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Paid Private Parking: Who Pays For Vandalism?

There’s a reason you pay for private parking. You don’t want your car broken into, vandalized or stolen. With close to 700,000 vehicles stolen every year and CNN reporting that $1.25 billion worth of private belongings along with them, paying for private parking seems like a no-brainer. But what happens when your car is vandalized in a private garage? To make sure you’re covered in all auto scenarios, get free auto insurance quotes comparisons with CoverHound.

You Pay for Parking, Isn’t that Protection Enough?

Even if you pay to park your car in a garage, that doesn’t mean it’s safe from getting keyed or having its windows smashed in. The liability of the parking garage depends on a number of factors. Parking garage liability is determined in two specific ways: by lease and by bailment.


If you parked your own vehicle (didn’t rely on a valet) and kept your keys, courts would determine that you did not hand over possession of your vehicle. Even so, garages are not liable for the vandalism or theft of your vehicle.


Courts determine bailment as “the transfer of possession but not ownership of personal property for a limited time or specified purposes,” as reported by FindLaw. This means that the bailor is responsible for storing your vehicle safely and securely. In cases that are deemed bailment, it is the owner of the parking garage who is responsible for the damages or theft of your car, not you.

More often than not, courts determine most parking garage vandalism or theft cases as a lease case. This means it is the sole responsibility of the vehicle owner to cover costs. Even if you have paid a fee to park your car, it is still considered your responsibility, not the garage’s.

What Package Protects Against Crime?

So, if you’re the one solely responsible for your car no matter where it’s parked, even if you’ve paid for its security, what kind of protection can you get? Most states across the U.S. require (by law) that you purchase auto liability insurance. Unfortunately, this insurance type doesn’t cover against vandalism, theft, natural disaster, or crash types that aren’t your fault. To protect your vehicle in all areas, it’s recommended that you purchase liability, collision and comprehensive auto insurance. For our purposes, let’s take a look at the insurance package that protects your vehicle in non-accident related issues.

Comprehensive auto insurance covers the following areas:

You might not think your car is at risk of getting vandalized or stolen, but think about where you live. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIIA), the 10 top metro areas for car theft are:

The point is, there’s always that chance your car can be harmed. You can’t always be there to protect against questionable characters. Get your auto insurance comparison today to find the comprehensive coverage you need.

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