What You Should Do If Someone Hits Your Parked Car
If your parked car is hit by another vehicle, the best-case scenario is a minor fender-bender with an insured driver who sticks around to make a police report and trade insurance information.
In the worst-case scenario, you are sitting in your parked car and endure not only damage to your vehicle but also injuries to your body from a driver who has no insurance or flees the scene.
But no matter the scenario, if your parked car is hit, you are not at fault, which is never a bad thing in the world of auto insurance.
My Parked Car Was Hit and Got Damaged
Unless the offending driver is from New Hampshire or Virginia, the person responsible for hitting your parked car should have some amount of state-mandated liability insurance, which includes damage to someone else's property. If your parked car was hit while you were, for instance, shopping in the supermarket, the at-fault driver's property damage coverage will pay for any repairs to your vehicle up to a certain dollar amount based on the extent of the damage.
It is important to keep in mind that your own personal liability insurance coverage does not insure your own vehicle. If the other driver doesn't have liability insurance or hit your parked car and left the scene, auto insurance companies offer two products that will reimburse you for the damage to your vehicle:
Collision Insurance Coverage
Full coverage insurance comprises two insurance products: comprehensive and collision coverage. While comprehensive insurance coverage reimburses for vehicle theft as well as any non-collision-related damage (fire, vandalism, hail, a falling tree branch, contact with animals) to your vehicle, collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle that was caused by a crash, such as getting hit by that other vehicle in the supermarket's parking lot. Collision coverage typically pays for damage from the following perils:
Crashing another vehicle
Crashing into a tree, fence, mailbox or other object
A single-car accident in which your vehicle rolls over
According to the Insurance Information Institute, collision insurance costs about $290 per year and comprehensive costs about $135 a year.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance
Uninsured motorist coverage pays for damage to your car when the at-fault driver has no property-damage liability coverage of their own, which is not unlikely when you consider that one in eight U.S. motorists have zero insurance. Your uninsured property-damage policy will pay for your car repairs up to a certain dollar amount—from $5,000 to $50,000, depending on the policy you choose. Like comprehensive coverage, this insurance product will pay out even when the damage was caused by a hit-and-run driver.
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My Parked Car Was Hit, and I Got Injured
Unless the at-fault driver who hit your parked car is from New Hampshire or Virginia, the individual responsible for hitting your parked vehicle and causing you bodily harm should have some amount of state-mandated liability insurance, which includes coverage up to a certain amount for bodily injury to third parties.
For example, Maine drivers are required by law to carry $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident of bodily injury liability, while Massachusetts drivers must carry only $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.
If the other driver doesn't have liability insurance or perpetrates a hit-and-run crime, auto insurance companies offer two products that will pay for your medical bills:
Personal Injury Protection
Also called "no-fault insurance," personal injury protection (PIP) helps to reimburse your medical expenses when you've been injured in a car accident, even when the at-fault driver is you yourself or, say, a hit-and-run driver. A PIP insurance claim is limited, but it can cover a lot:
Ambulance and emergency-room charges
Medical and surgical treatment
Dental and optometric treatment
Prescriptions and medical supplies
Transportation to and from follow-up medical appointments
Housekeeping, lawn care and other services
You could also ask your insurance company about medical payments, or MedPay, coverage, which is similar to PIP.
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance
This type of uninsured motorist coverage pays for the cost of your medical expenses when the at-fault motorist has no bodily injury liability coverage of their own. Your uninsured bodily injury policy will pay for your medical expenses up to a certain dollar amount.
Like PIP, some states require their licensed drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage: For example, Maine mandates $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident of uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage, while Vermont stipulates $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident.
While PIP will pay out regardless of who is at fault, UMBI will pay out only when the other motorist is at fault. UMBI pays for many of the same items as PIP, but you should speak with your insurance company to find out what you policy covers and doesn't cover.
Filing a Claim With an Insurance Company
If you are not responsible for an accident and file a claim with your insurance company, you will not see a rate increase in most cases. However, your insurer may increase your rate to cover its own expenses, especially if you have filed claims before.
Collision insurance has a deductible. Generally speaking, the larger the deductible, the less you'll pay for your premium. However, if the cost of repairs is lower than your deductible amount, you should pay for that small dent yourself and not file a claim.
If you are injured because someone hits your parked car ,and they have their state-mandated bodily injury liability protection, you'll file a claim with the at-fault motorist's insurer. When the other driver's liability insurance reaches its maximum dollar amount, you'll have to file a PIP or MedPay claim with your auto carrier if you have these coverage. If your PIP or MedPay gets depleted, you'll have to file a claim with your your own health insurance carrier. When in doubt, talk to a knowledgeable insurance agent to determine your best options.
What To Do After a Car Accident
After an accident, no matter who is at fault, you should always take the following steps:
Contact the police and file a police report
Exchange information with the other driver, getting their insurance policy number
Document the damage to your car and the other car with photos or video, making sure to capture the damage and the entire scene from different angles
Get the contact information of any witnesses
Seek medical attention and get an official medical report to document your injuries
Write down as much information as you can remember about the accident
Contact your insurance company, giving them as much information and details as you can
Forward the official accident report and medical report to your insurance company or the other driver's insurance company
You can find a handy check list here.
Someone Hit My Parked Car and Left
If someone hits your parked car but leaves a note with their contact information, contact them and get their insurance details. Of course, you should file a police report and get take photos if you want to access the claims process.
If someone hits your parked car and doesn't leave a note, you and the police will have to identify the hit-and-run driver, getting more information, such as the at-fault hit-and-run driver's license plate, from security cameras and eyewitnesses.
Protect Your Parked Car by Ensuring You Have Adequate Coverage
Accidents are never expected, but it's important to know which coverages will pay for damages and injuries if your parked car is hit by another driver. Having collision insurance will protect you against repair costs if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. Having PIP or MedPay will pay for your injuries if they don't have the proper insurance.
If you're not happy with the way your insurer handled a claim or your rates went up, you'll want to shop around for a better price. Buy adequate coverage at a low cost after a free car insurance quote comparison by entering your zip code below.
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