If I Live in My Car, What Insurance Do I Need?

Last Updated on July 22, 2020

Car insurance is important for anyone who has a vehicle –  you’ll want to make sure your mode of transportation is always protected. However, when your car becomes your home, insurance becomes more important and more complicated. There are many reasons why someone might choose to live in their car. Many people associate living in a car with homelessness, but this isn’t the only reason why someone would choose to live in a vehicle. Lately, there’s been a trend of young people living in vans so that they can travel easily. While this is a perfectly valid way of living, it does make your car insurance situation slightly more complicated. Here’s what you need to keep in mind if you’re going to be living out of your car.

If I Live In My Car, What Insurance Do I Need?

Liability Insurance Won’t Cut It

If you’re living out of your car, there’s a good chance you’re on a budget. It can be tempting to only purchase the minimum amount of car insurance required in your state. However, this can leave you in a bind if anything does happen to your car. In order to fully protect yourself and your vehicle, you’re going to need collision and comprehensive coverage in addition to liability coverage. Collision coverage will cover repair costs for your vehicle if you are in any kind of collision, whether that be a stationary object or another car. Comprehensive coverage pays for other types of damage to your car, such as weather damage and vandalism. Investing in this type of coverage is important because you’re not relying on another driver’s liability coverage to pay for damage to your car.

What Other Insurance Can You Buy?

There are a few other types of insurance you may want to consider if you’re living in your car. The first is uninsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage can pay for car repairs as well as medical bills if you are hurt in a crash with someone who doesn’t have legally required liability coverage or someone who doesn’t have enough liability coverage to pay for your bills. Another type of coverage to consider is gap coverage, particularly if you are living in an older car. This insurance will pay for your car’s financing if your car depreciates or is declared a total financial loss. If you live in your car, you should also make sure you have at least basic health insurance, so you can take care of yourself in the event of an accident or a serious illness. You may also want to purchase coverage for your most valuable property so you can replace your belongings if they get stolen.

Be Careful When Traveling

Many people choose to live out of their cars because they want to travel. However, this can make their car insurance situation complicated. When selecting your car insurance policy, make sure it provides coverage for all of the states that you plan on traveling to. There are some car insurance policies that only offer coverage in certain states, so you will need to confirm with your insurance agent that your policy covers you for the type of travel you are planning to do. If you’re going to be traveling to a new state for a significant period of time, you may want to switch your insurance policy to one based in that state. If you’re going to be traveling out of the country, you are likely going to need to buy a new insurance policy in that country or look for a company that offers international policies. The reason this is so important is that car insurance law is can differ from state to state and between countries. You don’t want to be stranded in a new state or country without the legal minimum of car insurance coverage.

How to Live In Your Car Legally

It’s very important to note that it’s not always legal to live in your car. It’s important to be aware of where you can and cannot legally sleep in your car. Every city and state has its own laws, but generally, you can live in your car on private property as long as the owner of the property has given you permission to be there. This means if you’re parked in your friend’s driveway, living there is legal as long as the landlord is okay with it. In some cities, there are also designated streets or areas where you can live in your car as long as you abide by parking regulations. If you are struggling to find a place to park your car overnight, look for a Walmart. They allow RVs and other vehicles to park in their lots overnight (although there are some regulations). Most cities have community centers where you can shower and access an internet connection. If you are living in your car for survival, these community centers are going to be very valuable for survival. If you are living in your car for travel purposes, look for campsites that are designed for RVs and vans. They will usually have amenities like showers, laundry rooms, and computer stations where you can live comfortably and enjoy the experience of traveling.

Whether you’re living in your car out of necessity or you prefer a minimalist lifestyle, it’s very important to have insurance while you do so. Good insurance will help you avoid financial struggles should you get into an accident or fall victim to vandalism.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for InsurancePanda.com and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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