Auto insurance can be expensive, so it’s never a bad idea to look into possible discounts and deals. Parking your car in a garage might be a simple way to help lower your insurance premiums.
Auto insurance premiums are calculated based on the likelihood that you will submit a claim. In most cases, auto insurance discounts are based on how safe and secure your car is—both while in motion and while parked. A “garage discount” looks at whether or not parking your car in garage would lower your risk of having to submit a claim for damage to your car.
So will having a garage lower your auto premiums? Check out the advantages and disadvantages of parking in a garage below.
What are the advantages of having a garage?
Your car is generally more protected in a garage, which means there’s usually a lower risk of damage. This reduced risk typically translates to fewer claims, and fewer claims means a lower auto insurance premium.
Here’s how a garage provides advantages in terms of low risk for loss or damage to your vehicle.
1. Lower likelihood of accident
If you park on the street, there’s a chance that someone driving by could swipe your vehicle. They could break off your mirror or dent your bumper, or they could even total the car altogether. If they hit and run, you could submit a claim and your insurance company would step in to cover the costs under your collision coverage.
If you park in a garage, your car is much less likely to be involved in a collision. This often means you can lower your collision limits or receive a discount on your collision policy, especially if you don’t use the car frequently.
2. Protection from theft and vandalism
Street parking makes your car more susceptible to break-ins, vandalism, and theft. Parking in a locked garage makes it more challenging for thieves and vandals to get to your car, which reduces the likelihood of incidence.
If you live in a neighborhood where theft or vandalism is common, parking in a garage makes your car more secure, which could end up being a significant discount on your comprehensive coverage. But even if you live in a safe neighborhood, your insurance company will calculate that risk appropriately to determine if parking in a garage warrants some sort of discount.
Tip: Installing anti-theft devices on your car—whether parking on the street or in a garage—is another great way to get a safety discount on your auto insurance.
3. Defense against weather
A garage is protection from the elements, especially winter weather like snow, ice, and hail. It can help shelter your car from falling tree branches, street floods, or animal damage. This protection from the elements can give you a discount on your comprehensive coverage because you’re helping guard against unexpected “acts of God.”
Keep in mind that a garage can’t protect against everything, though. For example, a flood could still seep into your garage and damage your car. So you’ll want to maintain a strong comprehensive policy just in case.
4. Hidden luxury/classic cars
If you have a rare or expensive car, you usually don’t want to leave it susceptible and vulnerable on the street. Nicer cars tend to be more vulnerable to theft and vandalism, so you want to keep these vehicles especially protected in a garage.
5. Driver protection
If the driver gets out of the car in a safe, dry garage, they’re less likely to slip and fall on ice or have other incidences. Though this typically is covered under health insurance and not under auto insurance, it’s still in your auto insurer’s best interests to keep you safe and healthy. Getting out of your car in a garage is usually safer than getting out of your car on the street.
What are the disadvantages of having a garage?
Although a garage protects your car from damage in most cases, there are still some insurance hazards with a garage.
When the car is running, it gives off low levels of carbon monoxide fumes. These fumes can be deadly to humans in enclosed spaces, like a garage. Car fires are also more common in dry, warm places like a garage. Make sure you never leave the car running while in the garage to avoid these dangers.
Interestingly, although a garage minimizes likelihood of car theft, it can increase the chance of home theft. If you park your car in a garage, thieves might think no one is home and they’ll be more encouraged to break in. If you bundle your home and auto insurance, your insurer will balance the risk of theft for both home and auto accordingly.
To offset these concerns, you might want to install safety features in your garage like a carbon monoxide detector and a security system. These usually give your insurer peace of mind, so they’re more likely to give you a safety discount.
Will a garage lower your auto insurance?
However, these discounts can be steeper if you live in areas that are highly susceptible to theft, vandalism, bad weather, or flooding. A garage can also reduce your costs if you life on a busy street with a lot of through traffic, since there is an increase risk of someone hitting your parked car. These discounts are also dependent on where you live, how much your car is worth, and other safety features of the car.
In most cases, you’re less likely to have accidents in a garage, which means you’re less likely to make a claim that the insurance company would have to pay for.