Can Your Parking Spot Impact Your Car Insurance Rate?

Your car insurance premium mainly depends on your address and zip code, but parking in a garage may land you a discount on comprehensive and collision coverage.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Parking a car outdoors or in an unsecured garage can cost you more, depending on the level of your car insurance coverage and whether your company offers a garage discount. Parking in a garage attached to your home or in a secured, covered lot could help you save.
  • Where you live impacts what risks your vehicle is exposed to, which can impact what you pay for your
    car insurance
  • Parking your vehicle outdoors leaves your vehicle more vulnerable to theft, vandalism, and severe weather.
  • Parking your vehicle in a garage will leave your vehicle better protected, and some insurers may give you a garage discount.

Parking outdoors comes with a lot of risk

Whether you park your vehicle indoors or outdoors, insurers will determine your general rate based on risks in your zip code. 
Parking outdoors doesn’t automatically raise your rate—but you may lose out on a garage discount if your insurance company offers it.
But when parked outside, your car is more vulnerable to a host of dangers—which you want to avoid regardless of how it affects your insurance premiums.
Some of these risk factors include:
A few companies will offer
car insurance discounts
and/or lower auto insurance rates for
collision coverage
to customers who park in a covered garage.
Parking your car in a monitored parking lot can leave your vehicle better protected against theft or vandalism than parking out in the open. 

Parking indoors may lead to a discount

Parking your car in a secure, indoor garage or parking space can reduce your risk in the eyes of the car insurance company.
Since the company is less likely to have to pay out an insurance claim, they might pass some of those savings onto you in the form of a discount on your comprehensive and collision coverage.
You’ll especially want to park inside if:
  • You live in a high-crime area
  • You live in an area prone to major weather events (like hurricanes or flooding)
  • You live in an area prone to harsh winters
In these types of areas, you can expect to have a higher insurance rate—no matter where you park—compared to a statistically less risky area. 
MORE: How to find a parking spot in a city

The safest ways to park your car

Not all indoor parking locations are created equal if you’re looking to keep your car safe.
  • Attached garage: An attached garage to your home is the most secure place to park your car to protect it from danger. 
  • A standalone garage: A standalone garage—or a building on your property but physically separate from your home—is also considered highly safe for your vehicle.
  • A garage that is not on your property: Not as safe as an attached or standalone garage on your property. While it's better to be inside than out, garages located elsewhere are no better than parking outside or in a
    public parking garage
    with little security.

When to park in a garage

According to car insurers: It is always a good idea to park your car indoors to best protect it from any damage.
If you own a very high-end vehicle or special classic car, check with your insurance agent to see if they recommend special housing (or a special type of policy).

Is my parked car covered?

Whether your parked car is protected depends on what kind of insurance you have and the type of damage sustained.
Comprehensive coverage
will provide good protection for your parked car, though in certain circumstances,
collision insurance
may kick in.
Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car in incidents that do not stem from a collision.
Your parked car would be protected in most circumstances, including:
  • Theft
  • Car fire
  • Damage resulting from a storm
  • Flooding
Collision coverage: Will generally cover your vehicle if it was hit by another vehicle while parked.
Here are some scenarios where these different coverages come into play.

If you know who hit your car

If your car was hit by another vehicle and you know who hit you: You can file a claim through the at-fault person’s insurance policy. 
In this case, their property damage liability insurance would be used to help you. You won’t have to pay a deductible.

If you don’t know who hit your car

If your parked car is damaged and you have no idea who hit it: You’ll still be covered if you have collision insurance.
This type of insurance covers your vehicle in the event of a collision with another car or fixed object.
While you wouldn’t be able to file a claim against the other driver in this scenario, your own insurance will cover your car’s damage (minus your deductible).
However, if your car is damaged by another vehicle while parked and you don’t have collision insurance, any repairs will be on you.


If your car is vandalized while parked: The first thing you want to do is file a police report. This officially documents the incident and will speed up your insurance claim.
Vandalism falls under comprehensive insurance. If you don’t opt for a policy that includes comprehensive coverage, you will be on the hook for paying the repairs out of pocket.

Parking a car long-term

If you’re going to be away for a long period of time, or are parking your car indoors for the winter, you can keep comprehensive coverage only on the vehicle.
In some cases, you can make arrangements to place one car in storage without having other vehicles on the policy. Since every insurer is different, talk to yours to see if something like this is possible.

The benefits of comprehensive-only insurance or "parked car insurance"

If your insurance provider offers it, comprehensive-only insurance is a great way to protect a car that’s parked long-term. This will reduce your overall insurance costs while giving you peace of mind.
You can easily adjust your coverage once you’re ready to drive your car again—just talk to your insurer.
Remember: In most states, it’s illegal not to have any car insurance on a registered vehicle. So, if you are parking your car with the intent to keep it registered, do not cancel your car insurance. 

The drawbacks of comprehensive-only insurance

Unfortunately, comprehensive-only insurance does not cover hit-and-run incidents.
Keep in mind: If you’re still paying off your car loan, you may need to get the lienholder’s approval before switching to comprehensive-only coverage.
If you do select this type of coverage, it is imperative that you increase your coverage once you’re ready to drive your car again.
Key Takeaway: Never cancel your car insurance, even if you are parking your car long term. Switching to comprehensive-only insurance will reduce your premiums and protect your car when it is not in use.

How to find the best car insurance rates

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If another car hits your parked car and drives off, you’d have to file a claim with your collision coverage or pay out of pocket for repairs. Comprehensive coverage won’t cover you.
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