Do I Need to Insure a Car that’s Unused and Garaged?

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Do I Need to Insure a Car that’s Unused and Garaged?

Do I Need to Insure a Car that’s Unused and Garaged?

You’re not using your car. Maybe it’s a work in progress. Perhaps it’s an antique you’re not interested in driving often. Either way, the car is sitting in the garage and you’re not driving it. Should it be insured?

Is it Registered?

Does the vehicle currently have legal license plates on it? If so, you need to keep the vehicle insured for bodily injury and property damage liability. It is illegal to have a registered car that is not insured. The fact that you have no intention of driving the car doesn’t mean you can’t hand the keys over to someone else or that you might not find yourself in a bind one day when your regular car breaks down. If you have plates, you need to have insurance.

While there are specialty policies out there for those who want to garage vehicles, you will have a hard time finding a policy to cover you for damage or theft to a standard vehicle you simply aren’t driving. If you’re worried about damage to the car itself, even while garaged, you may still need to purchase a full policy. You could, of course, drop the limits on the liability portions of the policy to save money on premiums during the time you aren’t driving.

Is the Car a Classic?

There are special rules for classic and antique cars, as these are usually covered by specialty policies. These policies usually change throughout the year, with liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage for the short part of the year these cars may be on the road (ie. the spring and summer months). During the fall and winter months, these cars are usually in storage. The liability coverage might be temporarily dropped but the coverage for damage to the car itself stays in place to protect against things like damage from fire or theft. You’ll need to check with your state to find out what the rules are for returning plates on a classic car that is not currently insured for liability.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. You’re going to want need to keep insurance on your vehicle, at least at a minimum level, if there is any chance at all that your car may be pulled out of the garage and used on the road. Talk to your insurance professional. He or she will be able to give you the best advice as to what insurance you need and what limits are appropriate.

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