Your car is valuable to you, no matter how old or broken it is. Getting in an accident and seeing those dents is already a painful thing, but there’s something even worse. Imagine your car is parked on the side of the road and some other car hits it. It does not matter if your car is just scratched or completely deformed, it is a terrible thing to happen. So how do you manage this situation? How pays for the repairs and how much are you going to get?
There could be a lot of confusion in understanding the different auto insurance policies and what it covers. Since there are like tens of different types of auto insurance each covering some but not all repairs, this article will answer the question of; does car insurance cover hitting a parked car.
Auto Insurance Coverage
Before we get into that question, let’s briefly know the rules and coverage of the common auto insurance coverage. The government has made it mandatory to have some auto insurance policies to legally drive any vehicle. Some are optional and some could be unnecessary.
A liability insurance policy is mandatory in almost every state in the US. This insurance policy is not for the policyholder, but for the other person who the policyholder might injure in an accident. Liability insurance covers the damage done to the car, property, and bodily injury of the people involved in the accident. There’s a state-mandated minimum limit for insurance coverage.
Liability insurance is relevant to the topic of this article.
Collision Insurance Coverage
Collision insurance coverage is not mandatory, but as important and useful as liability insurance. Collision coverage protects your car from any damage that may happen due to an accident, regardless of whose fault it is. So if you hit someone else’s car or someone else hits yours, you can use your collision insurance coverage for repairing your car’s damages.
Collision insurance is perhaps the most important auto insurance for your own car’s protection, so make sure you get it from the best car insurance companies in the market.
Collision coverage is relevant to the topic of this article.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance
UM,/UIM insurance is used when the person at fault (who caused the accident) either does not have liability insurance or the minimum coverage limit is not enough to cover the total cost.
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage is relevant to this article.
Other Insurance Policies
There’s a comprehensive insurance policy that protects your car from damages that are either natural or not anyone’s fault. For example, if your car gets damaged due to a hailstorm, or an earthquake, comprehensive insurance will cover that. This policy also includes coverage for damages due to riots, vandalism, projectile damage, animal damage, flood, fire, etc.
Apart from comprehensive insurance, there is a personal injury protection plan which can be used for covering the medical treatment cost. Both comprehensive and personal injury protection coverage is irrelevant to this topic.
When You Hit a Parked Car
Let’s say that you are driving and suddenly lose control of your car. It goes right towards a brand new car and rams into it. So who will pay for the repairs? If you are at fault, then your liability insurance will be used to cover the repair costs. The minimum coverage limit of your liability insurance for property damage will be the maximum amount the insurance company pays for the repairs.
If the cost of the repairs is higher than the minimum limit, you’ll have to pay the extra from your pockets. Having umbrella insurance can help, as it would pay for any extra amount. Do note that once this claim is filed, your insurance rates will go up as this will be shown on your driving record.
When Your Parked Car Gets Hit
What if your car is kept parked, safely on the side of the road and you hear a loud bang. You see another car nearly fused with your car, and a confused driver looking around. Does your insurance cover that?
First, if the driver at fault is present, you don’t need to use your insurance to pay for the repair. Since the other driver is at fault, his/her liability insurance will pay for the repairs. This is preferable as it would not increase your insurance rates, granted that you must prove to the insurance company that it was not your fault.
In case the driver at fault does not have liability coverage or the minimum coverage limit is less than what’s needed for the repairs, you can use your uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance policy to pay for the repairs.
When the Driver at Fault is Not Present
But what if the other driver is not so nice and decides to disappear before you can make a move? This is what happens most of the time when there’s a hit-and-run scenario. In such situations, your collision insurance coverage is what would get you out of this mess.
All you need to do is call 911 and report this accident. Do not move your car, take pictures from all angles, and then contact your insurance company and report the incident. The only issue here is that some companies might increase the insurance rates after such accidents.
But there is always room for discussion. You can talk to your insurance agent or company and tell them that it was not your fault. This might prevent your insurance rates from going up.
In conclusion, both liability insurance, and collision insurance cover hitting a parked car, depending on who hits the car and whose car gets hit.