Delaney Simchuk, Car Insurance Writer
Yes, you need insurance even if you are not driving your car, since registered vehicles are required to carry at least minimum coverage. If you don’t plan on driving for an extended period, you might be able to cancel your insurance, but your state may also require you to cancel your registration and turn in your license plates. Or, if you are just storing your vehicle for a while, you may be able to opt for a comprehensive-only policy instead.
Why You Need Car Insurance Even When You’re Not Driving
- It is required by almost every state for registered vehicles. Almost every state requires registered vehicles to carry at least the minimum level of coverage. Even if you are not driving, having a registered vehicle without insurance is illegal in most states. Plus, the couple states that don’t require insurance do make you demonstrate financial responsibility in other ways.
- It may be required by a contract. If your vehicle is financed, your lease or loan contract might require you to carry some level of insurance. For example, many lease or loan contracts require comprehensive insurance and collision insurance in addition to your state’s minimum coverage requirements.
- You can prevent a lapse in coverage and rate increase. If you plan on driving regularly in the future, and therefore would need to purchase car insurance again, insurance companies would see a gap in your insurance coverage and label you a high-risk driver. Being labelled a high-risk driver means your insurance premiums will be much higher until you prove yourself again. You can avoid that by keeping continuous insurance coverage.
- You can protect your car against non-accident-related damages. If your vehicle gets stolen or hit by a falling tree, for example, you will need to have comprehensive coverage to be compensated.
Key Things to Know If You Don’t Plan on Driving for an Extended Period
If your vehicle is in storage and you are not driving for a long period of time, you may be able to save money by opting for a comprehensive-only policy rather than keeping your regular car insurance policy. Comprehensive-only insurance covers potential incidents while your vehicle is in storage, such as theft or weather-related damage. However, insurance companies may require your vehicle to be in storage for 30 days or more, and some states do not allow you to have a comprehensive-only policy.
Another option if you do not plan on driving your vehicle for a long time is to cancel your registration and insurance. Almost every state requires registered vehicles to carry at least a minimum amount of insurance coverage, so by cancelling your registration, you can avoid this requirement.
Finally, if you are not personally driving your vehicle but someone else is, you will still need to insure the vehicle under your name. Insurance policies typically follow the car and not the driver.
To learn more, check out WalletHub’s guide to how much car insurance you need.
People also ask
Did we answer your question?