If you’re in a car accident or someone hit your parked car and left, you may assume that they’re the one who has to report it to the insurers. While that certainly is the case, you have a duty to inform your own insurance provider also. Depending on the nature of the accident, as well as the damage caused, you could find that their insurer won’t prove you with the funds needed to repair your vehicle. If this happens, you’ll need to claim on your policy.
Before you contact your own insurance company, call the number of the other person’s insurance that they provided you. This is to ensure all details have been passed on correctly, and if they haven’t, then the insurer can start an investigation. You should never assume that you will automatically get a payment from the other driver’s insurance company straight away.
Unfortunately, individuals often change their mind, as well as their story, when a bit of time has passed since the accident. They could try and claim against you and say that you hit their vehicle. Even with a well-documented police report that puts you in favor of not causing the accident, it will still take a bit of time for their other person’s insurance to offer a settlement payment. By contacting your own insurer properly, they could sort out an additional vehicle while you wait.
Whatever happens, going behind your own insurance company’s back is never a good idea. Any accident, regardless of how minor, should be reported to them.
Someone hit my parked car and left, what do I do?
Having someone damage your vehicle, whilst it’s parked, without witnesses is the worst case scenario to be in. It’s not only common courtesy to leave a note with contact details on, if you were to damage or crash into an unmanned parked vehicle, but it’s actually against the law to leave the scene before doing so.
The first thing you should do is try and find any witnesses that are near. You could be lucky and find that the accident has happened very recently and that the people who witnessed it are still around. If you do manage to speak to someone who has information, be sure to take their name and phone numbers down, and ask if they managed to remember the license plate of the car.
A lot of insurance companies require that you file a hit and run report with the police within 24 hours to be able to try and claim. If you don’t do this, it’s very likely that the insurers will deem this as a chargeable loss. Remember, a hit and run is a criminal offence, regardless of it being a stationary unmanned vehicle.
As long as you file the report correctly the police, as well as informing your insurance company, and you’re found to be not at fault, then your insurance premiums will not increase. It’s always advisable to have collision coverage when taking out a new insurance deal.