When you take a little extra time to make sure you’re using safe parking principles, you’re reducing risk to yourself, your vehicle and your personal belongings. Parking in the right place can also help reduce your vehicle insurance rates, as insurers tend to offer lower premiums to drivers who park in garages and private driveways as opposed to the street.
Another basic insurance consideration comes from the fact that the personal belongings in your vehicle are usually covered by home insurance or renters insurance, not by your car insurance. Thus, if you carry vehicle insurance but don’t have home or renters’ insurance, you likely have a gap in your coverage that may cost you if you have valuables stolen from your car or truck.
Where Are the City’s Car Theft Hot Spots?
Insurers also look beyond whether you park in a garage, driveway or on the street. They consider the neighbourhood in which you live, too. According to statistics collected by the Calgary Police Service, higher-risk districts of the city include Horncliffe, the Beltline, Acadia, Inglewood, Pineridge and northeast districts.
For a more detailed breakdown, you can refer to this CBC News article. It offers a detailed breakdown of Calgary vehicle thefts, including the total number of thefts, relative car and truck theft rates, and rates of personal property theft from vehicles.
Tips for Smarter Parking
Law enforcement officials stress the need to take where and how you park into careful consideration. To that end, here are some tips that can help you avoid becoming a crime victim:
- Park in well-lit areas. Avoid parking in remote places and unsupervised lots whenever possible.
- Always lock your vehicle after parking, even if you’re only going to be gone for a few minutes.
- Never leave valuables in sight when you park your car.
- Consider investing in an anti-theft device.
- When in doubt, try to park in a parkade garage. They are generally the most secure, and they usually have closed-circuit TV cameras to deter criminals.
- Close your windows all the way, and make sure your sunroof is fully sealed before you walk away.
- Keep your vehicle clean and well-maintained. Thieves are more likely to assume that a cared-for vehicle has some kind of anti-theft system in place.
Beyond these safety tips, you should review proper techniques for parallel parking and parking on hills if you’re not comfortable with one or both. Our previously published article on the topic offers a detailed guide.
Parking and Personal Safety
Beyond keeping your car and your valuables safe, you should also take steps to avoid personal danger, especially in parkades. Criminals sometimes lurk in parking garages, and they aren’t always after your car or your belongings. Here are the keys to avoiding them:
- Maintain 360-degree awareness of your surroundings at all times.
- Do not wear earbuds until you reach a place where other people are around you.
- If someone approaches you in an aggressive manner, don’t activate your car’s alarm system if you can.
- Use your car’s remote entry device to sound its horn if you want draw attention.
Avoid Accidents in Parking Lots
Parkades and parking lots have high accident rates, so you should always exercise extra caution when driving in them. Here are some proven tips on avoiding accidents in parking facilities:
- Reduce your speed. It’s best to travel at 10 km/h or slower.
- Take the first available space you find.
- Yield to drivers who are backing out of parking spots.
- If possible, back into a parking spot, as this makes it easier for you to safely pull into traffic when you leave.
- Turn on your headlights whenever you go into a parkade, even during the day.
- Toot your horn when you’re heading around blind corners to alert others to your presence.
Vehicle Insurance in Calgary: Take Control of All Your Insurance Rates
Insurers are in the business of assessing risk, and the lower the risk you pose, the lower your vehicle insurance rates will be. Either way, it’s always a good idea to get insurers to bid on your business, and that’s where the brokers at Lane’s Insurance can help.
Lane’s Insurance offers the province’s most competitive rates on home insurance, auto insurance, and money-saving bundles. Start saving today by visiting Lane’s Insurance for a free home or auto quote.