Author Topic: is it worth paying for auto insurance without a car?  (Read 6502 times)

Pixelshot

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is it worth paying for auto insurance without a car?
« on: December 18, 2013, 06:26:01 PM »
so, my car burned up the other day (it's a good story, but for another forum). Alas, I'm now carless and all about car share services (Enterprise, Zipcar, Car2Go, etc) and they seem to be a good way to save a few dollars. Since I live in Washington DC, It's a viable alternative to a car - we use a bike for most things.

The question is about auto insurance. I called to cancel my auto insurance policy and they explained that there is one drawback: As of now, I am cheap to insure. But, if I have a lapse in coverage and decide to get a car in the near future, my premiums will go way up. So, they offered a "keep warm" policy with uninsured motorist, etc (bare bones) for $15/month (about half of what I paid for insuring the car). Seems like a ripoff to me, but I have to say I'm worried that a "lapse" in coverage will actually be expensive.  I don't anticipate getting a car soon, but who knows. Maybe in a year or two. The agent didn't think that using a car share would not avoid being considered "uninsured."

Thoughts?

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: is it worth paying for auto insurance without a car?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2013, 06:32:19 PM »
ZipCar claims that its collision policy does the trick for you, but that's just their marketing material: I don't know if it's true. 

I was looking into ZipCars and insurance a while ago, but I decided that I'm not going to rent enough to make it worth the cash.  I got rid of my car too, (obvs) but I didn't even worry about this.  If this is actually a serious problem, I guess it's future-me's problem.  Oops.

dragoncar

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Re: is it worth paying for auto insurance without a car?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2013, 09:11:23 PM »
Hopefully someone who really knows will chime in, but you might get "keep warm" quotes from other companies too.  Also get quotes online but answer there question "have you had insurance for x years" say no or whatever and see if that affects the rate unacceptably.


Finally... how long do you expect to be carless?  My instincts tell me you might as well just cancel.

annaraven

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Re: is it worth paying for auto insurance without a car?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2013, 09:20:32 PM »
If you plan to get a car in the future, definitely do something keep some level of coverage. Insurance companies assume that, if you have a drivers license, you are driving. Therefore, if you have a lapse in coverage, EVEN IF you don't own a car the entire time and DON'T DRIVE the entire time, you get charged extra when you resume insurance coverage. I ran into that the hard way in the past. (As have a couple of friends.)

So - will you ever buy a car in the future? If it's within a couple of years, get the "keep warm" coverage. If it's not, factor in the extra insurance bill you'll be paying if you buy a car.

Daleth

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Re: is it worth paying for auto insurance without a car?
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2013, 10:10:56 PM »
Does the "keep warm" policy include any liability insurance? Reason I ask is because I seem to recall reading about some problem with non-car owners (i.e. people without car insurance) using Zipcar--there's some gap into which you can fall if you hit someone in a Zipcar. Maybe a cheapo keep-warm policy would make Zipcar a better deal for you overall. I use Zipcar sometimes but then I have awesome umbrella insurance on our household's one car, and it covers me in a Zipcar.

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: is it worth paying for auto insurance without a car?
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2013, 10:25:11 PM »
Does the "keep warm" policy include any liability insurance? Reason I ask is because I seem to recall reading about some problem with non-car owners (i.e. people without car insurance) using Zipcar--there's some gap into which you can fall if you hit someone in a Zipcar. Maybe a cheapo keep-warm policy would make Zipcar a better deal for you overall. I use Zipcar sometimes but then I have awesome umbrella insurance on our household's one car, and it covers me in a Zipcar.

ZipCar apparently only covers collision.  You'd have to figure out another way to protect yourself with liability coverage.  Credit cards often offer liability coverage for rentals, but there's a lot of controversy whether or not ZipCars "count".  I read a few cases where Visa denied liability claims due to the rental being a ZipCar.  If you're trying to go this route, you'd probably want to confirm in writing that ZipCars are covered.  Other than that, to be fully insured, you'd probably either need a non-owner insurance policy or use the per-use coverage policies that ZipCar sells (which are pretty expensive IIRC).  It's a tough situation. 

