Importance of Garaging Address for Insurance Companies

June 27, 2023
Where you store your car is referred to in the insurance industry as your “Garaging Address”. But why is it so important for insurance companies to know the location of your vehicle at any given time? We explore why you need to accurately update your address records, know what impact it has if you fail to update your records, and how insurers use your garaging address to their advantage when you sign up for your next policy.

How Garaging Addresses Vary Between Car Owners

You may have a simple answer to the garaging address field when filling out your next insurance policy. Garaging addresses are essentially where you keep your car at night. They may be your home, either your garage or parked up on your driveway. For others, it could be a storage facility or a private car park away from your home. These differ depending on your location, amount of vehicles in your possession and the type of use case for your vehicle.

How Garaging Addresses Affect Insurance Rates

Insurers want to know if you live in a built-up area or the countryside. Whether there’s traffic or fast country lanes near your home, or if the area you live in has a high crime rate. The higher the risk for an insurer, the higher the chances that your vehicle will be stolen or involved in an accident. 

Broken down even further, insurers know how much it costs to repair a vehicle in the area you live in. They have an understanding of auto body repairs, parts and labour supply and demand, injury care costs and more when you are taking out a policy.

Examples include high-speed collisions in remote areas with fast roads resulting in more damage to your vehicle. Where the likelihood is that the vehicle will be written off, costing the insurers massively. Also, an area with higher population will have more incidents than rural areas, and repair costs can be greater in areas with a high population due to the supply and demand of services. 

Other Factors that Affect Insurance Rates

Your garaging address is only one factor that affects your insurance calculations, others include:

  • Age - if you are younger you are considered “less experienced”. You are likely to be in a traffic collision according to government data (5 times more likely if you are 17-24 compared to 66-70). 
  • Profession - If your job is considered risky then your insurance rates will be higher. For example, sportspeople, labourers, waiters and painters pay a higher premium than admin staff, mechanics and engineers. If you have different shift patterns where you may need to work late, if you are self-employed, or at a job where younger people tend to be employed, then you will see these affect your insurance policy pricing.
  • The way you use your car - If it’s used for commuting long distances every day then your rate will be higher than driving just to visit friends and family once a week. Insurers even factor in driving during rush hour for those with a typical 9-5. As the rate of accidents increases during these times due to many stressed-out drivers being on the road at the same time.
  • Mileage covered - if you drive more in a given year, you pay more. That’s because there is a higher chance of having an accident if you are on the road for 10,000 miles over 5,000 miles.
  • Make and Model of vehicle - if you’re driving a cheaper, compact city car with a small engine you will be paying less for your insurance than a top-of-the-range Mercedes SUV. As the latter has a high cost upfront as well as parts and specialist repair equipment after an incident.

How Insurance Companies Verify Garaging Addresses

Using licence plate recognition tools, insurers are now able to access the location data for millions of licence plates across the globe. Depending on your country, a database of these scans is easily accessible to verify the most frequent spots you drive around. 

Diving deeper into the tool, it can even work out the users' commuting mileage, understands how much it will cost an insurer during a claim, and differential pricing in their insurance premium. All before a policy has been taken out.

This tool goes a long way in determining the accuracy of a given garaging address, however, insurers need further verification in the form of documentation to pinpoint a customer's location. For example, an insurer will use the given garaging address to send a physical letter for your policy documents, or for two-factor authentication to prove you live at your garaging address. During the verification process, insurers can also ask for utility bills in your name. This proves you are diligent with your finances and that you live at the garaging address named on your insurance form.

Therefore you must be honest and accurate when providing your garaging address. Despite only a small chance that insurers will come knocking on your door, lying when taking out your policy is an act of fraud and will also void the policy when making a claim.

How Do I Work Out My Garaging Address?

Determine first where you spend most of your time. If you’re away on business a lot, then the garaging address may be different to your home address. Or if you have multiple homes and addresses, use the address that you are at the most. 

How Your Garaging Address Can Get You In Trouble

If you are thinking of changing your residency or end up using a different garaging address than previously thought, it’s important to get in touch with your insurer as soon as possible and provide the proof of the garaging address. If you don’t update your garaging address and get into an incident, then it’s a risk for your insurer and could result in a voided claim as you provided inaccurate information.

If you try to trick your insurance form to try to get cheaper rates then this is also a type of fraud and is easily identifiable. Underwriting technology is now accurately able to identify if owners are sharing garaging addresses, even if they are under different policies. 

Common Garaging Address Mistakes

Policyholders make common mistakes when filling out an insurance policy form, they include:

  • Providing an incorrect garaging address due to the car being parked at a different location than where a policyholder lives.
  • Failing to update the garaging address when moving home. This can impact your insurance coverage as when making a claim, the coverage will be based on your previous address and could result in not being able to claim any money back from the insurer.

How to Improve Insurance Rates without Changing Address

Having a telematics device can be beneficial for insurers. Most new vehicles produced today have some form of connectivity. This allows users to locate their vehicle using an app or web browser, see the lock status of their car and check whether windows or doors have been left open. Some cars even have live camera footage to detect thieves and suspicious activity nearby. 

All of these aid in reducing your car insurance policy. As insurers know that the car is actively being monitored at all times. Having the technology to identify thieves makes an insurer's job easier when settling a claim on your behalf. 

Modern Vehicles are Secure, Keep your Garaging Address Updated

Keeping your garaging address updated is vital to ensure you are not committing an act of fraud, providing the wrong information for insurers or trying to get a cheaper policy as this method does not work.

Luckily, cars today are much more secure with GPS, telematics, alarms and immobilisers all playing a part in helping insurers during claims and reducing prices for the consumer. High Mobility plays a vital role in onboarding business vehicles onto fleet management software with a single API. 

Once onboarded, location tracking, fuel level, condition and many other data points can be accurately determined in an instant. Plus, our partnerships with major car brands allow us to implement one data strategy to securely handle data, all on one platform.

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