Does car insurance cover your parked car?

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The way you handle someone hitting your parked car can be different if they stay or leave the scene. If the at-fault party stays then you may be covered under their liability insurance. If the at-fault party runs then 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 me?

Depending on the situation when someone hits your parked car, you may be covered by one of three different coverages: the at-fault party’s liability property damage, your collision coverage or your uninsured motorist coverage.

While comprehensive insurance provides physical damage coverage to your vehicle, it only covers things like broken glass, theft, vandalism, hitting an animal and natural disasters. If someone hits your parked car and sticks around or leaves a note, you will be covered by their property damage liability coverage. If you are the one who hits a parked car then it is your property damage liability insurance that will cover the damages to their car.

However, if you are the victim of a hit and run where someone hits your parked car and then disappears, it is your collision insurance that will kick in to cover the damages. You will, however, need to pay your deductible. Additionally, if you hit someone else’s parked car and there are damages to your vehicle then you will need to file a claim under your collision insurance. When purchasing collision insurance, consider the deductible amount. If you have to file a claim under collision because someone hit your parked car, you pay the deductible before the insurance company will pay for the damage.

Another coverage option is uninsured motorist insurance, which is only offered in some states. In most states, uninsured motorist bodily injury typically has no deductible. However, uninsured motorist property damage usually has a state mandated deductible. Please note that uninsured motorist property damage is only offered in some states. In most states, if someone commits a hit-and-run, they will automatically be considered “uninsured” and you can file a claim – but this does not apply to all states. It is worth talking to a licensed agent in your area to discuss your coverage options.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Assess the damage to your vehicle and any possible injuries. Once you know everyone is okay, take pictures of your damaged car.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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 portion will take care of your injuries while the property damage coverage will fix the damage to your car.

If you live in a state with medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, 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 did not provide insurance information but the person’s 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 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 in the states that offer it. If you have this coverage, it may be a better fit than filing a claim under collision insurance.

Frequently asked questions

Will my insurance cover me hitting a parked car?

If you hit a parked car, your property damage liability insurance will pay for the damage you cause. This is one reason almost every state requires a certain amount of liability insurance, because it protects the other party if you cause damage or injuries.

Do I have to insure my car if it is parked?

Most states require liability insurance 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.

Written by
Mandy Sleight
Insurance Contributor
Mandy Sleight has been a licensed insurance agent since 2005. She has three years of experience writing for insurance websites such as Bankrate.com, MoneyGeek and The Simple Dollar. Mandy writes about auto, homeowners, renters, life insurance, disability and supplemental insurance products.
Edited by
Insurance Editor