10 things to know about your temporary car shelter

Fans of car shelters or “Tempos” as they’re commonly referred to wouldn’t be able to get by winter without one. The shelter saves them time and the hassle of having to clear the snow from their cars. To make the most of these car shelters and avoid any mishaps, there are a few things you should consider regarding the installation, maintenance and insurance. Let’s take a closer look.

Installing your car shelter

This is a key step whether you decide to install it yourself or have a rental company take care of it.

1. Observing regulations

Before installing your car shelter, check the guidelines in your borough. While it is prohibited in some boroughs, others allow it provided that the shelter meets certain conditions:

  • Size
  • Distance from other properties
  • Installation and dismantling dates
  • Snow removal

By making sure you meet all these conditions, you’ll avoid fines, conflicts with your neighbours, or worse, the dismantling of a shelter which does not comply with the regulations in your borough.

2. Ensuring your car shelter is properly installed

Keep a step ahead of winter and make sure you secure your shelter properly. Use permanent anchors if you live in a windy area and if they can be secured to your driveway. You should ideally have the shelter installed by professionals. That way, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your shelter will be able to better withstand gusts of wind.

You can also add anti-wind strips or sandbags on the perimeter of your shelter for added stability.

Weather permitting, you can also use U-anchors to secure your shelter which are recommended for asphalt, gravel or grass driveways.

Things to avoid

Don’t use concrete blocks to anchor your shelter, as they haven’t proven to be effective even though they’re sold in hardware stores and big-box stores.


By ensuring the proper maintenance of your car shelter, you’ll reduce the risk of collapse and extend its lifespan.

3. Ensuring regular snow removal

Remove the snow from the shelter after each snowfall. Use an extendable or telescopic T-shaped broom or shovel. Do not use a regular shovel as it can tear the canvas.

Clear the snow from the outside and not from inside the car shelter.

To reduce the risk of collapse during a heavy snowfall, clear both sides at the same time.

Beware of freezing rain! To prevent the canvas from being damaged, remove the accumulated snow before it ices over.

4. In case of a storm or high winds

Close the car shelter’s flaps. That way, it won’t fly off like a kite, as wind blowing under the structure puts pressure on the anchors.

5. Inspecting your car shelter

Check the condition of your shelter several times during the winter. Focus on the anchors, bolts and structure to make sure everything is firmly in place.

When winter is over

Respect the deadline set by your borough for dismantling your shelter. Here are a few tips to extend the life of your shelter.

6. A clean shelter

Make sure to clean it with mild soap and let it dry before storing it.

Inspect your canvas for tears and ripped seams and have it repaired by fall.

7. Protecting it from inclement weather

Leave the canvas in a properly ventilated area, away from the humidity and sun which can wear it out much faster.

If you have enough space, store the structure in a place away from unpredictable weather conditions.


The type of damage sustained will determine what type of claim you’ll be filing.

8. If your car is damaged

Your car insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by the shelter if you have the following coverage:

  • Coverage 1 or “All perils” coverage
  • Coverage 3 or Coverage against perils other than collision or upset

9. If your shelter is damaged

Based on your coverage, your home insurance may cover damage to your car shelter due to the weather, strong winds or the weight of the snow causing it to collapse.

10. If your car shelter injures another party or causes damage to his or her property

It is through the civil liability coverage included in your home insurance that a party receives compensation for any injury sustained or damage incurred to his or her property due to your car shelter.

For the injured party to receive compensation, proof of your negligence in the installation and maintenance of your car shelter must be demonstrated.

Have any questions?

Speak to your insurer who will be able to tailor the coverage of your temporary car shelter to your needs.