What options are available for vehicles that aren’t being driven? Can you shut off your insurance completely? Do Wisconsin state regulations concerning insurance still apply? What coverage should you maintain?
Ahead, we’ll answer all of these questions and many others concerning safe and secure long-term storage for your vehicle. Let’s get started.
Is There Such a Thing as Parked Car Insurance?
Not really. In some cases, insurance companies may offer storage coverage, but this is often for cars that are typically stored most of the time (or a large majority of the time): collectible cars, custom cars, motorcycles and convertibles, RVs, etc.
Most of the time, vehicle owners have typical car insurance that includes collision and liability coverage. While your vehicle is in storage, you might consider dropping these types of coverage as your car won’t be on the road. Just keep three things in mind.
- Consider how much you’ll really save. It can be a hassle to remove part of your car insurance just for a few months of storage and a few dollars in savings.
- Remember that if you’re still paying off the car, your loan lender probably won’t allow you to remove collision coverage.
- Keep in mind that if you remove collision coverage, your insurance rates may be higher when you reinstate your insurance. That’s because insurers don’t like to see a “gap in coverage” in your insurance history.
- If your vehicle is parked anywhere public, you must maintain collision and liability coverage to stay in accordance with state regulations.
As for comprehensive coverage, never get rid of this. If you do, you’ll have no protection in the event of a theft, vandalism, damage caused by animals or weather, etc. For example, if a fire were to occur where your car was stored, totaling your vehicle completely, you would have absolutely no coverage if you didn’t have comprehensive protection.
Proper Car Storage Preparation
As you prepare your vehicle for storage, remember the following guidelines.
- You should remove the battery. Long-term storage of your vehicle means that your battery will run out of juice. You should never let this happen.
Instead, remove the battery safely from your vehicle and hook it up to a battery tender, which will adequately juice it for the duration of your vehicle’s storage. If you can’t remove the battery, that’s okay too. You can hook the battery tender up to the battery while it’s still in the engine block.
- Location is everything when it comes to safe and secure storage. Wisconsin winters can be brutal, so you definitely won’t want to leave your car outside — even if it has a cover. Instead, either rent a storage space that’s lockable or find a friend or family member who can offer up their garage or outbuilding.
- If you’re worried about mice or little critters getting into your vehicle while it’s parked, a good preventative measure is mothballs (although you can also use fabric softener sheets). Put these in the trunk, in the cab on the seats and floor, and outside around the vehicle.
- Finally, change the oil and the air filter, fill up the gas tank and add a gas stabilizer like STA-BIL, inflate all tires to their maximum allowed pressure, and don’t forget to fill up the antifreeze and all other fluids.
NOTE: Don’t forget to carry out a few important steps when you return to your car post-storage as well:
- Check the fluids.
- Put in the battery and check its charge.
- Check for critters (under the hood too).
- Inflate the tires if necessary.
- Let it idle for 5 minutes.
When you have questions about auto insurance, Feivor Insurance can help. Our knowledgeable and experienced agents are always here to assist you. Stop into our office today, or feel free to give us a call.