If you’ve ever maneuvered through the insurance signup process, chances are you’ve encountered a specific question on your auto insurance registration form: Where is your car parked overnight?
Although seemingly inconsequential and unrelated to your insurance premium, the location where your car rests during the night – be it in your condo, private garage, or on the street – can translate into a modest reduction in your insurance rate.
Various elements contribute to your insurance rate, but overnight parking isn’t one of them. Insurance companies rely on factors such as your address, car make and model, and driving record to calculate your premium. Higher rates of car thefts or collision claims in your vicinity can result in elevated insurance premiums.
Additionally, your mileage, usage patterns, and driving history impact your insurance rate. Some insurers now impose a $500 surcharge on frequently stolen vehicles, including SUVs and models manufactured post-2019.
Geographical location plays a significant role in determining insurance rates due to variations in theft and collision rates. Anne Marie Thomas, Director of Consumer and Industry Relations at the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), clarifies that while asking about overnight parking is uncommon among insurance providers, some may inquire about garage location for territorial rating purposes. Territorial rating involves categorizing areas to assess the actual or expected loss to the insurance company.
Contrary to popular belief, the location where you park overnight is not a direct factor considered by insurance companies. Despite practices like paying for parking permits on city streets, there’s no direct correlation to higher premiums. While theft may be more likely on deserted streets, monitored parking lots are not exempt from car thefts.
Although your overnight parking spot doesn’t directly influence your premium, it can impact the amount you pay.
Enter the private parking insurance discount.
Distinct from parking car insurance (coverage for vehicles not in use for extended periods), some insurers offer a private parking insurance discount ranging from 5% to 10% for parking in private garages, driveways, or carports.
Thomas notes that certain insurers may have sought approval from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) for this discount, but it’s not universally offered. Failing to disclose your parking location may result in missed savings. However, intentionally providing inaccurate information about your residence can lead insurers to decline or cancel your auto insurance policy.
How can you secure the private parking insurance discount?
This discount is exclusive to Ontario.
To determine your eligibility for the discount, check with your insurance company. If you’re contemplating a switch, comparing auto insurance rates from multiple providers could help you secure a private parking insurance discount and potentially lower premiums.