Trying to figure out how not to pay car insurance while kid is abroad

My son is happily studying abroad this semester (& not planning to drive where he is), with school wrapping up at the very end of June. Meanwhile, his car is sitting here undriven, but getting assessed insurance at a fairly steep rate given his age. I think the answer is that there’s nothing I can do about that, but a couple of things I’ve looked at so far…

  • He already doesn’t have coverage for physical damage to the car, but I also looked at lowering his liability limits…unfortunately, 1) it wasn’t a ton of money, and 2) our family umbrella policy requires higher limits.
  • by law I can’t outright cancel the policy without returning the plates. That’s an option, though it’s not clear to me how I get his car re-registered (it’s not a newly-purchased car, or a transfer). I’m still mulling this one over…a lapse in coverage can sometimes be a problem in getting insurance.

I talked to his agent, but she was pretty useless.

Anyone ever do something successful with this?


Lend the car to someone who will use it an insure until he’s back? Sell the car and buy a new one when he returns?
Sell the car to a friend and buy the same car back when he returns?

But when my kid was away at college, i told the insurance company that he was not living with us, and they dropped the price of insurance on the car from “driven by young driver” to “third car of old couple”. I even told them when he’d be home, So they could automatically cover him again, without a second phone call (and raise the rates.)

It might be relevant that we were the legal owners of the car. If your son is the owner, maybe he could sell it to you?

Everywhere I’ve lived there’s been an option for storage or “inop” insurance–very basic, covers whatever damage might occur to a parked car not being driven but if you DO drive it and get into an accident you’re not covered for that accident.

Yes - my policies have always allowed for placing a car in storage - it’s covered for damage (e.g. if a tree falls on it) but not if in motion. Cost is about 15% of normal.

Thanks for the responses - yeah, I’m contacting the insurance company directly, hopefully there’s such an option with the company/in MA. So annoying.

I’m surprised the agent wasn’t helpful, given this is a common situation. And not even with kids overseas; if your kid is at a residential college on the other side of the country, the insurance companies should be able to reduce the premium.

Agree with the others. But rather than declare it inoperative and maximize savings, you may want to discuss putting a mileage cap on the vehicle for the duration of the study abroad.

That way, you can run the car up to operating temperature in your neighborhood or town once a month – usually better than storing a car (unless it’s really stored ‘properly’).

Hahaha just realized that they left my son on the family policy even though he got his own. Working with the agency to amend that, but man is the owner going to get an earful when this is done. I should perhaps just switch agencies, but it’s a pretty big one, and perhaps yelling at the owner will get me someone who knows wtf they’re doing.

They’re also NOW checking with the carrier if ‘storage’ is an option.