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HomeCar Insurance ResourcesDo you need insurance for a parked car?

In Canada, insurance requirements can vary by province or territory. If you’re specifically asking about parked cars, it’s essential to note that if your vehicle is on public roads or could potentially cause harm or damage, most provinces would require some form of insurance. However, if a car is parked and not in use for an extended period, there are storage insurance options available.

Let’s break this down province by province:

  1. Alberta: In Alberta, a vehicle must be insured to be registered. If you’re not using your car, you can opt for comprehensive coverage which will protect it from things like theft, fire, or vandalism while it’s parked.
  2. British Columbia: Insurance is mandatory through ICBC for any vehicle on the road. For parked vehicles not in use, you can switch to storage insurance, which covers comprehensive risks only.
  3. Manitoba: MPI provides basic mandatory insurance. If you’re not driving your vehicle, you can suspend your insurance but maintain coverage against theft or damage.
  4. New Brunswick: Vehicles must have liability insurance to be on public roads. If your car is parked and not in use, you can adjust your coverage, but it’s advised to keep comprehensive for protection against non-collision related risks.
  5. Newfoundland and Labrador: Liability insurance is mandatory. Again, if the car is not in use, maintaining comprehensive coverage is recommended.
  6. Nova Scotia: Liability insurance is required for vehicles on the road. If your vehicle is parked, you might consider adjusting to comprehensive-only coverage.
  7. Ontario: To have a vehicle registered, it must be insured. If not in use, many opt for comprehensive coverage to protect against risks while parked.
  8. Prince Edward Island: Liability insurance is necessary. For parked vehicles, comprehensive coverage can protect against specific perils.
  9. Quebec: In Quebec, the public portion of auto insurance covers bodily injury, while property damage is covered by private insurers. Even for a parked vehicle, it’s advised to maintain at least comprehensive coverage.
  10. Saskatchewan: SGI provides mandatory insurance, but if you’re not driving the car, you can reduce coverage and maintain protection against things like theft or damage.
  11. Territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut): Liability insurance is mandatory. As with other provinces, if the car is not being driven, you might consider keeping or switching to comprehensive coverage for protection.

If you’re considering changing or suspending your insurance for a parked vehicle, always consult with an insurance professional to understand the implications fully. Also, if you’re financing or leasing a vehicle, the lienholder might have specific insurance requirements, even if the car is not in use.

How much does parked car insurance cost?

car parked outside the house

It’s essential to understand that “parked car insurance” isn’t a standard term, but for our purposes, we’re discussing policies that cover vehicles that aren’t being driven but need protection from risks like theft, vandalism, or weather-related damages. This typically refers to comprehensive-only coverage.

The cost of comprehensive coverage when a vehicle is in storage or parked and not in use can vary greatly based on several factors: the vehicle’s make and model, its age, where it’s stored, your personal driving record, and more.

Given the vast number of variables, it’s difficult to provide an accurate province-by-province breakdown without specific details.

  1. Alberta: Around $15-$70/month.
  2. British Columbia: BC typically has higher rates, so it might be in the range of $30-$90/month.
  3. Manitoba: Rates could vary from $15-$70/month.
  4. New Brunswick: Expect around $15-$65/month.
  5. Newfoundland and Labrador: Rates can range from $20-$80/month.
  6. Nova Scotia: Around $15-$65/month.
  7. Ontario: Due to higher density and theft risks in areas like Toronto, rates might be $25-$85/month.
  8. Prince Edward Island: Rates might be between $15-$60/month.
  9. Quebec: Around $20-$75/month, given that Quebec often has lower property damage rates than other provinces.
  10. Saskatchewan: Expect something in the range of $15-$70/month.
  11. Territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut): Rates could be higher due to limited competition and the unique risks in these regions, so perhaps $30-$90/month.

These are just illustrative estimates, and the actual rates can vary widely. The best way to determine the cost for parked car insurance or comprehensive-only coverage in any province is to get a quote from a local insurance provider. If you’re considering such a change, make sure you understand the implications fully, and remember that if you wish to drive the car again, you’ll need to reinstate the necessary coverages.

Can you drive with parking insurance?

In Canada, “parking insurance” or “storage insurance” typically refers to a policy where only comprehensive coverage is maintained, while liability and other coverages are dropped because the vehicle is not being driven. Under such a policy, the vehicle is protected from perils like theft, vandalism, or weather-related damages but is not covered for driving on public roads.

To answer your question directly: No, you cannot legally drive with just “parking” or “storage” insurance in Canada. If you were to drive a vehicle with only comprehensive coverage and got into an accident, you would not be covered for any damages to another vehicle or property, and you would be in violation of the mandatory insurance laws, leading to potential fines, license suspension, and other consequences.

If you plan to drive your vehicle again after having it on parking or storage insurance, you must reinstate the full insurance coverage, including at least the mandatory liability coverage required in your province or territory, before driving on public roads. Always contact your insurance provider to make these changes and ensure you’re fully covered.


safe parking space

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about parked car insurance in Canada and their respective answers:

1. What is “parked car” or “storage” insurance in Canada?

  • “Parked car” or “storage” insurance typically refers to a policy where only comprehensive coverage is maintained on a vehicle that’s not being driven. This provides protection against non-collision threats like theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.

2. Can I legally drive with just “parked car” insurance?

  • No. To legally drive on public roads in Canada, you must have the mandatory liability coverage required by your province or territory.

3. How do I switch to parked car insurance?

  • You should contact your insurance provider and inform them that you wish to change your coverage because you won’t be driving the vehicle. They’ll guide you through the process.

4. How can I save on my parked car insurance?

  • By keeping your car in a secured garage or area, you may qualify for reduced rates. Additionally, periodically checking for discounts or shopping around might lead to better deals.

5. What if I decide to drive my car again?

  • Before you drive your car on public roads, you must reinstate the necessary coverages. Contact your insurance provider to switch back to regular insurance.

6. Do all insurance providers offer parked car insurance?

  • While most insurers offer the ability to downgrade to comprehensive-only coverage, it’s essential to check with your specific provider.

7. What happens if my car is damaged while on parked car insurance?

  • If the damage results from a covered peril under the comprehensive coverage (like theft, vandalism, or a tree falling on it), your insurance will cover it, minus any deductible. If it’s due to a collision or if someone drives the car without proper coverage, it won’t be covered.

8. Is parked car insurance cheaper than regular insurance?

  • Generally, yes. Since you’re dropping liability and possibly collision coverage, the premiums are typically lower. However, the exact savings depend on various factors, including your provider and vehicle.

9. Will my insurance provider automatically know if I start driving my car again?

  • Not necessarily, but it’s a significant risk to drive without the necessary coverages. If you’re involved in an accident, the insurance company can deny the claim, and you could face legal penalties for not having the required insurance.

10. I’m making payments on my car; can I switch to parked car insurance?

  • If you have a loan or lease, the lienholder might have specific insurance requirements. It’s essential to check with them before changing your coverage.

Always consult with an insurance professional when considering changes to your policy to ensure you fully understand the implications and remain compliant with legal requirements.

About the Author: Valerie D. Hahn

Valerie is an insurance editor, journalist, and business professional at RateLab. She has more than 15 years of experience in personal financial products. She strives to educate readers and ensure that they are properly protected.

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