Do you need car insurance if you don’t plan to drive it for a period of time, such as three months or more? The short answer is yes - because insurance is a good thing to have when the unexpected happens!
If your car will be parked and not driven for a period of time, you can remove some of your coverage, such as collision coverage, which can save you money, and keep your comprehensive insurance, which covers damage sustained in an incident, like a falling branch. Comprehensive insurance is an optional type of coverage that can be added to most auto insurance policies in Canada. While optional, it can be extremely worthwhile for all kinds of drivers. Continue reading to learn more about parked car insurance, including what it is, why it is important, and how BrokerLink can help you find it.
What is parked car insurance?
Parked car insurance safeguards your vehicle against a wide variety of non-collision-related damages known as insured perils, and your vehicle will only be covered while parked if it is damaged by an insured peril. Insured perils vary between insurance providers and it is up to the policyholder to decide which perils to insure against. However, they typically include theft, vandalism, water damage, fire, falling or flying objects, windstorms, and more.
Is parked car insurance mandatory?
No, parked car or comprehensive insurance is not mandatory in Canada. It is an optional add-on, just like collision insurance or accident forgiveness insurance. That said, car insurance is mandatory in Canada. So if you want to drive, you will need to purchase a policy that complies with the laws in your province. For example, in Ontario, your car insurance policy must include accident benefits coverage, uninsured automobile coverage, direct compensation - property damage coverage, and no less than $200,000 in third party liability coverage.
What does parked car insurance cover?
Comprehensive coverage is intended to cover losses outside those covered by collision. With parked car insurance, your vehicle can be protected against specific perils or dangers, including vandalism, theft, fire, flying or falling objects, and more. Real-life examples of when parked car insurance could prove useful are if a tree fell on your parked car, if a thief steals your car in the middle of the night, or if a vandal spray paints your car. Unlike other types of auto insurance coverage, parked car insurance typically does not feature any sort of collision or liability coverage.
Why choose to keep parked car insurance
Policyholders choose to have parked car insurance for many reasons. However, the main reason is the peace of mind it provides. Keep in mind that standard auto insurance policies in Canada are almost entirely aimed at protecting a vehicle in motion (more specifically, from collisions or damages that happen on the road). Therefore, comprehensive coverage is needed to protect a parked vehicle from damage. So if you want to be financially protected should something occur to your car while parked, comprehensive coverage is crucial.
Some of the most common reasons or circumstances (beyond peace of mind) that drivers in Canada have parked car insurance are as follows:
- You drive a seasonal vehicle that is only driven in the summer months
- You want out of country protection when you take extended trips away from home (e.g. snowbirds)
- You have more than one vehicle
- You want to avoid a gap in car insurance
- You want financial protection if your vehicle is stolen or vandalized
- You want financial protection against fires
- You do not have access to a private, secure, or covered area to park your car
- The vehicle is not operational
- Your financial circumstances have changed
- You have lost your driver’s licence temporarily due to medical issues
- You can no longer drive your vehicle since your driver’s licence was revoked
How much does parked car insurance cost?
As with all types of car insurance, the cost of it depends on several factors that are unique to the driver. Some of the main factors that can impact your parked car insurance rates include your age, gender, driving record, driving experience/licence level, claims history, local laws, location, the make, model, and year of your vehicle, and your annual mileage.
Is comprehensive car insurance worth it for all drivers?
No, parked car insurance is not worth it for all drivers. There are several circumstances in which parked car insurance may not make sense. For example, if your car doesn’t run, is being used for parts, or is a salvaged vehicle, the cost of this extra insurance coverage likely won’t be worth it. However, if you value your vehicle and want to protect it from damage, comprehensive car insurance can be worth it.
What happens if I don’t have comprehensive insurance and my car gets damaged while parked?
If you do not have parked car insurance and something happens to your vehicle while parked (such as a tree falling on it or a fire damaging it), you will be forced to pay for the cost of repairs out of pocket. For this reason, it’s generally wise to add comprehensive coverage to your auto insurance policy.
What happens if my car is the victim of a hit and run accident while it’s parked?
There are many times that you leave your vehicle parked and unattended in a public setting. Whether it be in the grocery store parking lot or on the street in front of a friend’s house, there is always a risk that your parked vehicle will be damaged.
One example of such damage is if another driver collides with your parked car and flees the scene, otherwise known as a hit and run. This unfortunate incident is more common than people think and can be costly for the victim. In most cases, comprehensive coverage won’t cover hit and run accidents. Rather, uninsured automobile coverage or collision coverage may be applicable. In any case, if you are involved in a hit and run accident, make sure to note down and take photos of the following details:
- The precise location where the hit and run accident occurred.
- The date that the hit and run accident occurred.
- The approximate time the hit and run accident occurred.
- The weather conditions at the time of the hit and run.
- The names and contact information of any witnesses.
- The time you called the police and the name of the officer you spoke with, if applicable.
- The damage that the hit and run accidents caused to your car.
- The presence of debris in the surrounding area that could help identify the person or vehicle responsible for the hit and run accident.
- The presence of any other damaged cars nearby.
Other optional auto insurance coverages
As mentioned above, parked car insurance is optional but often worthwhile. A few other optional car insurance coverages that Canadian drivers may wish to add to their policies include:
If you get into an accident with another vehicle or object on the road, no matter who is at fault for the accident, collision coverage can help cover the costs. Under the collision coverage section of your policy, you can receive compensation to help pay for any property damage that resulted from the accident, such as a damaged car.
Accident forgiveness coverage
Another type of optional car insurance coverage popular among Canadian drivers is accident forgiveness. Accident forgiveness is additional coverage that can be added to your car insurance policy as an endorsement, to protect your driving record and to help prevent your insurance premium from increasing if you have an at-fault accident claim.
Note: coverage varies by province.
Find the right parked car insurance policy for you with BrokerLink
Want to learn more about parked car insurance? As auto insurance experts, BrokerLink can answer any of your questions about parked car insurance. We can also provide our professional opinion on whether it is worthwhile for your vehicle.
Give us a call to speak with a BrokerLink insurance advisor today or visit us in person at one of our many locations in Canada. If you are looking for a free car insurance quote, you can also take advantage of our online quote tool which provides accurate and competitive quotes in minutes. BrokerLink is here for all your car insurance needs.
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