Winter Auto Insurance: What to Know Before Storing Your Car
Protect your car during winter storage. Compare and save on car insurance with Gabi!
Winter is getting closer and some cars are not adjusted to driving at low temperatures. Storing them properly is very important — locking your car in the garage is not enough if you want to prevent damages and unnecessary expenses. Here’s what you need to know while preparing your car before winter storage:
- Winter Insurance: What You Need to Know
- How to Save
- Maintenance: Get Your Car Ready to Store
- Properly Store Your Car
Winter Insurance: What You Need to Know
First, make sure your vehicle is insured and has proper coverage. Remember that for a classic car you will need a different type of policy devoted to this type of vehicle.
Even if your car is in storage, many states require you to carry minimum insurance. If it doesn’t apply to your case, it’s still better to avoid a lapse in coverage as it may result in higher premium when you want to reinsure it. Also, your stored vehicle may be damaged even if you don’t use it — say, if a tree were to fall on the garage, for example — and without insurance you will have to cover repair costs yourself.
How to Save
If you want to reduce the rate, you may drop collision coverage (once you’re 100% sure neither you nor your family member will drive your car during the policy period) and leave comprehension only. However, those of you who have an auto loan need to find out whether your lienholder requires you to maintain both comprehension and collision coverage.
Feel free to try Gabi to see possible options and ways to save. We will shop around to find a more affordable option for you. No need to pay for redundant coverage on a stored car.
Maintenance: Get Your Car Ready to Store
Beyond setting up winter car insurance, you’ll also need to get your car ready to hibernate. Take these steps:
- Fluid maintenance – change the oil and its filter to avoid engine damage and swap out coolant for an antifreeze one.
- Fill up the gas and add fuel stabilizer to an almost full gas tank – according to cars.com “if you’re storing a vehicle for six months, fuel stabilizer should help prevent corrosion in the fuel lines and engine.”
- Clean your car thoroughly
- Apply a coat of wax and make sure there are no rust spots.
- Inflate the tires to the recommended pressure – they might gradually lose it while temperature changes
- Go for a last spin to circulate new fluids before going to storage.
Properly Store Your Car
If your car won’t be used for a while, you have to conduct proper maintenance to find it operable once you would like to hit the road again. After that, make sure to properly store your car. Don’t forget to:
- Check if your battery charger is equipped with a float mode or an automatic off switch so it won’t get overcharged
- Take proper care of the car battery — you can either remove it and store somewhere else or buy a trickle charger which prevents the battery from losing its power over time.
- Release the parking brake — use a tire stopper instead as the brake may be hard to disengage afterwards
- Cover the air vents and block the exhaust pipe with steel wool to cut off small animals and insects’ access to your vehicle
- Remove the wiper blades to avoid any deformations, or wrap them in a cloth.
- Protect your vehicle with a high-quality car cover – use a weatherproof one if your vehicle will stay outside and ensure it’s secure in case of a strong wind.
Preparing your vehicle properly before winter storage is something you should plan ahead. Not only will it prevent unnecessary damages and expenses, but it will also guarantee something priceless — your peace of mind. You want to find your car in good shape after cold months, so make sure to follow the guidelines and foresee any possible problems. It’s better to spend some time on it, rather than money in the future.
Are you up to storing your vehicle during winter time and have been wondering how it could affect your policy rate? Or maybe you want to lower the premium but don’t know which insurer offers the best deal? Sign up here and contact one of our licensed Gabi advisors to find out more. Bracing your car for winter isn’t anyone’s idea of a fun weekend, but with extreme weather on the rise, it is best to take all the precautions we can.
Editorial content on Gabi.com is not written by a licensed insurance agent. It is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal or financial advice.