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Does Where you Park Affect Your Insurance Rate?

Did you know our vehicles sit parked 95% of the time? While most of your insurance rate comes from factors that are more connected with the 5% of driving time our cars see, where you park your car does make a difference in your premium costs.

Garage vs. Driveway

Keeping your car in the garage versus in the driveway makes less of a difference to insurers than you’d think. Some don’t even ask how you store your car when it’s not being driven. However, some insurers may offer discounts for drivers who keep their car in a garage, which is presumably a safer place than parking it on the street or driveway. It’s always worth asking. Companies that do offer a “garage discount” can save you about 5% on your premiums.

However, if you are parking your car on the street or even in your own driveway, you may want to opt-in to move coverage, which does cost a bit more. Comprehensive insurance coverage is a type of auto insurance that protects you against losses caused by covered events not related to a collision. These events often include storms and natural disasters, such as a tornado or a hurricane, falling objects, theft, vandalism, or animal damage.

Comprehensive coverage is usually optional but is highly recommended for anyone who stores their vehicle in areas that are likely to incur the above types of damage. There are also ways in which you can help protect your car from the type of damage that comprehensive insurance covers.

To help keep your car from being stolen, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends using common sense when parking and exiting your vehicle. This includes taking your vehicle’s key with you and not leaving it in or on your vehicle, as well as closing and locking all windows and doors when you park. You should also park in well-lit areas if possible and never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially if they can be seen from outside the vehicle. Theft-deterrent devices can also scare would-be thieves away.

Where You Live

According to insurers, where you live has a lot to do with how likely you are to get into an auto accident. The biggest effect on your insurance rates has more to do with where you live than specifically where your car is parked.

Weather, crime rates, and population are a few reasons why your location matters to insurers. One way insurers can tell this is by the number of claims in your area. If your area has a high history of claims, you may be charged a bit more. Those who live in areas with higher crime rates, especially property crimes like car break-ins, car theft, and vandalism, can mean higher premiums.

If you live in an area with higher unemployment, insurers estimate that more people forgo auto insurance, which means those who have insurance end up paying more when hit by an uninsured motorist. Rural drivers pay less than those in cities because vandalism, theft, and crashes are more prevalent in metropolitan areas.

Other Factors

While where you live and park your car does affect your rates, there are other big items that add to your insurance premium.

How Old You Are

Younger drivers have higher premiums because they are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident. Insurance companies generally charge higher rates for drivers 25 and younger. On the other hand, because they are in the car less and generally exhibit safe driving behaviors, most insurance companies offer discounts to drivers over 55.

The Car You Drive

The year, make, and model of your car is a big factor in your insurance cost. The more expensive and desirable the automobile, the higher the risk of it getting stolen and the higher the cost for repairs. Other variables include its engine size and the overall safety record of the car. Cars with high-quality safety equipment might qualify for premium discounts.

Your Credit Score

Though a few states prohibit insurance companies from basing your premiums on credit score, many do. Some insurers see poor credit as a sign that you are a higher risk for them to insure. This is due to the fact that actuarial studies show that how a person manages his or her financial affairs is a good predictor of insurance claims.

No matter where you park, you and your car deserve to be protected. Protect yourself and your family today and get a free car insurance quote online, over the phone, or at one of our offices near you.

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