As you walk out into the parking lot or parking garage and get ready to get into your car to continue your busy day, you notice a big dent that wasn’t there before. You realize my parked car was hit! Someone crashed into your vehicle while you were away and clearly they are no longer there. Now you’re wondering what to do when someone hits your parked car.
A parked car accident can be a frustrating and inconvenient problem in your already busy life. However, know that parked car accidents happen all the time and you have options on how to deal with your situation. Continue reading for tips on how to deal with a parked car accident and how to make sure you’re prepared for the worst with excellent auto insurance.
Someone Hit My Parked Car and Left a Note
If someone hit your parked car and left a note with their contact details or their insurance company’s information, it’s a good idea to keep the note in a safe place for later. Before contacting the at-fault driver in question or their insurance company, you should determine the approximate cost for repairs by visiting a few auto repair shops and getting an estimate. After determining the estimated cost of repairs you have a few options:
- Contact the driver and ask him or her if they would be willing to pay for the damages out-of-pocket
- Get the at-fault driver’s insurance information and try filing a claim with their insurance carrier
- If the driver’s insurance company doesn’t respond or won’t confirm financial responsibility, you can pay for the repairs out-of-pocket or file a claim with your own insurance company
Keep in mind that if you file a claim through your insurance you will need to pay your collision deductible before your insurance kicks in. In addition, your premium rates will likely increase 20%–25% once you file a claim. So, if the cost of the repairs is around the same amount as your deductible, you may want to consider paying for the repairs out-of-pocket to prevent your premium from going up.
Hit and Run Accident With a Parked Car
If the driver left without leaving a note, then it’s a hit and run accident. The steps for dealing with this are similar to how you would deal with a hit and run accident in moving traffic. In this case, ask people in the vicinity if they witnessed the incident. If you get in contact with witnesses, make sure you get their phone number and their account of what happened. If they happened to take note of the offending car’s license plate number, that’s even better.
Gather as much information as you can from anyone who witnessed the accident scene. Keep it for your reference and if they are willing to wait for the police to arrive, ask them to stay and speak to the on-scene officer.
If there are any businesses nearby, ask staffers if they saw anything and/or see if you can get a copy of video footage, if it was caught on security cameras. You might be able to obtain the license plate of the offending vehicle.
If you are unable to obtain contact information about the driver who hit your car, then you can decide whether you want to file an insurance claim with your own insurance and pay your collision deductible or pay for the repairs out-of-pocket after you have taken your car to a repair shop to get an estimate.
Someone Hit My Parked Car While I Was Inside
Since you were in the vehicle at the time it was hit, the first thing you need to worry about is your health and safety. If you sustained injuries, seek immediate medical attention and be sure to ask the physician for an official report outlining your medical expenses. This documentation will come in handy throughout the claims process.
While you’re still at the scene of the accident and if you’re able to, see if there were any witnesses and exchange information with them as well as the driver of the offending vehicle. Also take photos of the damage. Once you have the driver’s information, witness reports, police report, and a medical report, you’ll now have what you need to file a claim for the incident.
Contact the Police
Whether there was a note left or not, you need to call the police and make a report of the incident. The police officer will take your account of the incident and will file an accident report. You’ll need this should you decide to file a claim with your car insurance company, so when the officer finishes his/her report, make sure you get a copy and keep it for your records.
How It Relates to Your Insurance
Lastly, you’re probably wondering how this will get handled in relation to your insurance. When you bought insurance, you might’ve asked your insurance agent questions like What if I get in an accident on the freeway, not What if someone hits my parked vehicle. So, how do you know if you’re covered?
While there’s no such thing as parked car accident insurance policy, there is collision coverage and it could be your best bet in a situation like this. Collision coverage is not required for standard insurance policies, but it is an option that can come in handy during situations like this, should you choose to purchase it. Not having collision coverage could mean that you’re responsible for paying the damages if the offending driver flees the scene and cannot be located.
Note that collision coverage has to be purchased before the accident and it must be purchased with comprehensive coverage as well. Normally, collision coverage pays for some, most, or all of the damages done to your vehicle, while comprehensive coverage applies to other incidents such as severe weather and car theft.
The other type of coverage that can help you in this situation is uninsured motorist coverage. This will help you in the event that you are hit by an uninsured driver or by a driver who is unable to pay for the damages. Keep in mind that this type of coverage is not available in every state. You should verify with your agent to be aware of what you can add to your policy.
As mentioned, parked car accidents happen all the time. For all future accidents, make sure you get proper coverage at a low-cost. Freeway Insurance can get you an affordable rate, as we’ve been doing for customers like you for over 30 years. Request a free auto insurance quote online or over the phone at (800) 777-5620.