You’re leaving for work one morning and as you come around the driver’s side of your car, you notice a huge scratch across your door. Someone hit your parked car. Regardless of how significant the damage is, if it’s your car, you’re probably going to be upset. When someone hits your parked car, it’s no minor inconvenience. Between dealing with repairs and having your car looking less than its best, fixing a smashed mirror or busted tail light can become a tiresome, frustrating experience that you did nothing to deserve.
So what should you do, what can you do, and when should you do it? To get the best possible outcome for your situation, follow these steps.
Steps to Take After Someone Hits Your Parked Car
1. Report it to the police
The first thing you should do when you find that someone hit your parked car is to notify the police. When the police arrive, they’ll document the scene, plus they’ll record it officially in an incident report. Request the officer provide you with a copy of the report before they leave, as this can be helpful down the line if you pursue an insurance claim.
2. Document the scene
While you’re waiting for the police, you can start on step two and begin documenting the scene exactly as you found it. Unless you must, don’t move your car or leave the area. Fortunately, recording the damage done to your car is much easier today, as we have access to our phone’s camera at all times. Take pictures and videos of your car, the damage, and the overall scene to capture the situation as accurately as possible. When the police come, make sure you also take note of the officer’s name and their badge number.
Additionally, check your surroundings. It’s increasingly common for both residential homes and businesses to have security or doorbell cameras on their properties. If you see any cameras while looking around, document the business or residential address, as you or the police may be able to contact the owners and request access to the footage.
3. Notify your insurance provider
Last, but clearly not least, notify your insurer. Dealing with insurance is probably the last thing you feel like doing after steps one and two, but it’s important to do this as soon as possible. This way, your insurer will be able to inform you of what information they’ll need to file your claim. If you need to document anything else, you’ll have the chance to do so before leaving the scene.
Did You Find a Note?
If someone hit your car while it was parked and they left a note, that’s the second-best case scenario (the best-case scenario being that your car never got hit). A note should have the person’s contact and insurance information. Share the information from the note with your insurer and the police so they can properly handle it.
If your car’s damage isn’t very serious—a scratch or dented fender—you could potentially take a route that doesn’t depend on insurance. Get quotes from repair shops as quickly as possible. The person who hit your car may opt to pay for the repairs out of pocket, as that may cost less than the insurance deductible.
However, if you do pursue this route, be sure to ask the repair shop about potential issues that might not be immediately apparent. If your repairs are covered without your insurance, and issues arise in the future as a result of the initial incident, your insurer could be less willing to cover those costs.
Can my Insurance Cover the Damage?
Damage caused to your parked car will be covered depending on your individual insurance policy. There are two kinds of insurance that are typically used to cover the damage if someone hit your parked car.
Collision insurance will usually be used to cover the necessary service to your car. Even if it was a hit and run and the person who hit your car is never identified, collision insurance can often cover the damages.
However, if there was no note and no other information to go off of, collision insurance may not cover it. Your insurer may be able to cover it under uninsured motorist property damage insurance, although that’s typically a less commonly carried policy.
Stay Safe on and off the Road With Top Driver
If someone hits your parked car, it’s likely going to be a frustrating experience. But having a plan of action and knowing the proper steps to take can be the first step in alleviating the burdensome stress. As the Midwest’s premier driving school, Top Driver makes it our mission to make sure you’re prepared for everything you encounter on or off the roads.
With more than 40 locations throughout Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio, Top Driver is your best resource for driver education. Each year we provide countless hours of in-vehicle training and classes, not to mention our free blog covering best practices for road safety. If you’re looking for teen programs for new drivers, adult, or remedial courses, Top Driver has you covered.
We’re also going the extra mile to ensure a safe learning space for our students and instructors by providing remote classroom education opportunities and implementing a coronavirus vehicle sanitization process.
Call 1 (800) 374-8373 or enroll online today!