The Ultimate Guide to Parked Car Insurance in Canada

By Arthur Dubois | Published on 24 Jul 2023

Parked car insurance in canada

    If you own a car in Canada, you’re probably familiar with auto insurance policies required by law to protect you and your vehicle. However, what do you do when your car is not in use? Whether your vehicle is parked overnight, for a weekend getaway, or an extended period, you’ll want to protect your investment. These are situations where parked car insurance can come in handy.

    Understanding Parked Car Insurance in Canada

    Parked car insurance is a type of auto insurance that protects your car while parked and not in use. It provides coverage for your vehicle when it’s parked. Your car could be parked at a shopping mall or in your garage if you leave for the winter. A standard auto insurance policy may provide you with some protection, but it won’t cover all risks and damages that may occur while your car is parked. Parked car insurance offers extra protection to ensure your vehicle is covered for all possible damages.

    What is Parked Car Insurance?

    Parked car insurance is actually comprehensive car insurance. Comprehensive insurance protects your car when it’s not in use. It typically covers risks such as theft, vandalism, fire, and other mishaps that can happen to your vehicle while it’s parked. 

    A comprehensive insurance policy benefits people who own expensive cars that they only use occasionally. For example, if you own a classic car that you only take out for special events, you may want to consider purchasing parked car insurance to protect it while it’s parked in your garage.

    You’ll have insurance coverage for many risks when you purchase parked car insurance. For example, if you park your car on the street and someone breaks into it, your parked car insurance policy will typically cover the cost of repairing any damage. Similarly, if your vehicle is damaged in a fire or a natural disaster, your parked car insurance policy will usually cover the cost of repairs or replacement.

    Why You Might Need Parked Car Insurance

    If you park your car for an extended period, it’s more susceptible to various risks, such as theft, vandalism, and weather-related damage. For example, if you leave your car parked on the street while you go on vacation, it may be more likely to be a target for thieves or vandals. Or, if you store your vehicle in a garage for an extended period, it may be susceptible to damage from a fire or weather-related events, such as flooding.

    Repairing these damages can be expensive. Parked car insurance provides the necessary coverage to help you mitigate these risks and save money. By purchasing parked car insurance, you’re not left with a hefty repair bill if a covered peril damages your vehicle.

    There are several reasons you might need parked car insurance;

    • Your vehicle is a collector car, and you only drive it for special occasions, such as classic car shows
    • You have a car you only drive in warm weather, such as a sports car
    • You’re working from home and don’t need to drive
    • Finances prevent you from keeping your car fully insured and on the road
    • You lost your license
    • You can’t drive until you recover from an illness or surgery
    • You share a vehicle with a partner and don’t need to insure more than one car fully
    • You are away for extended periods, leaving your car parked
    • You don’t want to cancel your auto insurance because it can create a gap which could increase your premiums when you reinstate your policy

    While homeowner’s insurance policies may differ between providers, they typically will not cover damage to your vehicle or the theft of your car, even if it’s parked in your garage or driveway. You’ll have to pay to repair or replace your vehicle without parked car insurance. However, homeowner’s insurance may cover the contents of your vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged. You must read your homeowner’s policy to get the details of your home insurance coverage.

    How Parked Car Insurance Differs from Regular Auto Insurance

    The major difference between regular auto and parked car insurance is that while standard insurance covers your car when it’s in use, parked car insurance is meant to provide coverage when it’s left idle or parked. Standard auto insurance typically includes insurance coverage for third-party liability, uninsured or unidentified motorists, Direct Compensation Property Damage and accident benefits. A standard auto policy doesn’t cover damages to your car if it’s parked. 

    The cost is another important difference between regular auto and parked car insurance. Since parked car insurance provides coverage only when your car is parked, it’s usually less expensive than standard auto insurance. This makes it an attractive option for people who own expensive vehicles that they only use occasionally.

    Parked Car Insurance Coverage

    Parked car insurance coverage, also called comprehensive coverage, can provide you with a lot of value. Your car will probably spend more time parked than being driven. However, it can still experience damage when you’re not driving it. Some examples are if you are at a shopping mall and someone hits your car while backing out of a parking spot or if a windstorm causes a tree to fall on your vehicle while in your driveway.

    Comprehensive Coverage

    Comprehensive coverage, sometimes called fire and theft insurance, covers many types of damages to your car when it’s parked, such as fire, vandalism, theft, weather-related damage, and animal damage. It does not cover damage from collisions.

    This coverage is vital, especially if you plan to store your car for an extended period. With comprehensive coverage, your vehicle is protected from possible damage.

    With a comprehensive car insurance policy, you’ll have coverage for fire damage and theft when it’s parked. Parked car insurance can protect you from financial loss due to fire damage or vehicle theft.

    If someone steals your car while parked outside your home, fire and theft coverage will help cover the replacement costs. Similarly, if a fire damages your parked car, your policy will help pay for repairing the damages.

    Parked car insurance covers damage due to vandalism and is beneficial for car owners who park in high-risk areas where incidents of vandalism are common. The insurance coverage helps pay for repairing any damages caused by vandals.

    For example, if someone scratches your car while it’s parked on the street, vandalism coverage will help pay for repairing the damages caused by the scratch. Similarly, if someone breaks your car’s window while parked, vandalism coverage will help cover the costs of replacing the window.

