The National Security Council reports that more than half of drivers are comfortable talking over the phone and texting while driving around the parking lot. With all those distractions, it’s easy to hit the car.
But what to do if someone hits your car while parked while you have placed the vehicle according to federal and local laws? What do you do if it happens outside the parking lot? If you wonder what to do if someone hits your parked car and leaves, read this article to find answers!
What To Do if Someone Hits Your Car While Driving in the Parking: 3 Possible Cases
Generally speaking, if it’s not your fault, they cover damages when the car hits when parked. But it depends on many factors: from the insurance details to the damage type. Anytime you file a claim, the insurance can raise the rates since you become a more risky client.
Eventually, you’ll ask questions like, “I saw that my car was hit while parked. Will my insurance go up?”. There are three possible ways to act in this situation. Let’s examine each of them.
File a Third-Party Claim
Make sure the agents know it wasn’t your fault. You can use this method when someone hits the car and stays until you arrive. If this is hit-and-run, look for documents with specific insurance information.
In those cases, the owner can file a claim against their liability coverage (often called a third-party claim). The other motorist insurance company pays for the damage up to its coverage limit.
But do you know what to do if someone hits and runs? In this case, claim your insurance. But remember that this decision also has consequences.
File a Claim On Your Insurance
If you wonder what to do when someone hits your car and leaves, you can file an insurance claim. Ensure that you have collision coverage. If there is more damage than a tiny scratch, it often falls into deductible expenses. You’ll likely get the money by reporting a hit-and-run parked car.
Source: Insurance Information Institute
Another important step is to check the insurance contract. The Insurance Information Institute provides comprehensive research, showing that the average deductible payment ranges from $800 to $1200. Collision deductibles cover only part of it. In most companies, they range from $400 to $1000 worth of damage. Be prepared to see increasing rates.
The increase may occur because you’ll be considered a risky client. But if you stay with the same insurance company and continue to pay bills on time, rates gradually will go lower to the original point.
Don’t File a Claim
Not filing a claim is usually an option when someone hits your car and leaves without contact info, and the damage is less than a deductible. The most common case is when another driver accidentally scratches the car, but this flaw is so tiny that its repair costs $100-200.
In this case, consider repairing the car on your own. Most insurance companies don’t pay a penny but may raise the rates when you become a more risky client.
Another situation when you should consider not filing a claim is when you don’t have collision coverage and the contact info of another driver. Usually, this is the cheapest option on the market since most insurances have collision protection.
Someone Hit My Car While It Was Parked: What Should I Do?
It would be great if you had collision insurance. That way, you have protection if someone hits your car and drives off. You can find all the essential steps in this table:
|What To Do||
Why You Should Do This
|Stay at the place of the accident||Don’t move your car even for an inch.
Police and insurance workers need to collect as much data as possible when you see someone hit by a car or even when there are no casualties.
|Collect other motorist’s info||If the other driver is here, don’t let them go. Otherwise, you’ll be reporting hit-and-run parked cars, and obtaining compensation will be more complicated.
Ensure that other drivers provide you with actual insurance and personal information.
|Look for witnesses||
If you are in a public space, look for security cameras that can prove that you were hit while parked. Many businesses and residences have doorbell cameras that film videos in color and store them on cloud services.
|Call the police||
You need an official report to show the insurance company to get the compensation. Otherwise, you may not get financial support for a car hit while parked. If you call your agent but forget about the police, they can’t process the claim.
|Call the insurance company||
Once you get the necessary info and call the police, notify your insurance company. This is what you should do if someone hits your car. Insurance representatives need to arrive at the place of the accident and evaluate your vehicle to decide the amount of compensation.
If you don’t have collision insurance, you have a low chance of getting compensation when you have protection for other cases. So we recommend you check the contract to ensure you have parked car insurance. Look for collision protection.
What To Do if You Accidentally Hit a Parked Car?
Any accident could happen. Therefore, we encourage you to stick to the federal and local laws.
|What To Do||
Why You Should Do This
|Don’t drive away||If you see another driver, stay where you are. Talk with them and provide your insurance information. In some states, leaving an accident is considered a felony.
Provide your contacts so insurance compensates repair to another driver who was hit while parked.
|Leave your information||If you look everywhere nearby and can’t find the other driver, leave a note. The paper should have your full name, contact information including mobile number and e-mail, insurance company, and explanation of the incident.
Take pictures of the damage. Especially if someone hits your car, causing the maneuver that forces you to risk and get into a complex accident.
|Call the police||If this accident results from a maneuver you had to do due to another driver, or pedestrian, collect their contact information and provide it to the police.
In some cases, you may get considered as the victim. The person guilty of this accident will pay you and other victims if they have active insurance.
|Call the insurance company||
Let them know about the accident so that they can prepare for the claim.
In situations like this, try to imagine what you feel if this happens to you. Act like you wish another driver would act if someone hit your vehicle. Keep calm and soothe the other driver so you both will be with clear minds when the police and insurance agent arrives.
What To Do if Somebody Hits Your Car: Step-By-Step Instruction
Contact another driver, take as many photos of the car as you want, and call the police and insurance agent. Later, they will ask you to file a claim against another driver or your insurance (if it was an anonymous hit-and-run). Once you file a claim, the insurance company will take these steps:
- Investigation: After listening to your part of the story, every insurance company starts its investigation. This is crucial to have a police report as an official paper that proves your words. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to say things like “My car got hit” or “Someone hit my car and left the scene.” You need to show official papers proving your words.
- Inspection: Once insurance agents finish the investigation, they inspect your car to calculate the approximate repair cost. If you drive the vehicle, they ask you to bring it to the inspection station. If it’s not drivable, the evaluator will come to the accident place to check your car.
