There are many different situations where you have to leave your car unattended and parked in a public place for long periods of time. Most times upon your return, your car is unharmed and is in the exact condition that you left it in. However, one day you might find yourself in the unfortunate situation of returning to your car only to discover it’s been damaged in some way.
If someone has hit or damaged your car, hopefully they did the right thing and left a note. If they did not, it’s also known as a hit-and-run. Either way, it’s not what you want to find when you come back to your car.
In this blog, we will discuss exactly how you should proceed when someone has hit your parked car. We will go over what steps to take depending on each scenario.
Scenario One: Someone has hit your parked car but left a note
If you find that your car has been hit while left unattended, the first thing you should do is look for a note. Most notes will be placed in a visible location on your parked car. The most common place to leave a note is under the windshield wiper. Most notes will contain contact information such as the driver’s full name, phone number, and their licence plate number.
Next, notify the authorities. Find your nearest accident reporting center and provide them with as many details and as much information as you can. Show them the note that was left, show them pictures of the damages, and recall any witness statements if you have them. Once the authorities have all the information they need, they will open a case and get in contact with the other driver.
Now that the authorities are aware of the situation it’s time to get in contact with your insurance provider. Provide them with the exact same details and information that you gave the authorities. They will need the contact information of the other driver in order to file their claim. At this point, your insurance company will get in contact with the other driver’s insurance company to settle all the details related to your claim.
Scenario Two: Someone has hit your parked car but has not left a note
Although you would hope that if anyone were to hit your car they would leave a note, hit-and-runs are quite common in Canada. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, here are some helpful steps we recommend:
1. Gather as much information and details as you possibly can
In these circumstances, the more information you have the better. Document all details surrounding the accident, including:
- Where the accident occurred
- When it happened (approximately)
- The date the accident occurred
- The weather conditions at the time of the accident
- If anyone could’ve been a witness to the accident
Helpful hint: Look around to see if there are any video cameras around. Shopping mall or grocery store parking lots might have surveillance. You ask to obtain this information in the event of a hit and run.
A great way to keep a record of these details is through taking pictures. Thankfully, most cell phones have a camera on them, making this step really easy. Here are some things you can take photos of:
- The damage to your vehicle
- Any debris left behind
- Any identifiers of the location
- Any damage in the surrounding area, such as other cars damaged nearby, tire marks, etc.
We have more tips about what information to collect on our car accident checklist.
2. Inform the police immediately
If your car is safe to drive, it is recommended that your immediately go to your nearest accident reporting center to file a report. If your car is damaged the point where you are unable to operate it safely, please stay where you are. Call a tow truck and the police, and they will meet you at the site of the accident. Provide the authorities with all of the details and photos that you have pulled together. They will most likely assess the scene for any evidence, and try to gather any witness statements if possible. The police officer who responded to your call will create an official accident report. Ask for a copy of the accident report for your own personal records, and insurance claims purposes. It also important for you to get the name and badge number of the police officer for your reference.
3. Get in touch with your insurance provider
After any sort of accident it is absolutely vital that you get in contact with your insurance provider, especially if the accident is a hit-and-run. Let them know right off the bat that the accident was a hit-and-run, and that an official police report has been filed. Provide them with the exact same details and information that you gave the authorities. Once they have created their own report, they will assess the situation and do their own internal investigation. From here, your insurance broker will let you know what additional information.
How can a broker help if someone hit my parked car?
If you have an insurance broker, you have someone in your corner. In the event that you return to your car and find it damaged, you can call your broker for advice on what to do next. They will walk you through the entire process and offer independent advice.
Talk to a BrokerLink insurance expert about car collision coverage
BrokerLink has experts on every type of insurance. Make sure your car is protected against parking lot accidents. You can give us a call, stop by one of our branches, or complete an auto quote online.
Protect your parked car against accidents. Consult with BrokerLink now to get the car insurance coverage you need.
FAQs on parked car hit and run accidents
Do I have to prove anything if my car got hit while parked?
If your car gets hit while parked, it’s important to document everything by taking photos and calling the police. You must get a police report to show your insurance company.
My parked car got hit a few days ago while I was on vacation. Should I still call the police?
Yes, you should call the police as soon as you become aware of the incident.
My parked car got hit by a young kid in a bicycle and caused some damage. Will that be covered?
That depends on the level of coverage you have. Some policies might cover this damage and others won’t. Talk to your insurance broker to determine the exact coverage you have.