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The way you handle someone hitting your parked car can be different based on whether they stay or leave the scene. If the at-fault party stays, you may be covered under their liability insurance. If the at-fault party flees the scene, you may be covered under either your collision coverage or uninsured motorist coverage. Knowing what to do in each scenario may help you ensure you have the right car insurance coverage in place. It may also help you know what steps to take in each situation.
What kind of insurance covers a parked car?
Depending on the situation when someone hits your parked car, you may be covered by one of three different coverage types: the at-fault party’s property damage liability, your collision coverage or your uninsured motorist property damage coverage. In certain instances, comprehensive coverage may cover damage to your parked car, if your parked car is damaged another way.
|Coverage type||How it kicks in|
|Comprehensive coverage||Comprehensive insurance, also called “other-than-collision” insurance, covers vandalism, theft, broken glass, hitting an animal and vehicle damage caused by natural disasters. If a storm caused a tree limb to fall and damage your parked car, your comprehensive coverage may pay to have your vehicle repaired, minus your deductible.|
|Collision coverage||Collision coverage helps pay for damage to your vehicle. If you hit a parked car and damage your vehicle, collision insurance would pay for your car’s damage, minus your deductible. Your property damage liability would pay for the other person’s vehicle damage. If it’s your car that’s damaged in a hit-and-run and you don’t have UMPD, you could make a claim under your collision coverage. Your vehicle’s damage may be repaired under your collision coverage, less your deductible.|
|Uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD)||UMPD is available in some states and may have a state-mandated deductible that applies. It may pay if someone hits your parked car and doesn’t have insurance. It may pay out if the at-fault driver leaves the scene without providing their insurance information in a hit-and-run — typically when the at-fault party can be identified. You might also have the option to purchase UMPD. If someone hits your vehicle and doesn’t have enough property damage liability to cover the entire cost, your underinsured motorist coverage could pay for the rest.|
What do I do when someone hits my parked car?
When someone hits your parked car, you should treat it the same way you would any other accident. Take these steps if your parked car is hit or you are involved in an accident:
- Determine if you need to move your car. If your car is already parked, it may not need to be moved out of the roadway after being hit.
- Assess the damage to your vehicle and any possible injuries. Once you know everyone is okay, take pictures of your damaged car.
- Call the police. If there are injuries, an ambulance may be needed to provide medical attention. The police can also help facilitate the exchange of information. Get the names and badge numbers of the responding officers to get the accident report later.
- Gather information. This includes the name and contact information for the people involved and any witnesses. Ask for the driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. Write down the information or take a picture with your phone to file a claim. Note of the time of day, location of the accident and what the weather conditions were.
- File a claim. After you have all the information, you can file a claim online, over the phone or through the mobile app, depending on the insurance company.
There are a variety of scenarios you may find yourself in when dealing with someone hitting your parked car. How you handle the process for each situation can look different, as outlined below.
Someone hit my parked car while I was in it
If someone hit your parked car while you were in it, assess yourself to see if you have any injuries. Call the police, especially if you feel you need medical attention. Even if you do not immediately feel you are injured, you may feel the effects of the car accident later. It is not uncommon to go to sleep and wake up the next day with whiplash or other minor injuries.
Once you are ready to file a claim, you can file it under the other driver’s liability insurance. The bodily injury liability portion will take care of your injuries while the property damage liability coverage will fix the damage to your car.
Depending on your state, you’ll have medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, where you can file under your own insurance for injuries. PIP also provides coverage for lost wages and other accident-related expenses.
Someone hit my parked car and left a note
If someone hit your parked car and left the scene, but also left a note, you should call the police. Provide the information the at-fault driver left and get the police report number to provide to the insurance company.
If the note only included the person’s contact information, but did not provide insurance information, you may need to call them to get it. If the note provided insurance information, you can call the company directly to file a claim under the at-fault driver’s liability property damage coverage.
You can also file an insurance claim under your own collision insurance or uninsured motorist property damage coverage, if they do not have insurance. If you file with your own insurance company, you may have to pay the coverage deductible to get your car fixed.
Someone hit my parked car and I was injured
If you are injured after someone hits your parked car, you should assess yourself to see how seriously you are injured. Calling the police can help you get medical attention if needed.
Get the driver’s insurance information so you can file a claim under their liability insurance. You can have your injuries covered under the bodily injury and your car damage under the property damage liability.
If you have PIP or medical payments coverage, you may also be able to file for medical expenses and other accident-related costs you may incur.
Parked car hit-and-run
If someone hit your parked car and left the scene without a note, it is considered a hit-and-run. You should check for security cameras or any witnesses who may have seen the accident. If you are parked near a business, they may have security cameras that caught what happened, which can be used to determine who hit your parked car.
Walk around all sides of your car to see the damage. Take pictures or video from every angle before moving the car from its parked spot.
If you have collision insurance, you can file a claim to get the damage fixed. However, hit-and-run may also be covered under uninsured motorist property damage insurance. If you have both coverage types and are unsure which coverage would apply, your insurance company and claims adjuster will help you with determining the coverage that applies to your situation.
Frequently asked questions
If you hit a parked car, your property damage liability insurance will pay for the damage you cause, up to your coverage limit. This is one reason almost every state requires a certain amount of liability insurance, because it helps protect the other party if you cause damage or injuries.
Most states have minimum insurance requirements on all registered vehicles, even those that are parked and not being driven. Whether you park your car on the street, in your driveway or in a garage, having the right insurance coverage will protect your parked car. If your vehicle is stored in your garage and is not driven for extended time periods, you could consider placing your vehicle in storage status if your insurer offers this option while it is not being driven.
Filing a claim with your insurer for any reason may cause insurance rates to increase, including if someone hits your parked car. Insurance rates may increase more if you are responsible for hitting someone else’s parked car. Consider getting a quote on the cost to repair your car’s damage before filing a claim to see if the cost outweighs the potential impact to your policy, especially if you have to pay a deductible. For example, if your car needs $700 in repairs but you have a $500 deductible, you may determine that a $200 payout is not worth it if your insurance rates will increase for the next three to five years.