Driving without insurance is illegal and can result in penalties. Nearly every driver is aware of this. However, did you know that it’s also the case for parking on public roads and lots? It’s a different story when you park on your own property. But what’s the point of having a car if you can’t take it anywhere? That’s why you need car insurance since even parking your car itself can be next to impossible without it.
Do You Have to Insure Parked Cars?
It goes without saying at this point that failure to insure your car, regardless of whether it’s moving or not, can result in legal penalties like fines and even license suspension. Car insurance is required in all states except New Hampshire. That’s why dealers often offer insurance to car buyers, and most have an auto insurance policy lined up before finalizing their purchase. Each state has its own laws regarding how much car insurance its drivers carry, but it averages out across the board.
The rules regarding parked cars depend on where they are parked. Public parking spaces are monitored by police and the city. If need be, they can pull the information of any vehicle to see their registration and insurance stats. Parking your car without insurance could not have been done without driving uninsured, and that’s why it is penalized similarly.
Is There Insurance For Parked Cars?
Even cars that spend a majority of their time in storage have insurance, and it would be wise to purchase some. If the car is vintage or has a high value, owners will purchase collectible car insurance or comprehensive coverage should anything happen to it while in storage. A new car can still be insured the same way as collectible car insurance. As this post stresses, parked cars must be insured. Some states even have laws stating that cars in storage that don’t run be insured. A rule of thumb is that if the car has a registered license plate, then it must be insured with at least the minimum amount of liability insurance coverage.
How Can Police Tell When a Parked Car Has no Insurance?
State authorities use an electronic verification system to access vehicle registration and insurance at any time. A license plate number is traced back to the DMV who will then have whether or not you carry insurance on file. While no one can tell whether a car has insurance just by looking at it, probable cause to check a license plate and registration includes parking violations. If you are reported for parking on private property, the police may also pull up your auto records.
What Are The Penalties For Not Having Car Insurance While Parking?
The penalties for parking without car insurance are no different from the penalties of driving uninsured –because you had to get to that parking spot somehow. Car insurance also has to be maintained continuously to avoid any lapses. What’s more, car insurance is also a requirement in order to have your car registered.
Penalties for not carrying car insurance while driving or parking include:
- License suspension - You may have your driving privileges revoked, with your license being temporarily suspended until you provide proof of insurance.
- The vehicle is impounded - Your uninsured vehicle will be seized until proof of insurance is provided.
- Impoundment fees - This includes the charges of towing and storage. You would be responsible for paying this to the impound lot.
- Fines - You will be given a citation you must pay for the offense alone.
- SR22 insurance - An SR22 would be required in order to get car insurance after driving uninsured. An SR22 isn’t a car insurance policy in itself but a certification that you, as a high-risk driver, carry at least your state’s required insurance.
Why is Proof of Insurance so Important?
In order to register your car in any state but New Hampshire, you must first guarantee that you will be financially responsible if any accidents or damages occur. Each state has its own set of liability insurance regulations with proof of insurance. Some jurisdictions allow individuals to skip coverage if they get a self-insurance certificate with a bond, while the majority of people who comply with the law purchase it.
How do You Maintain Car Insurance For Your Vehicle?
Aside from paying your rates on time, you should keep your state’s DMV in the loop about your car insurance status. Registering is otherwise impossible without insurance, so they should have your information since day one. If there are any major changes in insurance that result in a temporary lapse, DMVs will typically give a month maximum to provide new proof of insurance.
To maintain your car insurance, you should report the following to your DMV:
- New insurance provider - It’s best to give your DMV your new insurer’s information before the policy becomes active to ensure a smooth transition.
- Cancellation - Any insurance cancellation should be reported to your DMV along with plans to find a replacement in a timely manner.
- Not renewing - If you plan to let your auto policy expire on its own, then your DMV should be in the know.
When You Park Your Car, What Kind of Hazards Does it Face?
The best way to sell people on insurance is to let them know what they are protected against. In the case of parked cars, they face several comprehensive hazards that are otherwise covered by car insurance.
Car insurance can protect your parked car from:
- Criminal damages - Like vandalism or theft.
- Falling objects - This includes something like a falling tree branch on account of a storm.
- Hail - Hard hail that can dent your car is covered.
- Fire - Fire damage originating from the garage it is stored in is another hazard covered by insurance.
- Flood - This can be on account of heavy rainfall.
Should You Get Car Insurance For Your Parked Car?
In conclusion, the answer is yes. When a car is simply parked and left alone, it’s easy to say you don’t need insurance. But if you are discovered, you will be penalized heavily.
If you’re not already insured with Insurance Navy, request a free car insurance quote online today or call us at 888-949-6289. There’s no harm in requesting quotes. You may be surprised by how much you could be saving on car insurance.