Home life

Insurance and driveways

Is the fact that your car is not in your driveway an advertisement to potential burglars that you’re not home?

A lot of people drive every day. So if the car isn’t there, it may be a good sign that nobody’s there. One exception might be in a one-car family where there are often people home even though the car’s gone.

I have a driveway, and a car to go in it, but don’t drive every day. So maybe leaving the car parked there while I’m out is a sign that somebody is home, even if really there isn’t.

For blocks of flats, you often can’t tell which car space goes with which flat. For some reason it seems to me that most landlords come up with some semi-random way of allocating spots to flats, often with the flat number bearing no relation to the spot number.

Some properties, particularly those built pre-car, don’t have a driveway at all. So the presence of a car can’t be used as an indicator that the house is empty.

(Some properties built pre-car have been modified not only to include driveways, but also to include car ports. I reckon car ports almost always look crap bolted onto a heritage house.)

Car insurance premiums are reduced if the car is parked off the street. Maybe home insurance premiums should be reduced if it isn’t… or if you don’t drive most days.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

5 replies on “Insurance and driveways”

I have tried to argue the case to a home insurance company that because we live umpteen floors up off the ground, and only someone on a dangling rope could get in a window, that we don’t need window deadlocks, to no avail.

Insurance companies readily talk about risk, but they never asses the risk on a personal basis.

Why does a person who drives everywhere in their large four wheel drive and racks up many kilometres, or time in their car driving, pay less car registration and the same third party insurance that I do?

I agree with Andrew. It’s an old and lazy way of doing business/charging for sevices.

I think that as sustainability becomes more embedded into the way we live and work, more companies and agencies will (hopefully) start factoring in the full cost of the way we as individuals choose to live and consume. That way, polluter pays.

Bring on carbon rationing. :-)

The neighbours (who park on the street) and I (who has no car at all) have caught many a potential thief who was lulled onto the property by an empty driveway.
The tentative knock on the door to see if anyone was home,followed by the deer-caught-in-the-headlights look on their face and piddly, mumbled excuse when someone answers have had us reporting several odd characters to our local Mr Plod.

Yes, we (as a one-car family) have sometimes experienced this no-one-at-home assumption when the kids & I are home and Gary has the car – not (that I know of!) with potential burglars but with people who drive by intending to stop in but assume we aren’t here because the car isn’t, and don’t stop. We have also missed three or four direct sales people that bothered the heck out of my neighbours, and at least two installments of Mormons. It ain’t all bad!

A friends parents were broken into some time ago, probably due to an empty driveway. Nothing was taken luckily. Probably cos the robber shat himself when he realised he’d broken into the house of a high ranking police officer due to all the photos/certificates/awards about the place…

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