Does Where I Park My Car Affect My Auto Rates?

Learn more about how where you park your car could affect your auto insurance.
Car parked on a quiet street.

Have you ever wondered if where you park your car impacts how much you pay for auto insurance? The short answer is that it depends.

Many different details can affect your monthly premiums. Auto insurers mainly care about factors that indicate some level of risk about how well you drive or how likely you are to file a claim. This includes things such as your:

Where you park your vehicle each night can influence your level of risk. However, it’s unlikely to be the deciding factor in whether you pay more or less for coverage. Ultimately, how much it impacts your rates will depend on your circumstances.

In this article, we’ll help you understand how where you park can affect how much you pay for car insurance. This includes both direct and indirect ways it can control how much you pay. We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions.

Some Insurers Care, While Others Don’t

Some insurance companies may ask where you park, but as we said, it’s not likely to affect your monthly bill. While some insurers could ask where you park or change your rates because of it, your premium is more likely to increase because of indirect factors. In other words, some places are safer to park in than others. Storing your vehicle in a dangerous spot makes it far more likely that you’ll have to file a claim with your insurer.

Here are some common ways your parking choices can affect your car insurance:

You’ll Have to Pay a Deductible

Leaving your car out on the street, in front of your house, or a parking lot can put it at a higher risk of:

Comprehensive coverage will cover most of the above (collision coverage steps in if another car hits yours). But keep in mind that whenever you file a claim, you’ll have to pay your deductible.

More Claims Can Increase Rates

Claim history is one of many factors that can affect your auto premiums. One or two claims here and there for damage out of your control won’t move the needle much on your rates. But several claims in a short time could make you pay more for coverage. Keep this in the back of your head when you’re deciding where to park.

You Own a Collector Car

If you own a collector or classic vehicle, your insurer will typically require you to garage it or keep it in a safe place. Some may even require you to show proof that your car is in a garage or secure storage location.

Putting your collector automobile in an unsafe place (e.g., on the street in front of your house) could violate the terms of your policy, leading to either increased premiums or losing your coverage. Your valuable car will also be at a higher risk of losing its value or getting damaged if you don’t store it properly.

Where Your Neighbor Keeps Their Car

Your rates will, of course, not go up because your neighbor parks his or her car on the street. But if you live in an area that experiences lots of vehicle crime or plenty of natural disasters, the number of claims in your area will rise. This will more than likely increase your auto rates, even if you never file any claims.

How to Save on Car Insurance

If your rates have gone up, there are several great steps you can take to get them back to where you want:

  • Keep your car in a safe place. If you’re able, this is a good way to avoid sometimes expensive or frustrating comprehensive claims. Safe parking may also help your case if your company considers car storage as a rate factor.
  • Qualify for discounts. Some discounts, such as paperless billing and automatic payments are easy to get and can give you some nice savings. In terms of vehicle safety, you can typically get savings for having anti-theft devices or features such as airbags on your car.
  • Bundle your policies. Having your home or renters and your auto insurance under one company can give you a rate deduction.
  • Compare car insurance quotes. One way to be sure you’re getting the best value on your auto coverage is by shopping around. If you suspect you can get a better deal or that your parking location is affecting your rates too much, try getting some quotes from leading companies and comparing them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does location matter for car insurance?

A: Location affects auto insurance a great deal. The most typical case is where you live, as this is one of the things that helps insurers figure out how to set rates. As an example, people who live in a city with lots of claims will tend to pay more than those who live in a small rural community.

Where you park your car can be another example of how location can affect your rates. Some providers may ask where you keep your vehicle, then factor it into your costs. Most others may simply wait for you to file a claim before it impacts anything.

Q: Is parking my car in my driveway better than on the street?

A: From a safety standpoint, parking in your driveway can be a little better than parking on the street. However, depending on how it’s situated, your car still may be at risk of trees falling on it, as well as theft or vandalism. If you can, it’s ideal to keep your car in your garage.

Q: What kinds of coverage can protect my car while it’s parked?

A: Comprehensive coverage takes care of most of the damage your vehicle could take while it’s parked. This includes:

  • Falling objects, such as light poles, stop signs, and trees/branches
  • Vandalism
  • Break-ins
  • Theft
  • Animal damage
  • Damage from natural disasters, storms, or bad weather

While most typically think of it for accidents that happen while driving, collision coverage can cover your car if somebody hits it (even if you weren’t in it). This is because collision covers any incident where your car collides with another car or object.

To learn more about both of the above coverages, we recommend checking out our article comparing the two. It quickly goes over the differences and similarities between both and offers price comparisons.

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