Accidents happen every day, and sometimes you don’t even have to be driving for one to happen. You need to know what to do when someone hits your parked car. For starters, you should call the police. The local police department will come out and start an accident report. After that, you should start the process of making a claim with your insurance agent. If you have the right coverage, damages could be covered by your insurance.
Checklist: What To Do After a Car Accident [Infographic]
What To Do At The Scene
There are a few steps that you should follow if you find that your parked car was involved in a collision:
- Contact the Police- Contacting the police should always be your first priority if someone hits your car, parked, or moving. The reason being is because you can have an accident report made up to show your insurance company during the claim process. Make sure you get the badge number, name, and a copy of the report from the assisting officer.
- Gather the Details of the Accident- You need to gather all the information that you can, documenting damages using pictures or videos. Make sure to also take pictures of the scene and location of the accident, even the tire marks and debris. When documenting the details, make sure that the location, weather, and time of day are recorded as well.
- Contact Your Insurance Company- You need to contact your insurance company/agent as soon as you can after the accident. That way, the details are still fresh in your mind. Your insurance agent will guide you through the process of filing a claim, informing you of the details you will need. Many insurance companies will provide an application that allows you to make a claim and share photos of the accident with your agent. If it a business vehicle, you would have to contact the insurance company of the business.
In the event of the driver who collided with your vehicle leaving a note for you, make sure you share it with the police and your insurance. Most of the time, your insurance agent will work with the insurance of the other driver to settle the claim the right way.
If your parked car was struck and the one who hit it has fled the scene without leaving any information, the police could classify it as a hit-and-run. If this is the case, the other driver will likely be considered uninsured.
States have varying penalties in the case of a hit-and-run, depending on the damage and/or injury involved with the accident. Many states will classify a hit-and-run as a felony if the damage is severe enough or there was a physical injury involved. Other states, however, do not require bodily injury to make it a felony.
Will Insurance Cover My Parked Car Being Hit?
This question is best answered based on your coverage. The following coverages can be purchased to offer protection for your car if it is struck while parked:
- Uninsured Coverage for Motorist Property- This coverage will help pay for the repairs needed after your car is struck by another driver who has left the scene or is uninsured. This coverage isn’t available in all states, and when it is, it is usually an optional coverage.
- Collision Coverage- This coverage will normally be used to replace or repair your car if it involved in a collision. It doesn’t matter who is at fault; you will be covered. If the other driver has left, you can possibly file the claim under your insurance policy.
Both of these coverages, you might be required to pay a deductible prior to your insurance company’s part in paying for the damages. Based on your coverage and policy limits, you will have the maximum amount that your insurance company will spend on a claim that is covered.
While it is a stressful situation, you need to know what to do when someone hits your parked car. Having the right coverage with your auto insurance company can help make some of these stressful moments less upsetting. Avoid making a situation worse without the right coverage, contact a local insurance agent to find out your coverage options that are specific to your area.