Why Some Insurance Companies May Ask You Where You Park Your Car Overnight

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Some car insurers grant discounts to policyholders who park in a secure place

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One of the most rude alarm clocks for a driver is the sound of a thief, vandal or other vehicle smashing the windows of a beloved vehicle while it is parked on the street outside. ‘outside.

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A private driveway can reduce the chances of you waking up at midnight, while a locked garage can deter a would-be joyrider. But can parking on the street also reduce your insurance premium? May be.

Do auto insurance companies care where you park your vehicle overnight?

Generally speaking, this is not a particularly influential factor in determining your rate. Anne Marie Thomas, director of consumer and industry relations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, says insurance companies only look at the details of where a person parks at night if they finish by processing a multitude of auto claims from one policyholder.

“If someone has a lot of vandalism claims in a short period of time, an insurance company might say, ‘OK, you need to do something about this or we’ll either have to increase your overall deductible or not offer you this. . cover,” says Thomas.

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Insurance companies will not normally pay claims to a driver who has the same preventable problems, over and over again. However, offering a private parking discount can be a way to retain such customers while reducing the risk of theft or vandalism of the car.

Private parking insurance discounts are not common, but not out of the question

Steven Harris, licensed insurance broker and insurance adjuster at LowestRates.ca, says some car insurance companies believe that parking in a garage at night rather than in a driveway or on the street “can have an impact on the probability of loss”.

According to Harris, these discounts are not common in the auto insurance industry. In fact, Ontario’s standard auto insurance application forms don’t even ask if a driver is parking on the street, in a garage or in a driveway overnight.

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However, some car insurance companies offer private parking discounts of up to 10%.

What makes private parking so much safer?

Private garages can help protect vehicles from theft in ways that publicly accessible driveways and street parking do not.

Car thieves are more and more hack key fobs to beat electronic locking systems, while the so-called “warm-up flights”, i.e. thieves steal a car left idling in a driveway before, say, a chilly morning commute, are also surprisingly common. As Thomas pointed out, a locked garage makes it much harder for a thief to steal your vehicle.

“If your garage is locked, they can’t get your car to leave anyway, even if they manage to crack the tech and get the key fob,” says Thomas.

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How your postcode affects your risk of damage and theft

Getting a private parking discount could save you money on your insurance premium, but there are other far more influential factors to consider when trying to protect your vehicle from damage when is parked and unattended, like your zip code.

Rural areas generally have less traffic on the road at any one time, so drivers are less likely to file a claim for a side-swipe or theft. As a result, insurance rates may be lower overall than in a dense urban postcode.

Then there are more personal factors related to you, the driver. How long have you been licensed? What is your driving record? How old are you? Harris said there are many other attributes of a driver that car insurance companies take into account when providing a quote.

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“Where you park at night is a relatively minor factor,” Harris says. Things like your insurance history and the make and model of your car usually weigh more heavily on your premium.

How to get a discount on private parking

The easiest way to find out if a car insurance provider offers private parking discounts is to check online – most will state this openly on the website.

Of course, a licensed insurance broker can also help you find discounts if you’re an eligible customer. But, before locking your font, be sure to compare car insurance rates among the best providers in Canada for the lowest possible premium.

As Thomas says, “A little due diligence, if you’re shopping for car insurance, can’t hurt either.”

LowestRates.ca is a free, independent rate comparison website that allows Canadians to compare rates from over 75 providers for various financial products, such as home and auto insurance, mortgages and credit cards.

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