Parking your car on the street can directly affect your car insurance premiums. If you plan not to disclose this fact to your insurer then think again. Insurers may investigate your claim and if you were dishonest at the time of underwriting, your claim payout could be reduced or declined. It is important to be honest with your car insurer at the time that you take out your policy. Where you park your car at night may increase your car insurance premiums. However, in the long run you will benefit from the peace of mind in knowing that your insurer will have you covered in the event of a loss.
Safety And Security When Parked
If you have taken out car insurance before then you know that the insurer will ask you questions like:
- Where do you park your car at night?
- Do you have a lock up garage?
- Is the vehicle fitted with an alarm and immobiliser?
- Do you have satellite tracking for your vehicle?
These four questions are important to determine your risk profile. Insurers will also consider your age, driving experience and vehicle make and model. In a country where vehicle-related crimes are high, insurers need to certain about risky situations. Not having an alarm and immobiliser for example are an obvious lack of safety features. Similarly where you park your car at night may also be considered risky.
Street Parking versus Locked Garage
Criminals prefer to strike at night for several reasons. Naturally the cover of darkness and sleeping residents of any community are more prone to crime at night. Your vehicle is equally at risk. The location of your parked vehicle also makes a difference. Insurers work on risk and have decades of statistics as well as the skills of actuaries and underwriters at their disposal. Even if you look beyond the stats, the location of your parked vehicle and associated risk is just a matter of common sense.
If your car is parked on your property then the risk may be a little lower than parking on the street. A criminal will have to enter your property and risk facing various levels of security to reach your vehicle. This takes time and may alert you and your neighbours. Therefore criminals a car parked on the street is a softer target than a car parked in a lock up garage on private property.
The other issue is a locked garage. While having a high fence and dogs on the property are an obvious deterrent, a locked garage adds another obstacle to car thieves. They will have to penetrate the lock and open a garage door that is usually noisy before starting the car and driving out. Naturally insurers see a vehicle that is parked in a locked garage on your property at night as being relatively safer than a vehicle parked on a public street.
Insurance Premiums Based On Parking Risk
The rate of car hijacking in South Africa is significantly high. This means that your vehicle is stolen while you are still in it. Criminals will take any opportunity to steal what they consider to be a soft target. A parked car is essentially a soft target, especially when it is on a lonely street, under the cover of darkness with little security features. For this reason, where you park your car can alter your risk profile. This can affect your car insurance premiums significantly.
It is important to be honest about where you park your car at night. Your insurer must fully aware of the risk from the outset. Failure to fully disclose these factors may mean lower car insurance premiums for now. However, in the long term you will lose more money is a claim is rejected. Insurers investigate claims and may uncover your dishonesty about street parking at night. This gives the insurer the right to refuse paying a claim in the event of vehicle theft.
Ultimately it means that you will have to fork out money from your own pocket to cover the loss of your vehicle. Rather be honest at the outset. Pay a little extra every month and sleep soundly with the knowledge that your car insurer has you covered in the event of a loss.