Jul 14, 2023
Storing or parking your vehicle? Consider parking insurance
If you are planning to take your vehicle off the road then you should consider parking insurance. With winter on the horizon, many people are planning to store their vehicles. Some drivers consider putting their car insurance on hold. Others even plan to cancel car insurance, which can have a negative effect on your future rates.
Your best bet is most likely insurance for your parked car. We’ll help you determine if parking is the right solution for your situation.
What is parking insurance?
Parking insurance is another name for comprehensive insurance. It provides you with coverage against specific perils while your vehicle is parked and off the road. The coverage ensures you have protection if your vehicle was damaged, stolen, or vandalized while being stored. It is not mandatory. But it's highly recommended to keep some coverage on your vehicle, even when you are not driving it.
For example, let’s say you have your summer car parked in your driveway for the winter months. After a harsh snowstorm, a tree branch fell on your tree and caused a cracked windshield. If you have an active policy for the vehicle, you will likely be covered for repairs or replacement. If you have no active coverage, you would be paying for the repair process with all your own money.
Can I park my car in my driveway without insurance?
It is not legally required to have parked car insurance, but it is highly recommended even if you are just parking a car in your driveway. If your vehicle has low value or if you are keeping it for parts, having active protection isn’t necessary. However, if you have a vehicle that you drive seasonally or is used within the family, you would legally need some level of coverage.
Why you need insurance for parked vehicles
Choosing to remove coverage from your vehicle can have repercussions. You are potentially putting yourself at financial risk in several ways.
- Your vehicle could be damaged. Without coverage, you would have to pay for repairs out of pocket.
- You could face penalties and fees for removing it prior to your policy expiry.
- An interruption in policy history could affect your premium costs.
- Seasonal or classic car.
- To have protection from fire related damages.
- A change in financial circumstances.
- Due to medical issues, you have lost your Ontario driver’s licence temporarily.
What does parking insurance cover?
Parking insurance provides you with protection from a variety of risks that are not a result of an accident. This list includes :
- Weather damage (lightning, hail, wind, earthquake)
- Rising water
- Falling objects
It may include other perils listed in your policy – be sure to read through the documents carefully.
How much does parked car insurance cost?
A parked car policy is more affordable than a typical policy. In most cases, you will remove coverage and opt for the minimum level available. How much it will cost depends on all the normal factors – location, vehicle type, how you store the vehicle, and more. Speak with your insurer to get an accurate auto insurance quote if your car is going to be parked for an extended period.
Can you drive with parked car insurance?
You cannot drive your vehicle with only parked car insurance. To legally drive, you must have third party liability, DCPD, and uninsured motorist protection. If you choose to drive without the right coverage in place, you face significant consequences. Driving without insurance or improper coverage can result in fines, licence suspension, and having your vehicle impounded. Keep your vehicle parked until you reactivate your policy.
The benefits of insurance for parked car
Are you still on the fence about whether parking insurance is for you? There are obvious benefits to it depending on your needs and situation :
- Damage prevention : It protects your vehicle against damage or vehicle theft while it is parked.
- Cost savings benefits : It will also save you money and you will maintain your insurance history. Plus, you can easily change your coverage when you are ready to drive the vehicle again.
- For snowbirds : If you only in the country for half of the year, you may want to consider having your vehicle protected while you are away. So when you get your snowbird travel insurance make sure your vehicle is covered while you are away with a parked car policy.
- Peace of mind : You can enjoy the peace of mind that your parked vehicle is covered for most accidental damages.
Potential drawbacks of parking insurance coverage
Even though you are covered for damage, you do not have protection from all threats. For example, you do not have protection for a hit and run if you cannot identify the driver.
The other potential issue you may run into is the ability to get parking insurance. If you have a car lease your lender may require you have both comprehensive and collision insurance on the vehicle. With a parked care policy, you only have comprehensive. You may need to request approval from your lender if you want to take your car off the road.
Steps to protect your vehicle while its parked
If you do plan to take your vehicle off the road, where you park it and how you store it is important. Here are some simple steps to protect your vehicle while it's parked:
- Park the vehicle in a garage if possible.
- If you are storing it outside, use a vehicle cover for added protection from the elements and theft.
- Remove all valuables.
- Speak with your mechanic about vehicle maintenance tips if you are storing your vehicle long term.
Parking insurance FAQs
No. You do not need to have auto insurance if a vehicle not parked on a public roadway. You don’t require coverage if you are not driving a vehicle and storing it. However, coverage is highly recommended - you never know what may happen.
Even if you do not drive a vehicle, it's still subject to many risks. You can choose to not get any for your vehicle if you don’t drive it. But, by not getting gap insurance, or minimum coverage, you are accepting the financial risk of having to pay for damage if it occurs.
It is not recommended to park your vehicle on the street if you do not have an active policy. All vehicles must be registered and insured to be on any roadway. Without coverage, you cannot legally move your vehicle. You also increase the risk of the vehicle being hit by another car. If this occurs, you will be on the hook for the repair costs.
No. Your home insurance will not cover your vehicle if it is damaged while on your property. It might cover personal items stolen from your vehicle while it's parked. Check your policy to know what you have coverage for.
Yes. It's advisable to have your car covered even if you store it at an offsite facility. Many vehicle storage locations will require you to have a certain level of protection.
Even parked cars need insurance
Most assume that parking a vehicle on their driveway is safe. And it is for the most part. But you can never be too careful. All it takes is one incident and an uninsured vehicle could cost you thousands to repair. If your car is parked or if you are driving regularly it's important to have proper car insurance in Ontario. Speak with a ThinkInsure advisor today about coverage and ways to save on your policy.