- Valuations: Using tools like Kelley’s Blue Book (one of the most common guides for automotive price quotes in North America), the inspector will decide the car’s market value based on your model, mileage, locale, color, and condition before the accident.
- Settlement: The insurance company tells you how much money they give you to repair the vehicle.
Once the evaluator estimates the car value and calculates its current price, they provide you with the percentage of its value. The insurer declares a total loss if its percentage falls between 50% to 100%. In this case, they will:
- Take the car to sell for salvage. Sometimes, they can allow you to keep the car, but they deduct the salvage value for a total settlement.
- Subtract the deductible from the fair value.
- Pay off the lease or loan if you still have it.
- Write you a check paper with the remainder.
But if the accident is not that serious, the claims adjuster tells you the repair estimate. You can take the car to any mechanic that accepts such a sum for their services. If they take it, the repair team can start to fix your car. They will get a check from the insurance company later.
Contact the insurance agent if the mechanic tells you the repair estimate is too low. They will talk with the claims adjuster and negotiate a different solution with the parked car insurance.
Can I Skip Carrying Insurance if Someone Damaged My Car While Parked?
If you face a minor accident (like a scratch or small bump), you can negotiate with the driver that causes the accident. Firstly, determine the approximate repair cost by asking multiple repair shops. Ask the at-fault party to pay you out of pocket for the repair costs.
This decision saves you both from spending hours on police and insurance evaluation. It is not a recommended course of action when a car is hit while parked, but millions of people still use this trick to save time in minor accidents.
Beware that future incidents related to this accident might not be covered, or insurance provides you with far less money than it could.
Will My Insurance Premium Go Up If Someone Backs into My Parked Car?
According to Business Wire, auto insurance rates for Americans will average $1895 in 2023. Premium rates depend on many factors that we’ve discussed before. Every claim and accident adds concern to the insurance agents.
If the insurance agent can suspect your fault, premium payments will go up. Prices may increase if your vehicle gets considerable damage while another driver doesn’t have insurance. Your monthly payments will increase if you ask for compensation for a situation where you lack protection.
Dealing With Uninsured Damages When Someone Hits Your Car
One of the most common questions in situations like this is how to protect yourself from any possible damage. You can buy additional coverages that protect you from unexpected situations:
- Underinsured motorist protection: It works when the driver who hit your vehicle has insurance, but it can’t cover the damage. This protection covers the repair costs without rising premiums for you.
- Uninsured motorist insurance: Around 13% of US drivers are still uninsured. In some states, there are more than 20% uninsured drivers, where 1 of 4 drivers don’t have any coverage. If you don’t want to struggle with the question, “What should I do when someone hit my parked car, and they have no insurance?”, consider getting this coverage.
- Uninsured motorist property damage: It will cover expenses when someone hits your vehicle and pushes it into another car or property. If you don’t have that protection, a third party may ask you to pay for recovery. Insurance will pay them and raise your premiums. UMPD protection eliminates the possibility of this situation.
Some drivers may think those are unneeded expenses, but they can save up a lot of money in the long run. Insurance plan preparation is one of the most important things that help you save money on insurance.
Consumer Reports launched comprehensive research that shows the crucial role of pre-research before signing a contract. This paper is still relevant even in 2023. Analyze your situation and pick the insurance that protects you from the most road surprises.
It’s unpleasant to get hit while parked. It can be frustrating to see scratches on your brand-new vehicle, but even more frustrating to witness a hit-and-run situation. So you eventually start to search the web with questions like “What should I do if someone hits your car while parked?”.
It depends on whether you were the only victim. If your car bumps into another car, you may face significant consequences. Your premium may rise if you don’t have collision protection or when it’s an incident with an underinsured or uninsured driver.
Contact another driver and wait until police and insurance agents arrive at the accident location. They will inspect the cars and the overall situation to decide the payment amount.
If you stick to the law and have collision protection, underinsured, and uninsured motorist insurance, there is nothing to worry about. You get compensation without raising premiums when someone hits your vehicle. In other cases, the end solution may differ from it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I be responsible for repair costs if someone hits my car?
If you ensure police and insurance that it’s not your fault, you don’t get charged. We encourage you to know your local parking regulations: in some states and counties, they can be more strict than federal laws.
Can you take any actionable legal steps if someone hits your parked car and leaves?
Call the police. Officers need to write down accident details. Otherwise, you don’t get insurance payments even when you call an insurance agent. Look for witnesses and cameras that could record the accident.
Does car insurance cover parking lot damage?
The answer is yes, but only if you have collision coverage. If you happen to be at fault and don’t have collision coverage, be prepared to shoulder the cost of repairing your vehicle.
Do I need to call insurance if someone hit-and-run my parked car?
It depends on the damage. If the damage overcomes the non-deductible limit, you can notify the insurance company. Check your contract to find the deductible in your case.
If someone hits my parked car, do I call their insurance?
Make sure to get all the necessary information if someone hit your car while parked. If they leave a note, it should include their contact information and insurance details. Go ahead and reach out to their insurance company and try to find witnesses who might have seen the car hit when parked. This will help ensure you have all the necessary information to handle the situation.
What should I do if my car was hit while parked, but I don’t have collision protection?
Find the person guilty of this accident and ask them politely to pay for the damage. If you don’t have that protection type, the insurance company has no obligation to compensate you for the damage.
Victoria is a Senior Content Writer at American REIA. She helps customers find the right educational material through easily-digestible blog posts and buying guides backing their insurance coverage choice. Victoria covers the latest industry news and various insurance topics, including auto, home, health, and life insurance.