Pixelshot

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Re: is it worth paying for auto insurance without a car?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2013, 04:06:06 AM »
I'm pretty confident that we will have another car in the not-so-distant future (if we have another baby or move to a different city, both of which are possible). My guess is that will be about 2 years from now or sooner. So, that means that if I get the "keep warm" policy, I'd end up paying about $360.00 in that two year span. Seems like, from what people are saying, it will end up saving me money in the long run. Besides, I can always go month to month and cancel if/when something changes.

I am currently insured with USAA which I'm very confident will offer the best coverage for the rock-bottom price. The question that they couldn't answer is how much will my insurance go up if I have a significant lapse in coverage. The example he gave me from one other person he worked with is that the insurance went up by about $350 a year, but he stressed that it was only a rough guess.

dragoncar

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Re: is it worth paying for auto insurance without a car?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2013, 04:39:28 AM »
I'm pretty confident that we will have another car in the not-so-distant future (if we have another baby or move to a different city, both of which are possible). My guess is that will be about 2 years from now or sooner. So, that means that if I get the "keep warm" policy, I'd end up paying about $360.00 in that two year span. Seems like, from what people are saying, it will end up saving me money in the long run. Besides, I can always go month to month and cancel if/when something changes.

I am currently insured with USAA which I'm very confident will offer the best coverage for the rock-bottom price. The question that they couldn't answer is how much will my insurance go up if I have a significant lapse in coverage. The example he gave me from one other person he worked with is that the insurance went up by about $350 a year, but he stressed that it was only a rough guess.

That's BS that they can't take your profile, subtract continuous coverage, and provide a new quote.  Definitely call another company to assess the supposed impact.

Does the "keep warm" policy include any liability insurance? Reason I ask is because I seem to recall reading about some problem with non-car owners (i.e. people without car insurance) using Zipcar--there's some gap into which you can fall if you hit someone in a Zipcar. Maybe a cheapo keep-warm policy would make Zipcar a better deal for you overall. I use Zipcar sometimes but then I have awesome umbrella insurance on our household's one car, and it covers me in a Zipcar.

I think it's only liability.  You can't get collision/comprehensive without specifying a particular car.

jawisco

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Re: is it worth paying for auto insurance without a car?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2013, 04:52:32 AM »
I think you could test this out - call 3 companies for quotes and tell them you haven't had insurance for last 2 years and see what they quote you and make a decision from there.

captainawesome

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Re: is it worth paying for auto insurance without a car?
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2013, 06:32:56 AM »
You mentioned you are with USAA. I am as well, and would HIGHLY recommend keeping your policy. They have great customer service and have always worked with me, even between me having a car (totalled a car, was without one for about 6-8? weeks).  I would keep the policy not just for keeping your "tenure" with them, but also in case you borrow a friends/coworkers/significant others vehicle, you can up the coverage to what you need if you go on a weekend trip or something to that effect, and then drop it back down.  But hey, at the end of the day everyone on the internet is full of shit, so do what you feel is best

SnackDog

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Re: is it worth paying for auto insurance without a car?
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2013, 07:34:33 AM »
I would call around for sure. USAA used to be good but has gone downhill the last decade or so on prices and service. I was surprised to see how much they advertise on tv lately - they are clearly pretty mainstream and focused on the bottom line.

Pixelshot

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Re: is it worth paying for auto insurance without a car?
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2013, 09:30:20 AM »
I talked with the insurance agent again today for a while. After much coaxing, I finally got her to imagine that I was applying for the same policy I have today but had a lapse in coverage. She said the difference would be $45 per 6 months. The "keep-warm" policy is $90 per 6 months. So, it's actually a loss of $45 every 6 months. Except that the $45 would last for at least 1 year after I reinstate the policy, probably more (or so I was told). So, I might actually break even or save by using the keep-warm policy. It does cover both me and my wife which is nice also. I decided to keep the policy warm for the time being until my wife and I settle in to whether or not we will buy another car, which may take a couple of months.