Does parking in a garage affect car insurance rates?
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UPDATED: Jun 14, 2019
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Parking in the company garage may affect your car insurance rates in a negative manner. The Center for Insurance Policy and Research has uncovered a few trends that can change the way auto insurance companies rate your costs and where you park is on the list.
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Unless your company garage is brightly lit and has excellent security around the clock, you may see an increase in your car insurance rates because of the added risk of theft. This is especially true with multi-level parking garages where hundreds of cars enter and exit on a daily basis.
It is very important that find somewhere safe to park your vehicle during working hours and many times a company garage will provide you with safety because generally, only other employees use the garage and often times cameras are available.
On a lighter note, smaller parking garages can sometimes be much more desirable than street parking and your insurance company may see this as favorable. On-street parking poses other risks, which can increase your premiums. This is certainly true if you work in a metropolitan area and park on a major thoroughfare.
Keeping your Car Insurance Rates Low at Work
If you need your car to get back and forth to work, there are a few options you can exercise to keep it affordable as far as your car insurance rates go. Do not think for one moment that your insurance company will not uncover this information. Remember, when you first applied for insurance, they asked about your occupation and more than likely, you gave them this data without hesitation. They have your employer’s address.
The insurance company knows if you commute to work because you told them during your application; they required this information to determine the number of miles you drive. This is one of the factors they use to calculate your rates. Some are also providing their customers with tracking devices.
According to Consumer Watchdog, some states, like California, Texas, Illinois, and Ohio provide their residents with discounts on their annual policies if they reduce their driving by 500 miles or more. They install the tracking device, provided by the car insurance company and after a certain timeframe, the average distance is calculated into their rates.
Something as simple as taking photos of your company-parking garage with your cellular phone and saving them in a file is a good place to start. Use the photos to inform your insurance provider of the safe environment where your car is parked during business hours. This may help them understand the low risk.
Additionally, if you can speak with the security department manager and perhaps coax them into providing you with their schedule, you can forward this information to your car insurance provider as well.
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Informing your Car Insurance Company of Changes
If you start commuting more than two times per week, you should let your car insurance company know as soon as possible. This is a great way to see a decrease in your premiums. Many car insurance companies offer discounts if you remain under the national average number of miles per year. So take the bus or share a ride and you may see your numbers go down over time.
If your employer upgrades the facility and makes changes to the current parking garage, like adding a cover if the garage was not covered or eliminating a smoking area, your risk is decreased. For one, it eliminates the risk of fire from smoldering cigarettes and reduces the exposure to the elements or damage caused by hailstorms, ice storms, or acid rain.
Important Factors to Consider
Your car insurance provider has the ability to research your information in depth; unfortunately, they are not as thorough when it comes to the little details, like how you should approach specific situations. For example, if you move from one state to another, you need to educate yourself on the rules and regulations of that particular state.
If you have a national car insurance provider, chances are you will not need to make any changes to your policy, just update your address for their database.
However, you may not be required to retain the same level of coverage as you once did.
This is because each state has their own minimum requirements. Iowa residents are not required to meet the same standards as someone who resides in New York or Pennsylvania, because the areas are completely different. Iowa is rural country and New York and Pennsylvania are metropolitan areas.
Make sure you know the facts and never be afraid to contact your car insurance provider with questions. They are obligated to provide you with as much information you need to make the best decision. However, they can only help you if you ask.
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