Securely Park: 5 Car Insurance Tips for Public Parking

Author Bio: Andrea is a freelance writer for an website that is able to compare all types of insurance. She loves finding the best deals for people and helping people with their everyday tasks. On her free time, Andrea can be seen shopping throughout New York City.

Security used to be so simple. People remembered to take their keys out of the ignition, locked their car doors, parked at the end of the parking lot to avoid dents and scratches, in addition to driving a car that looked like everyone else. Today, however, technology is a two-edged sword, one that can help people or cheat them. Thieves use the same technology to not only hack computer systems or security, but to track people and steal from them. Although many people have great car insurance, there are a few tips concerning secure public parking that can help people save their hard-earned things from being taken.

1. Ditch the Phone

So many people aren’t aware just how easy it is to track someone. By keeping an eye on Facebook, Twitter and GPS, anyone can be tracked. Someone going into Best Buy or Gamestop to get the newest toy or game has probably asked for advice on Twitter and Facebook, so thieves know where everyone is going and what they’re going to buy. Tracking people’s phone with GPS is so simple, no one thinks about it, except the thieves.

  • Don’t advertise where you’re going. You all read the same trade magazines and you know what, when, where and how much, anyway.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your car. If you stop off for a burger on the way home with your new toy, toss it in the trunk or take the drive-through. If they can’t see it, they can’t steal it.
  • Check with your car insurance agency for personal possessions coverage or theft coverage. Most agencies will be happy to add such to your policy and it will give you some peace of mind, not to mention pay for your stolen toy.

2. Upgrade the Security

Most cars are rolling computers, anyway, complete with security codes to open the doors and sometimes to start the car. Cars can’t be simply hot wired anymore, but criminals have ways around these things. While many people put a bar across their steering wheel, there are simpler, relatively inexpensive methods of securing the automobile.

  • The Lo-Jack system tracks not only cars, but computers and other personal or business assets. It’s only good for tracking and retrieval after theft, but it’s better than nothing.
  • A transponder system uses smart chips in both the ignition and the key, meaning that the driver or other authorized person are the only ones who can start that car. If anyone is not authorized, the car isn’t moving.
  • A remote device which, in the case of discovering the auto missing, can with the press of a key stop the engine. That should seriously slow down a car thief.
  • Most all insurance agencies give discounts for any and all security measures taken to secure a car they won’t have to pay out on if stolen.

3. Back Up

Public parking is fraught with scratches, dents and dings. Add to that keying cars and theft and you have insurance companies looking for ways to save some money.

  • Back into parking spaces with a light pole or a wall. This prevents thieves as well as accidents plus hit and run episodes from happening.
  • In parking garages, park away from the sharp turns needed to get to the next level of parking spaces. That’s one question a car insurance company will ask when looking over your car insurance quotes.
  • On the street, parallel park as close to the guy behind you as you can. You can pull out with less dents, and he has to back up to get out.

4. Light It Up

Despite the multitude of security cameras and security guards, autos are stolen from college campuses and parking garages every day. In cases of theft, one of the first questions asked by the insurance company will be “was the car parked in a well lighted area?” While many thieves are brazen, taking cars in clear daylight, many won’t take the chance their faces will be seen on those security cameras, in the light or otherwise.

5. Jazz It Up

When people drove cars that looked like everyone else, there was no reason to steal one, but those days are long gone. Today, the cars that are taken the most tend to be one make or model because return on the parts is higher. Making the auto customized means easier identification in case of theft. Modified parts are also easily identifiable. Insurance companies usually don’t like to insure cars modified for racing because that’s a whole other policy, but cars modified to make theft harder to accomplish can sometimes mean discounts on policies. Boots on the wheels are one method of hindering cars from being taken from public parking areas.

Thwarting the technology used to steal from parked cars can be done with a little research and planning. Insurance agencies will appreciate the effort with discounts or specially designed policies. They want to insure people who thoughtfully consider all facets of car ownership, from safe driving practices to safety features on cars to anti-crime features on cars. People who think of these things are safe drivers and a good risk, even in the case of a determined car thief.

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