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What Should I Do When Someone Hit My Parked Car?

January 28th, 2011     Noyes Hall & Allen


This week alone, two of my friends’ parked cars have been hit by someone else. A responsible person would leave their contact information for the poor victim, but that doesn’t always happen. If you can’t identify who hit your car, you have little recourse but to use your own insurance.  However, if you can identify the other party, this information may be helpful.

Flickr photo by gillicious

Flickr photo by gillicious

What To Do If Someone Hits Your Car?

  • If it’s safe to do so, get the person’s name, address, phone number and insurance company information – BEFORE the police arrive!
  • Call the police if the total damage (both vehicles) appears to be more than $1,000. If there’s visible damage – even minor – it’s probably more than $1,000.
  • Give your statement to the police. Don’t admit any fault to the other driver, or argue about whose fault the accident was.
  • Report the accident to your Maine auto insurance agent.

Should I Use My Insurance or Theirs?

If the accident was clearly the other driver’s fault, try their insurance first.  Using their insurance avoids having to pay your collision deductible, allows you to keep your Maine car insurance discounts, and contains no daily limit on rental coverage. Of course, if  you’re a victim of a hit-and-run accident, you have no choice but to use your own insurance. Your local insurance agent can help you start the process.

Use their insurance if:

  • You got their insurance information at the scene, or can quickly get the police report (many police reports aren’t available for several days).
  • Their insurance company accepts responsibility quickly (within 24 hours after you contact them).
  • You did not buy collision coverage on your own policy.

The Other Company isn’t Responding After the Accident

The other insurance company will not accept responsibility for the accident until they can confirm liability. They do this in one of three ways:

  • Their insured tells them that they were clearly at fault (e.g. hit your parked car, rear-ended you at a stop light).
  • The police report says the other driver was at fault (but remember police reports may not be available for several days).
  • Based upon their discussions with you and with their insured, they determine that their insured was at fault.

If it’s taking too long for the insurance company to accept responsibility, you may want to make a claim on your own policy.  Although you’ll have to pay your collision deductible, and any auto rental expense that might be above the car rental limit you bought on your policy, at least you’ll get your car fixed, and put the accident behind you.

Will I Get My Deductible Back if My Insurance Company Collects from the Other Insurance Company?

Yes. After they collect from the other insurance company (a process called “subrogation”), your insurance company will reimburse your deductible, and wipe the accident off your record.

Who Will Help Me Deal With The Other Insurance Company?

That depends on where you bought your insurance. Technically, your claim against the other insurance company has no effect on your insurance company or your policy. If you bought your car insurance or Maine commercial vehicle insurance from an independent local Maine insurance agent like Noyes Hall & Allen, we will help you report that claim to the other company. If you bought your Maine car insurance online, you’re probably on your own.

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There are 161 comments for “What Should I Do When Someone Hit My Parked Car?”
  • Humberto thinks:

    They hit my car while its was parking. The guy give all his info and insurance ,but my problem is why his insurance don’t answer ..

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    Larry, if the at-fault party had liability coverage, it should pay for the damage to your daughter’s vehicle. If they didn’t buy high enough liability limits, the collision coverage on a policy that lists that vehicle would pay for the car.

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    Humberto, hopefully you’ve connected with the other driver’s company by now. Insurance companies usually want to start the process as soon as they can.

  • Darcel Murphy thinks:

    Hi, I have a cleaning business and was parked in a clients driveway . We were in the house cleaning , came out my front bumper was hit tore my license plate off really needs new bumper .. my client hit it.. but started screaming at us and refused to pay us and refused to give us her insurance .. what do I do?

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    Hi Darcel, It’s always uncomfortable when there’s an adversarial condition with a customer. If you put a claim in on your auto policy, your insurer will pay (less the deductible), but they will likely go after your client’s insurance company for reimbursement. If they collect from your client’s insurer, your insurance company will reimburse your deductible as well.

    Good luck!

  • Steven thinks:

    My car was got ran into on the drivers side.the car that hit mines turned out to be stolen after almost 2 months the adjustor for my claim calls and says were not at fault because the car was stolen.i have state minimum liability insurance which is no help.what can i do now?just take the loss?or is there a lawyer out there who can help me?.

  • Joann thinks:

    Hi!!! My car was hit this morning in our parking lot.and now I’m responsible for getting my car repaired.this was not my fault and I feel like it is through my insurance…is there anything I can do? Please help

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    Hi Steven, it sounds like your car didn’t have collision coverage, which means you would have to pay to fix it, and try to recover from the party that was at fault. In this case, that’s the person driving the stolen car. You should speak with an attorney if you’d like to pursue that. Possibly the local district attorney’s office is pressing charges already, and they could advise you?

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    Sorry to hear about your car. As you said, this isn’t your fault. It does sound like you purchased collision insurance, so your insurer should pay for repairs (minus your deductible). Most insurance companies won’t surcharge your rates for a not-at-fault claim like this. Talk to your agent about how your insurer will handle it. If you use an independent agent, they represent more than one company. If your insurer isn’t treating you properly, they can help you find another. Good luck!

  • Carry h thinks:

    My son went into a giant eagle and came out and found a guy with a one ton truck had hit his grand am GT so hard it bent frame and moved motor over to passenger side of the car. Now we have paid 2800$ for this car plus have alot of money in updates. The insurance company doesn’t want to even come close to paying what is needed to replace the car. I am really upset but greatfull that my son wasn’t loading his grocery into the car. I want them to pay enough to replace the car.

  • Noyes Hall & Allen thinks:

    Carry, yes, thank goodness your son wasn’t in the car! It can be tricky when you’ve just put money into a vehicle. The bottom line is that the insurance company should pay you a fair price to replace the vehicle with one of similar quality. If you have an agent, they may be able to help you, even though you’re working with the other guy’s insurance company.

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