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Hit While Parked?

Hit While Parked

Did you know almost 1 in 4 car accident insurance claims involve “hit while parked” incidents?

This was determined by a recent analysis of over 100,000 car insurance claims by a UK firm Interactive Driving Systems. The study showed nearly almost 24% of claims were listed as “hit while parked”.

If this has happened to you, either by a responsible party who has given you their name, number, and insurance details, or buy an unknown hit and run, you probably want to know what you can do about it?

We’ll take a look at your options shortly, but first consider this interesting fact.

In many “hit while parked” cases, insurance companies note many drivers do not necessarily tell the whole truth. The study mentioned above also determined an unusually high percentage of “unknown third party” claims, and it doesn’t take much to work out it may be the driver themselves (the claimant) who really did the damage.

Let’s take a look at what you should do if you’ve been hit while parked:

What Your Should Do If You’ve Been “Hit While Parked”:

Any minor car accident is frustrating and can ruin your day. Whether you discover the damage when returning to your vehicle, or finding a note on your windscreen from a responsible party, you should try and stay calm.

If the damage was truly done by an unknown third party, try and determine if any CCTV in the area can help substantiate your case. Most car parks and many inner-city Australian roads are covered by the big brother of CCTV, and in this instance it may prove very useful.

Whatever the reason for your “hit while parked” incident, being calm and methodical will help you through the situation, and keep in mind it will get resolved.

Here are some tips to help you substantiate an insurance claim which gets processed quicker and in your favour:

Assess the scene

Usually in anger and frustration we fail to cover the basics we’ll need for the insurance company.

Firstly, take note of the extent of the damage to your car, and also nearby objects and structures. If someone has driven into your car, they may have driven into something else as well.

Take photos from different angles, both close up and showing the entire scene. A photograph from a distance can help your insurance company determine how the third party hit your stationary vehicle.

If you have been hit by an unknown third party, it is possible they have parked their car elsewhere in a carpark out of guilt. Have a look around for other damaged vehicles, especially if there are flecks of your paint on their car (I got this tip from an episode of CSI New York).

Gather information

You must record key information. Do this at the scene, not when you get home.

Try and record the following information:

  • Date and time of the incident.
  • Location where the accident occurred.
  • If appropriate, note the weather conditions.
  • If the other vehicle is present, record the licence plate, make, and model.
  • Any contact details of other parties or witnesses.

Check for a note or witnesses

If you find a note on your windscreen do not assume the information is accurate and can be dealt with later. You may still benefit from witnesses who can offer relevant information or confirm your insurance report. An independent witness can be very valuable when filing any car insurance claim.

If you find an unknown third party has not left a note, have a quick look around the car in case one has fallen on been blown off your windscreen.

Contact the authorities

If the extent of the damage is major or costly, contacting the police is worth doing. This will give you a crime number, and may help track down the offending driver.

Contact your insurance company

Notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible, preferably at the scene.

Make sure you give your insurance company all the details you gathered above, and make the information as accurate and concise as possible. Provide them with photos and any witness statements you’ve gathered.

Your insurance company will guide you through the claims process and advise on next steps.

If you are unsure of your insurance coverage, it may be worth review your insurance documents first.

Get repair estimates

For any major damage you will likely go through insurance, but if the damage is minor it is worth seeking repair estimates from local auto repair shops.

You may find it cheaper to fix the damage without going through insurance, especially if you risk losing a no claims bonus. Hopefully the owner of the vehicle who hit your car will be willing to cover the cost in full, but even for an unknown third party incident a small repair may save you a great deal of time and paperwork, even if it costs you money.

Stay calm, stay calm, stay calm

Hopefully the information above has given you all the information you need to tackle the situation calmly.

Sometimes insurance claims can take time, or if repair work is involved you may find yourself without a car for a period of time. This is understandably stressful, but staying as calm as possible will benefit you greatly until the matter has passed.

Good luck!

Being hit while parked is an unfortunate event, but by following the steps above you should be able to deal with your insurance company and resolve the matter with confidence.

Timely reporting, clear documentation, and effective communication with your insurance company will help ensure a smooth resolution and get your car back on the road or looking tip top.

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