair, do you have another vehicle you can drive? If you'll need a rental, you should consider this option.
Emergency Roadside AssistanceYou can purchase this option from your insurer or a driving club.
Pay-As-You-Drive or Usage-Based InsuranceThis isn't a good choice for everyone, but if you drive few miles, it might be cheaper for you to purchase this kind of coverage.
Non-Owner Car InsuranceThis option is for people who do not own a car but borrow one occasionally.
Modified Car Insurance CoverageIf you've made modifications to your vehicle, your regular full coverage won't take those changes into consideration when paying for damages. Adding special coverage for those modifications will protect the value of them.
Windshield CoverageWindshield coverage will help you pay for the replacement of your broken glass (check state laws for specifics)
Mechanical Breakdown InsuranceThis coverage is similar to a manufacturer extended warranty and you should weight the benefits of both a warranty and breakdown insurance to see which is best for you.
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Do you have to have car insurance in every state? Though the level of auto insurance you have to have in every state differs, you’ll normally need a certain amount of liability insurance in case you hit someone else’s vehicle or other property while you’re driving.

Liability insurance will pay for the damages. Then, you have collision insurance. Collision is there to cover your own damages if you’re hit by an uninsured vehicle or if you’re found to be at fault.

Though the details depend on your insurer’s requirements, parked-auto insurance is special because it allows you to drop liability and collision. If you only carry comprehensive on the vehicle, you must not drive the automobile at all.

You’ll have to cover damages out of your own pocket if you don’t have the right type of coverage.

Comprehensive covers things like a tree limb falling on your vehicle, theft, or vandalism. Leading into spring, hail storm and high winds can become a problem and damage the vehicle sitting in your driveway.

Even if you have your vehicle in a storage garage, you’re going to want to prepare for things like hurricanes or tornados, both of which can cause major damage to a building and its contents.

How can I get a discount on auto insurance if my car is in storage? Auto storage insurance is offered by Geico and Progressive.

Do I need insurance for an automobile that’s in storage?

How much is storage insurance for an automobile? There are many factors that influence what you’ll pay, but where you live is a big one.

What does storage insurance cover on a vehicle? You can see the average comprehensive rates here for the five-year period between 2011 and 2015. This information comes from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Average Annual Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates by State
State(2011- 2015) Average Annual Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates 2015 Average Annual Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates 2014 Average Annual Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates 2013 Average Annual Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates 2012 Average Annual Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates 2011 Average Annual Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates
District of Columbia$230.25$233.24$233.65$230.19$227.97$226.22
South Dakota$228.59$258.11$242.27$227.31$214.07$201.21
North Dakota$227.64$231.04$233.06$229.05$225.42$219.63
West Virginia$195.04$204.28$200.10$195.28$189.20$186.32
New Mexico$166.89$172.57$167.70$162.39$163.02$168.75
South Carolina$165.38$180.94$175.19$165.41$156.22$149.16
New York$156.66$171.12$165.07$155.65$147.33$144.13
New Jersey$123.18$131.35$126.26$122.54$117.64$118.10
North Carolina$123.00$136.08$130.37$121.66$115.06$111.83
Rhode Island$122.17$132.19$125.17$118.86$116.41$118.21
New Hampshire$103.03$110.77$106.62$102.02$99.24$96.52
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The District of Columbia tops the list for most expensive on average, with Oregon showing up as the cheapest.

Considering a lot of stored vehicles are expensive, seasonally driven automobiles, the cost is worth it.

How long does a vehicle have to be stationary to qualify for parked-auto auto insurance?

Depending on the insurance company, they may require you to have the automobile in storage for a minimum amount of time like 30 to 60 days before you qualify. For State Farm or Geico parked auto insurance, for example, you will need to talk to your agent before changing the policy.

But, the general rule of thumb is: If your automobile is going to be parked for just days or weeks, there’s no reason you should change your insurance, as it wouldn’t be worth the inconvenience.

It’s not until your vehicle will be parked for months or even longer that you should consider making changes to your insurance portfolio.

Should I keep liability coverage on a parked vehicle?

Most importantly, don’t drop your liability and collision coverages if you’re planning on driving the vehicle at all.

