What does your insurance company deem to be secured parking?

One of the aspects considered by insurance companies when calculating car insurance premiums is where you park your car. This is an important component in calculating the risk of both loss and damage. Not only loss and damage from criminal activity may be affected, but also the damage from environmental disasters such as hail, falling debris etc.

It is also important to keep in mind that there are many different structures used for protection and not all parking spaces are the same. They differ with regards to materials used, methods to secure and “lock-in” the vehicle as well as with reference to access to the vehicle!

When an insurance company provides a quote on car insurance, the insurer asks for specific information from the vehicle owner/potential client. The client discloses these facts which the insurance company will not be aware of and might not even verify. The onus is on the client to make a full disclosure of all the material facts and failure to do so will amount to breach of contract and could nullify the insurance policy!

But is secure parking the same as parking in a locked garage?

We would like to illustrate this by using an example:

Example:

I have received a request from a work colleague and decided to share this with a few insurers:

–              What is regarded by Insurers with reference to secure parking as a locked garage?

–              Are there specific requirements as to dimensions and materials?

Example of Secure Parking

In the photos you will find a typical parking area at a townhouse complex in Bloemfontein.

The Garage area is closed with a lock – with an aluminium /steel roller door.

The gate is also secured with a lock.

There is a wall to the front and the one side – but not all around!

On the question – is your car parked in a locked garage – would Yes be the correct response?

Would the insured be under an obligation to provide additional details?

What would your advice be to ensure full compliance and the correct insurance?

Side view of parking space

We would like to share responses received from some of the Insurance companies:

MiWay:

  1. What is regarded by Insurers with reference to secure parking as a locked garage?
  • Enclosed locked (locked enclosure) – the vehicle is parked in a locked carport where the vehicle is still visible through the palisade/other fencing.
  • Locked garage – the vehicle is parked in a locked garage and the vehicle is not visible from outside.

2. Are there specific requirements as to dimensions and materials?

–          There is currently no restriction on the dimensions of a garage.  But it should be your personal garage – 3rd parties should not be able to see or have access to your vehicle(s) locked inside it.

–          For the structure to qualify as a locked garage, the vehicle should not be visible – this will rule out some materials such as palisades (or the lack of a sidewall in the example.)

Discovery Insure

–          What is regarded by Insurers with reference to secure parking as a locked garage?

A locked garage is regarded as an enclosed outbuilding with four walls and a garage door which could be a roller door, wooden door etc. that can be locked either by an electronic remote control or a key mechanism.

–          Are there specific requirements as to dimensions and materials?

There are various requirements and therefore the best is to consult a registered building contractor for assistance – but the DI wording states that all buildings on the premises must be constructed of brick, stone or concrete and covered with a roof made of slate, tile, concrete, fibrous cement, metal or thatch

–          On the question – is your car parked in a locked garage  – would Yes be the correct response

No, as the item in question would be regarded as a carport and not a garage as access can be gained by climbing over the wall next to the carport or breaking open the lock on the side gate to gain entry

–          Would the insured be under an obligation to provide additional details?

No as he already disclosed all

–          What would your advice be to ensure full compliance and the correct insurance?

Client would need to disclose that the vehicle is parked in a carport with a locked garage door but that access can be gained as the carport is not enclosed.  Full cover will be in place for the vehicle for theft and accidental damage.

Conclusion and Advice:

Rather disclose more than less! Keep in mind that not all insurers might have the same requirements and criteria for what is regarded as secure parking!

A full disclosure of all the facts will avoid having to spend the time and effort in unnecessary fights later. Explain your specific parking area to your insurer and even send photos as an example to be kept on record!

Pin It on Pinterest