Does Car Insurance Cover a Hit-and-Run With a Parked Car?

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You walk out to your car after a trip to the store or afternoon out with friends and your heart sinks — someone hit your parked car. Not only is your car damaged, but whoever hit it didn’t even leave a note.

Unfortunately, you’ve become the victim of a dreaded hit-and-run. If this happened to you, you’re probably wondering what to do. If you’re involved in a hit-and-run, your car insurance may cover the incident, but it depends on your policy and what types of coverage you have.

Even the cheapest car insurance companies offer coverage to protect you against things like a hit-and-run accident. This article explains what kind of car insurance would cover a hit-and-run with a parked car and what to do if you hit a parked car or someone hits your parked car and flees.

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Does Car Insurance Cover Hit-and-Run Accidents With a Parked Car?

Your car insurance policy can cover hit-and-run accidents with a parked car, but only if you have the right coverage at the time of the crash. Although almost all states require drivers to have liability insurance, it won’t cover a hit-and-run accident.

Understanding how your policy works — including what each coverage pays for — can help you choose the right coverages for hit-and-runs and other incidents. The coverage that pays for your damage or injuries depends on your policy coverage and where you live. We’ll cover this in more detail in the next section.

What Kind of Car Insurance Covers a Parked-Car Hit-and-Run?

Closeup of a scratched and dented white car

When you park your car, you expect to return to it in the same condition you left it. But if someone hits your parked car and doesn’t leave a note, you’re probably on your own to get it fixed. Collision insurance and uninsured motorist insurance are two types of coverage that could pay for your car repairs.

Let’s take a closer look at each.

Collision coverage

When another car or object damages your vehicle, collision insurance can pay to fix the damage — no matter who caused the accident. Since fault doesn’t matter, collision insurance can cover a hit-and-run car accident. Collision coverage is optional unless you finance or lease your car and the lender requires it.

Be aware that if you use this insurance coverage, you usually have to pay a deductible, which is the amount you pay toward a collision claim before your insurer covers the rest.

Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage

Another type of car insurance coverage that can pay for a hit-and-run claim is UMPD coverage. It pays for your vehicle damage if someone without enough liability coverage hits your car or if they flee the scene of the accident.

Uninsured motorist coverage may be optional, required, or not even offered, depending on your state laws. If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you’ll file a claim under your collision coverage, or you may have to pay for the damage out of pocket.

What to Do If Someone Hits Your Parked Car and Leaves the Scene

Grey car damaged on the side after a hit-and-run accident

Here are some steps to take if someone hits your parked car and leaves the scene.

  • Check for a note. The person responsible may have left a note rather than stay at the scene. Use the information to contact their insurance company and file a claim.
  • Assess the scene. Check to see if there are surveillance cameras and potential witnesses who could identify the driver.
  • Call the police to file an accident report. The police can help you document the damage, and the report could help the authorities find the responsible driver to pay for the damage and potentially face criminal charges for fleeing.
  • Contact your insurance company. Let your insurer know what happened and provide them with the police report and the driver’s note (if applicable). If the at-fault driver didn’t provide enough information to file a claim with their company, your insurer can pay the claim and then file a third-party claim with the other driver’s car insurance company to settle.

Let’s go over some other hit-and-run scenarios and what to do.

What to do if someone hit your parked car while you were in it

You’re sitting in a parking lot, minding your own business when — bam — someone hits your car. The first thing to do is stay calm and assess the situation.

If you see the person fleeing, try to get identifying details, like their license plate number, vehicle make and model, and a description of the driver. If you aren’t injured, call the police nonemergency line to report the incident and get an official police report. Then, follow the steps above to start the claims process.

What to do if someone hit your parked car and injured you

If someone hits your car and flees the scene and you have injuries, let the police know you need medical treatment and then start the claims process.

Keep a record of all your medical costs and expenses for the insurance claim. Personal injury protection (PIP) can pay for your medical bills and lost wages if you miss work because of your injuries. Medical payments coverage (MedPay) can also cover medical expenses. But these coverages aren’t available in all states.

If you don’t have medical coverage on your car insurance policy, you can use your health insurance to cover your medical costs or pay out of pocket.

What to Do If You Hit a Parked Car

Here’s what to do if you hit a parked car:

  • Don’t leave: Never leave the accident scene, or you could face hit-and-run charges.
  • Look for the vehicle owner: Check to see if the vehicle owner is in the car to exchange information. If not, wait a few minutes to see if they return. You can also try to find the owner of the parked car.
  • Take photos: Get photos of the damage to both vehicles from all sides to provide to the insurance company.
  • Leave a note: If you can’t find the vehicle owner, leave a note with your information, including your name, phone number, car insurance information, and what happened.
  • Contact your insurance company: Notify your insurer of the incident. Your property damage liability coverage will cover the other driver’s vehicle damage and your collision coverage can pay to repair your car.

Hit-and-Run Insurance FAQs

A hit-and-run can happen anywhere — in a parking lot or in front of your home. Knowing how to respond and what to expect can help, as can answers to the most common questions.

Will your car insurance go up if someone hits your parked car?

It depends. Your car insurance premium can go up anytime you file an insurance claim. You could see an increase even if the incident isn’t your fault — like someone hitting your parked car.

Auto insurance increases depend on factors like who’s at fault, your state’s laws, your insurance policy terms, and your claims history.

Do you have to pay a deductible after a hit-and-run?

Yes. A deductible usually applies for hit-and-run claims. Some states don’t require an uninsured motorist coverage deductible.

But your state might have a standard deductible that applies. If you need to use your collision coverage, you’ll pay the coverage deductible before your insurer pays its share.

Is it a hit-and-run if the other driver leaves a note?

No. If the at-fault driver leaves a note with their contact or insurance information, it’s technically not a hit-and-run. If there isn’t enough information on the note to file with their insurance company, give the note to your insurer so it can contact the other insurer to settle the claim.

Is the owner of a parked vehicle ever at fault for an accident?

Usually not. But if the owner parked the car illegally, they might share some fault. Each state has different negligence laws that determine fault after an accident, which can also determine which insurer pays and under what coverage.

Is hit-and-run on a parked car a crime?

It depends on your state’s traffic laws. You can receive hit-and-run charges if you hit a parked car and leave the scene without providing information or calling the police to report the accident. It’s usually a misdemeanor charge in most states unless there are injuries, which could be a felony charge.


  1. NOLO, “What Happens If I Hit a Parked Car?,” Accessed April 17, 2024.

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