If you go out on a short ride but end up damaging someone else’s property or get into an accident with an uninsured driver, your policy isn’t going to cover it, since your vehicle is supposed to be sitting unused.

You may want to brush up on your state’s auto insurance laws. These laws are in place strictly to protect residents in the state and visitors who are passing through from suffering financial loss after being hit by a vehicle.

You can remove insurance from your vehicle, but you have to take the right steps first.

What situations allow you to drop your insurance?

Do you need insurance on a vehicle that doesn’t run? What if you just aren’t driving it for the winter? Can you pause your auto insurance?

In most states, if your automobile is registered, it qualifies as a vehicle that must be insured. You’ll have to look up your state’s auto insurance laws to determine how much coverage is mandatory.

As long as the vehicle is registered in your name, the insurance must also be in your name.

What happens if I don’t insure my vehicle?

Not only do you have to comply with the state insurance law, but you’ll also have to comply with the terms and conditions of any contracts that you have in place pertaining to your vehicle.

You may be required by your lender to keep a minimum amount of insurance on a financed vehicle at all times.

If that’s the case, you can’t really drop the coverage on your vehicle without violating your contract and possibly being subject to fines and penalties.

What are the penalties for dropping insurance?

Lenders and lessors require their borrowers to insure the property that they are financing. The companies are more concerned with the first-party vehicle coverage than the other coverage that’s deemed mandatory by the state.

Insurance carriers must send notices verifying that the coverage is in place.

If the finance company is notified your coverage has lapsed, the finance company will reach out to you.

When the borrower can’t show they have both comprehensive and collision coverage on the financed vehicle, the lender will add lender-placed insurance to the loan to protect their interests. (Learn what is the difference between comprehensive and collision auto insurance?)

This lender-placed insurance raises your payment and even the balance of the loan.

How can you file your vehicle as parked through the DMV?

If you really don’t want to keep insurance on your vehicle and it will be parked for a long period of time, the best option is to notify the DMV that the vehicle isn’t being operated.

From there, it really varies by state. For instance, The California DMV gives you the option to file the vehicle as Planned Non-Operable when the registration is about to renew.

Once you file the vehicle as a PNO, you may have to deal with the following restrictions:

  • You can’t move it without applying for a placard
  • You can’t park the vehicle in a public area
  • You can’t tow it

These are some serious restrictions, but there is an upside to consider.

If the vehicle is filed as a PNO, you don’t have to comply with insurance laws set by the state government. You’ll also receive a refund of the registration fees you’ve already paid.

It truly does vary across states, with North Carolina requiring you to turn in the vehicle’s license plate before dropping liability coverage if you’ll be storing it for a long period of time.

Make sure to check with your state’s DMV before dropping down to comprehensive-only.

What can you do with your insurance if your vehicle is filed as a Planned Non-Operable (PNO)?

One option available to you when you’re sure you won’t be driving your vehicle is to cancel your insurance. When you cancel your insurance, you’ll be entitled to a refund of your paid premiums and you won’t have to manage a policy while you’re not driving.

Canceling your insurance could seem like the best option, but some vehicle owners with parked automobiles are choosing a better alternative to suspend auto insurance coverage temporarily while the vehicle is parked.

This suspension means that the policy is put on hold until you call the agent to reactivate it. You’ll have the same policy number when you need your coverage back.

What can lower your auto insurance?

The biggest benefit of suspending auto insurance instead of canceling it is that you’ll be able to maintain an insurance record without any lapses in coverage.

Having experience as an insurance client can save you money in the future. If you do keep coverage with the same carrier, you’ll still be able to get a loyalty discount as well.

Not only will your premiums in the future be lower, but you can also insure your automobile while it’s sitting. Most insurers will give their clients the option to keep comprehensive coverage. That’s the only thing you’ll need if the vehicle really is only sitting in a driveway or garage.

If you want to buy auto insurance for parked vehicles, consider what you’re doing with the registration first. Those who prefer to keep the registration active will need to buy standard coverage.

What are some other ways you can save money on your auto insurance during COVID-19?

Obviously, the rules have changed to some extent as a result of COVID-19. In a John Hopkins University map, the United States has more cases of infections by the novel coronavirus than any other country. It’s a scary time, and a record number of people are staying at home.

