Parked Car Insurance

Parked car immersed in flood waters
••• William Thomas Cain / Getty Images

When we evaluate different auto-insurance policies, we typically consider the coverage they’ll provide for different types of on-road scenarios, such as accidents. However, many types of expensive damage can happen to your car when it is parked.

Whether or not your insurance coverage will apply to your vehicle while it is parked depends on what caused the damage and what type of car insurance coverage you have.

You might not think that anything can happen to your vehicle while it is parked, and the chances are certainly lower than they are when you are out driving on the road. But, many things that can go wrong, from vandalism to acts of nature, so it’s best not to take your chances and know exactly when you’re covered.

If you have comprehensive coverage, as the name implies, your parked car damage will be covered in most cases, including the event of:

  • Vandalism
  • A tree falling on the car
  • Hail
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Stolen car

If you know who damaged your parked vehicle, you can file a property damage claim against their insurer. Property damage liability pays out from the at-fault driver's insurance policy. The best part about filing a property damage claim against another person's policy is that you will not have to pay a deductible, and your insurance rates will not be impacted. Plus, you will be eligible for a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. If your car is ever vandalized, it is best to report it to the police immediately. That way, there will be no disputing that the damage was actually caused, and the process of getting paid by an insurance company will be much easier.

If you have collision coverage, the damage will be covered when you do not know who hit your vehicle. Your policy will cover the repairs to your vehicle as long as you have collision coverage and pay your deductible. If you do not know who damaged your vehicle while parked and you do not have collision coverage, you will have no help from your insurance company when it comes to repairing your vehicle.

Protecting Your Vehicle While Parked

Lots of people store their vehicles overnight, during work, or for other extended periods. While leaving your car unsupervised is often unavoidable, there are more and less risky options of where to leave your car. Parking your vehicle in your garage or a commercial lot with a security guard or valet is a lot different than parking your car in the grocery store parking lot or on the side of the road.

A lot less can potentially happen to your vehicle while it's stored in your garage. Parked car insurance is provided to a vehicle stored at your home or storage facility by comprehensive coverage. Hopefully, your vehicle is not at risk of being hit by another vehicle while parked in your care. So comprehensive will cover all possible risk factors.

  • Stolen Car
  • Car Fire
  • Storm Damage
  • Flood

If you’re planning on putting your vehicle into long-term storage, comprehensive coverage is often offered as a standalone policy as long as a second vehicle is covered with liability coverage. Special arrangements can sometimes be made to put a single vehicle in storage with no other vehicle on the policy. However, it will depend on the insurance carrier. Your deductible will apply if you ever have a comprehensive claim.

The Pros of Parked Car Insurance or Comprehensive Only Coverage

It protects your vehicle against physical damage while parked. It saves you money by reducing your overall cost of insurance. And coverage can easily be changed so you can make your car legal to drive again.

The Cons of Parked Car Insurance or Comprehensive Only Coverage

It does not protect your parked vehicle against damage from a hit and run accident. You could forget to switch your coverage before driving your vehicle again. And if you have a loan on your vehicle, you might have to get approval from your bank to put comprehensive only coverage on the vehicle.

As you can see, parked car insurance can refer to several different types of coverage. If it is important for you to protect your vehicle while it is parked, make sure to purchase the right coverage for your situation. The only way to fully protect your vehicle is to purchase both comprehensive and collision. Only then will you will know your vehicle is protected against every scenario of physical damage.