Does My Insurance Cover Parking Lot Accidents?

Daniel Crichlow
Written on April 27, 2020

Hitting a parked car. Either you have experienced this or know someone who has. Whether you were the one that hit the parked car or your car was hit, it’s never fun! It also raises some questions about coverage. If you hit someone’s car, what is your responsibility? If your car is hit and there is just a note with no contact information, what do you do to cover the damage? These can be stressful times, but hopefully, after this blog, you’ll have a little more understanding of how to navigate this tumultuous time.

You hit someone else’s car

Legally, leaving the parking lot after hitting someone’s parked car could count as a hit and run. The penalty for a hit and run differs from state to state. In Indiana, this is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor which can lead to a maximum of one year in jail and $5,000 in fines – which insurance will not cover. So, you should make every effort to find the person. Go into the store that the parking lot is in front of and ask a worker to help you find the driver. If you cannot find them, wait a few minutes to see if they come out. If you cannot find them, call the police and let them know what happened. Writing a note should be a last resort. If you do, you should leave all of your contact information and explain why you left the scene. The good news is that your liability insurance still applies in parking lots. So, if this happens, call your independent insurance agent to talk through the claim.

Someone else hits your car

It’s a little more frustrating when someone hits your car and leaves the scene with no note or identification. The first thing you should do is call the police. They will take notes and hopefully be able to use the store’s surveillance system to identify who hit your car. You should let them do the negotiating with the store to use their video. It is not a bad idea to ask other people in the parking lot if they saw anything. Take pictures of the scene to show the police and your insurance agent.

Hopefully, the police will be able to track down the person at fault and their insurance should pay for the damage. If the store does not have surveillance or the police cannot help find the person, you may have coverage under your policy. A hit and run driver is considered to be an uninsured driver in Indiana. Most people have uninsured motorist property damage on their insurance policy. This would sound like a good place to start, but Indiana law dictates otherwise. To be able to use this coverage, you would need to be able to identify the driver and car that hit you. Without this information, you would not be able to turn in a claim to uninsured motorist property damage. So, where do you go? Collision is the coverage you would need to have to provide coverage if your car was damaged by a hit and run driver. You would pay your deductible and the rest of the damage would be covered by insurance. The law was written this way so that people don’t have the opportunity to lie when they back into a pole but claim someone hit them and fled the scene.

This can be a tough situation. Hopefully, you have an agent that can walk you through this process! Call Capitol Insurance to help you understand how your policy would react to these situations.