Hong Kong can certainly be a city where people’s lives vary an extreme amount. Say what you will about the inequality present in the city, but the point is that living in this city can be highly affordable for some, and ridiculously expensive for others. As such, there are certain status symbols that people here use to show off which end of this spectrum they are closer to, and one of the biggest status symbols a person can have in Hong Kong is no doubt the vehicle they drive.
If you’re driving at all in this city, you are already pretty affluent. Of course, if you drive a particularly nice vehicle here, people are going to make other assumptions about how you are living. On the other hand, there is one status symbol in Hong Kong that goes highly underappreciated, even though its exorbitant costs often make headlines both in Hong Kong and abroad: A parking space. That’s right! The little parcel of garage where your car resides when not in use is a major consideration for vehicle owners in Hong Kong.
Can your parking space have an effect on your insurance, though? Kwiksure examines the topic within this blog post. Read on to find out more!
The crazy costs of Hong Kong parking spots
As recently as June 6th, 2018, international news outlets were publishing stories about the eye-widening costs that local drivers are using simply to store their vehicles. A story published by RT stated that a Hong Kong record was broken whenever a single 16.4 x 8.2 foot parking spot was sold for a whopping HKD 6 million! Reportedly, that is just a touch under half the price of an entire apartment in the area.
Think about this: Unless you are driving something nicer than a Lamborghini Aventador or Mazerati Quattroporte, the price the parking space in question sold for will cost more than your vehicle itself. This means - as much as people in Hong Kong like to have nice cars - if you really want to be a driver in Hong Kong, the price you may have to pay just to park in the city can really limit your choice of auto.
To be sure, the property prices in Hong Kong continue to rise, and parking spaces will most likely continue to follow.
How to lower risk in the garage
Now, a secure garage in Hong Kong, with all of the security that apartment complexes here possess, is not likely to be at risk of theft or out-and-out vandalism – certainly much less than if it were parked on the street. However, garages and other parking areas are still hotbeds of dents, dings, and other small accidents that can drive a car owner batty – especially if they are unable to figure out who is at fault. With this in mind, here are some tips car owners can take to better protect their car when it’s nestled in its designated home:
Try to choose a spot that is not next to an area with a lot of vehicle or foot traffic. The more people that pass by your car, the more likely it is that one of them accidently damages your vehicle somehow.
Choose a well lit parking spot. This will make sure that the area surrounding your vehicle is always well lit - so nobody can ever get the jump on you – and provide peace of mind. It may even save you some scratches around your cars keyholes, as you will be able to see where you’re putting your key better.
Get a parking space above sea level. This is to say, make sure that your car won’t end up completely submerged should the garage get flooded. It rains a lot in Hong Kong sometimes, so much so that garages have been flooded before - and rainwater doesn’t care how much you’ve spent on your spot.
The impact of parking spots on car insurance
So once you’ve spent an arm and leg to secure your Hong Kong parking space, will it have any benefits from a car insurance standpoint? Or could it even possibly be detrimental in some way?
As it happens, breaking the bank for a primo spot can save you some money, albeit probably not enough to cover the cost of the spot itself. This is because some motor insurance companies will have an option where policyholders can get a ‘garage discount’ for storing their vehicles in a secure parking facility, where the risks of theft, vandalism, and accidental damage are significantly lower versus parking on the street.
The factors that insurers will consider when deciding this discount are:
The level of crime in the vicinity of garage
How prone the area is to natural disasters and other destructive incidents
Whether or not your area exists where winters are particularly harsh. (Clearly this point is not a consideration for Hong Kong.)
What type of garage the vehicle is stored in (attached, standalone, in another location, etc)
What’s more, if you have a particularly valuable vehicle, it is possible that an insurance provider may require that you vehicle be kept inside of a secured garage each night as a prerequisite just for them to cover you at all, just as they would require an insured set of jewels to be stored in a locked safe.
Another consideration that should make you appreciate your expensive parking spot even more is the fact that it will ensure that you receive fewer parking tickets. While parking tickets in and of themselves do not have an effect on your car insurance, taking too long to pay them certainly can lead to higher premiums.
Hopefully you’ve learned something valuable about parking spaces here that can help you as a driver in Hong Kong. If anything mentioned above prompted you to think that it might be time to review your car insurance needs, and how much value you’re really getting out of your existing car insurance plan, talk to the helpful car insurance experts at Kwiksure today!
Our staff are ready to answer any questions you may have, provide you with a comparison of car insurance plans from a number of the top Hong Kong car insurers, and provide you with a price quote – all at zero cost! Contact us today!