You have paid a premium for parking your car in a safe.
But how much is that insurance premium worth?
We have asked experts to explain.
We spoke to Dr. Rakesh Kumar, a senior manager, insurance at insurer Estrella, and Dr. Ramamurthy, director of policy and corporate services at Safeway Insurance.
They say you need to consider three main factors when assessing the cost of using your vehicle as a parking space.
First, the carpark space is usually a very small area.
If the space is full, the premium will not be worth it.
Second, you might not be able to park your car securely at all, as the car’s trunk will often contain the keys.
And third, the parking space might be surrounded by a wall or fencing that restricts entry.
What is the best insurance for your car?
RakeshKumar: If you park your vehicle in a parking area of a big, sprawling complex, such as a shopping mall, you can expect to pay the maximum premium of Rs.1,500 per carparking space, he says.
But the cost for the area you park is also likely to be higher.
If you have an extra-large space, you need not pay much.
But if you have a small area, such a garage or a parking lot, you should not expect to see a premium much higher than Rs.500 per parking space, according to Dr Ramamury.
He adds that you can still find a cheaper insurance scheme that provides a smaller premium, but it may be difficult to use.
He says that the premium varies from scheme to scheme and it’s always worth considering the cost per square metre (sqm) and whether there is space left over for other uses such as playgrounds or community spaces.
“A lot of insurers, such the Safeway, offer an alternative to premium and a discount to cover other uses like playgrounds, or other parking areas,” he says, adding that the scheme usually includes discounts for new vehicles.
Rakesho says he has never heard of an insurer offering a discount on a premium, even when a parking zone has a lot of parking space left, as it will not result in an increase in the premiums.
Dr Ramamulthy adds that most insurance schemes will only cover your premium if you can prove to them that you have sufficient space in the car park for the use of your vehicle.
However, if you are not sure, you may want to talk to your insurance provider to check the cost and if it is the right amount.
Dr Kumar says that in a scheme such as the one offered by Estrella and other insurers, the company will provide you with a quote for the space you are using as a vehicle parking space and also a quote on how much space you have available for other use, such an area of playgrounds.
For instance, if the space for the playground is limited, you will get a quote based on the space available and the amount of parking spaces.
You can then compare this with your car’s actual premium.
“So, if a lot is available in the parking area, you don’t need to pay a lot for that space, and if there is a lot available, you are better off buying a bigger space,” he adds.
Dr. Rammurthy says that, when using the car for public transport, it’s not so important to be sure that you are able to use the car to its full potential.
“If you are on a public transport route, you do not need to park the car very far, so you may be able get away with paying less premium,” he points out.
“However, as soon as you leave the car at a place of your choosing, it is advisable to park it further away from the main road,” he explains.
Dr Rakesha Kumar says: In this scheme, you could also opt for a premium of around Rs.10 per sqm if you don,t want to pay any extra.
But you may need to find out whether you are getting the best premium for your use.
For the car that is used to park for a large group, the best option is to get a discount for a small parking area.
You could then choose to park in a more secure location in the same carpark.
“In this case, you would need to have the space and the space cost is very low,” says Dr Rammury.
But, if your car is a small car, he adds, you have to be aware of how much it would cost to park an extra car.
You might want to find a better discount, but don’t let it deter you from buying your car.