    Additional Coverage Options

    Depending on your chosen insurance provider, they may offer additional options, such as loss of use coverage, roadside assistance, and more. Loss of use coverage helps pay for renting a car while your parked car is being repaired. Waiver of depreciation coverage helps cover the costs of replacing damaged parts of your vehicle with new components without accounting for depreciation.

    Choosing the options that meet your needs is essential to ensure optimal coverage for your parked car. With the right insurance policy, you can have peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is protected from any possible damage.

    Factors Affecting Parked Car Insurance Rates

    Several factors can affect the rates of your parked car insurance coverage. Before purchasing insurance, it is essential to consider these factors to help you find the best rates.

    Location and Crime Rates

    The location where you park your car impacts your parked car insurance rates. High-crime areas will likely lead to higher insurance rates because there is a higher risk of theft and vandalism. For instance, if you park your car in a garage or a secured parking lot, you may get lower rates than parking on the street. Additionally, if you live in an area with a high risk of natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, or earthquakes, you may have to pay higher premiums to cover potential damages.

    Vehicle Make and Model

    Expensive cars may require higher coverage amounts since the repair costs will be more costly. Some models are more vulnerable to theft and may command higher insurance rates than others. Sports cars generally cost more than sedans and SUVs. Luxury cars may require higher premiums due to their high value and expensive parts.

    Moreover, the age of your car can impact your parked car insurance rates. Older cars may have lower rates than newer cars because they are less expensive to repair or replace. However, if your vehicle is a classic or antique, you may need specialized collector car insurance coverage, which may come at a higher cost.

    Deductibles and Coverage Limits

    Parked car insurance rates vary based on your chosen deductible and coverage limit. Higher deductibles and lower coverage limits usually translate to lower premiums. However, choosing a deductible you can comfortably pay in case of an accident or theft is essential. Similarly, you should consider your coverage limits carefully to ensure that you have adequate protection in case of damages or injuries.

    Discounts and Bundling Options

    Some insurance providers offer discounts such as bundling multiple insurance policies or having a clean driving record. It is worth exploring these options to see if they can help you save on your parked car insurance. Additionally, some insurers may offer discounts for safety features such as anti-theft devices, parking sensors, or backup cameras.

    How to Choose the Right Parked Car Insurance Policy

    Assessing Your Needs and Risks

    Before choosing a parked car insurance policy, you should assess your specific needs and risks to determine what level of coverage is best for you. Think about where and for how long you plan to park the car. Also, assess the risks of vandalism, natural disasters, and theft in that location.

    Comparing Insurance Providers

    Compare policies from different car insurance providers to find the best coverage options for your parked car. Consider factors such as rates, deductible amounts, and coverage limits, and select the one that best suits your needs.

    Reading Policy Terms and Conditions

    Before signing up for any policy, it is essential to read through the terms and conditions of the policy. Be sure that you understand everything included in the policy and ask for clarifications when necessary.

    Asking the Right Questions

    Don’t hesitate to ask your insurance provider any questions you might have before purchasing coverage. This will help you choose the right policy and ensure you know all the available coverage options.

    Parked Car Insurance in Canada: The Bottom Line

    Parked car insurance protects you financially if your vehicle is damaged or stolen. Since cars are often parked most of the time, a parked car insurance policy can give you peace of mind knowing you will not have to pay out-of-pocket to cover any damages your vehicle may experience. While you may not need parked car insurance if you’re keeping your car for parts or it’s old, you must consider whether you can afford to pay for any damages if necessary. Comprehensive insurance can benefit most drivers since it provides coverage for a wide range of mishaps to your vehicle.

    FAQs About Parked Car Insurance in Canada

    Does a parked car need insurance in Canada?

    Parked cars are not legally required to have insurance in Canada. However, your vehicle can sustain damage if it’s parked. Without parked car insurance, you’ll have to pay the total cost of the damage yourself.

    How much does parked car insurance cost in Canada?

    The cost of parked car insurance will vary depending on factors like the type of vehicle you are insuring, the area you live in, and your driving record. A low-risk driver may have premiums ranging from $100 to $300 annually. It’s essential to shop around to get the best rates you can for parked car insurance.

    Can a car be parked on the street without insurance in Canada?

    You can park your car on the street without parked car insurance, but if it’s damaged or stolen, you’ll have to pay the total cost to repair it or to get another vehicle.

    Can I park my car in my driveway without insurance in Canada?

    Yes, you can park your car without parked car insurance in Canada. However, any damages your vehicle may sustain while parked in your driveway will have no insurance coverage. You’ll pay out-of-pocket to repair or replace your car.

    Will homeowners insurance cover damage to a parked car?

    Homeowners insurance typically doesn’t cover parked cars, although it may cover the vehicle’s contents. So, if a tree falls on your car, it is unlikely that your homeowner’s insurance will cover the damage to your car. However, homeowner’s insurance may cover the stolen items if, for example, someone steals your laptop and cell phone from your vehicle. If the thief smashed your car window to get the contents, your homeowner’s policy typically doesn’t cover the damage to your car.

    Arthur Dubois is a personal finance writer at Hardbacon. Since relocating to Canada, he has successfully built his credit score from scratch and begun investing in the stock market. In addition to his work at Hardbacon, Arthur has contributed to Metro newspaper and several other publications