Damage to a Parked Car – What Now?

Damaged to a Parked CarNothing puts a crimp in a driver’s day than coming out to their parked car and finding it dinged up.

Was the offending driver in a hurry? Do they even know they hit the car?

It doesn’t really matter at this point.

What does matter right now is how well the driver knows the insurance policy covering their car. What type of coverage does the driver have? What does their policy state about reporting requirements for this type of accident?

This is basically a hit basically a hit-and-run accident whether it was caused by a runaway shopping cart in a crowded parking lot or just another errant driver and an accident like this is typically covered under the collision or uninsured motorist coverage portion of a policy. If a driver has neither, then the damages and related expenses are solely their responsibility.

However, if a driver is covered, this is the best time to recall what reporting procedures their policy calls for in this case.

How long do they have to report this to their insurer? Should they call the police and file a report?

Typically, drivers should check around and see if there are any witnesses that can help put together what happened. Maybe the witness saw a license plate number? Drivers should get any contact information possible. Better to have it and not needed than the other way around.

Filing a police report should be their next step. Claims may not be accepted without it and some insurers require drivers to contact police within 24 hours.

Whether a deductible will apply depends on what state a driver lives in, as well as how the driver’s policy is structured. Will the accident fall under collision coverage or uninsured motorist coverage?

Knowing how the policy will pay out can help drivers determine if they even want to report the accident to their insurer or have it fixed off the books.