If you’re working from home due to the novel coronavirus or just not driving as much, you may want to see what options you have to pause your insurance.

It’s impossible to predict how long the fallout from the novel coronavirus will last. What if your vehicle is just sitting in the driveway?

You have options. Let’s take a look at a few.

Can you change to pay-per-mile auto insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic?

True pay-per-mile insurance is hard to find, with only a few companies offering it, and it’s not available everywhere. Metromile is one of the biggest companies focusing on pay-per-mile insurance.

They’re only operating in a handful of states, but if you live in one of them, you might want to take a look at how it works.

It might not be worth switching insurance companies, however, especially if you plan to return to a long commute after the pandemic is over.

Do you normally have a short commute? You might want to check into usage-based insurance. For the most part, pay-per-mile vehicle insurance is used by people who have a super short commute from their home to work, or for back-up vehicles.

These policies are often written for six-month periods.

At this time, we don’t know how long the COVID-19 pandemic will be affecting our daily lives. You might be subject to a cancellation fee if things return to normal and you cancel the pay-per-mile auto insurance coverage to reinstate your traditional policy.

That said, you can still look into usage-based auto insurance and see if it might be worth it if these criteria fit your everyday life. It varies for each driver and is not available in each state.

How can you save money on your existing auto insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic?

If you’re happy with your auto insurance, but you’re just not driving much right now, there are a few things you may be able to do in order to save some cash.

Update Your Commute Length

How mileage affects auto insurance can be confusing. It’s true that the number of miles you put on your vehicle really can be a significant factor in how much you’re charged for auto insurance, but most companies have brackets for mileage rather than counting specifically.

If you’ve found yourself making playlists for the drive to work, you’re probably paying more for your insurance than you’d like. Now, things may have changed.

Without a long commute, you may want to call your insurance company and update your information. This can lower your rates, so it’s worth getting in touch.

Why does commute matter? Well, it comes down to how much risk you are to the insurer. When you’re driving more miles every day, you’re going to have a higher risk of getting into an accident, which would likely result in the insurer having to pay out a claim.

Lower Your Coverage Limits

Another thing you may be able to lower would be your coverage limits. If you have a high level of coverage, you might want to consider changing it to a lower or medium level.

Granted, this doesn’t always save a lot of money, but it varies based on a number of factors. Plus, if you have an older vehicle, it might just make sense anyway, COVID-19 aside.

Will you be getting a coronavirus-related refund on your auto insurance?

Even if you haven’t designated your vehicle as being parked or in storage, you may still be getting a refund for not using it.

StreetLight Data reports that traffic is down across the country. New York City and Chicago two of the cities hardest hit by the virus are seeing a decline in traffic of 93 percent and 69 percent, respectively.

The Consumer Federation of America has urged insurers to return a portion of premiums since fewer people are driving, which means fewer accidents and fewer claims paid out.

So far, most of the largest insurers in the country have announced how they’re refunding a portion of premiums.

Which Auto Insurers are Giving COVID-19 Refunds
CompanyAmount Refunded for COVID-19 Relief by InsurerMethod of Refund for COVID-19 Relief by Insurer
Allstate (including Esurance, and Encompass)15% of April and May premiums
($600 million total)
Option of either credit or cash refund
American Family (AmFam)$50 per vehicle
($200 million total)
Paper check
Farmers25% of April premiumsCredit
Geico15% at renewal, an average of $150 per auto policy
($2.5 billion total)
Liberty Mutual & Safeco15% for two months of premiums
($250 million total)
Option of either credit or cash refund
Nationwide$50 per policyCash
Progressive20% for April and May premiumsCredit
State Farm25% of premium between March 20 and May 31
($2 billion total)
Travelers15% for April and May's premiumsCredit
USAA20% for two months of premiums
($520 million total)
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Also, if you do end up needing your auto insurance representative, they’re still available. Many of them have now converted to work-from-home, with more reliance on mobile apps and video calls for claims.

To keep your standard coverage premiums low on your parked auto insurance, get affordable auto insurance quotes online by entering your ZIP code below. Get started buying auto insurance for parked vehicles now.


  1. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/online/vrir/vr_sb1500anu
  2. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
  3. https://www.streetlightdata.com/VMT-monitor-by-county/#emergency-map-response

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