How Does Auto Insurance Cover Parking Lot Accidents?

How Does Auto Insurance Cover Parking Lot Accidents?

If you thought that roads were the only place where car accidents happen, you would be far from correct. So many accidents occur in parking lots in so many ways. The safe place where cars are parked is not so safe.

Car insurance covers the damages caused to the cars in a road accident. But what happens if your vehicle is parked in an open parking space and gets in an accident? Which auto insurance policy will cover the cost of repairs?

We use different auto insurance policies depending on the type of parking lot accident. In this article, we will describe everything you need to know about car insurance coverage for parking lot accidents and how to be secure against every type of accident. Let's get started.

If you hit a parked car


First, let's look at a scenario where you are at fault. What if you are driving your car, trying to park it, and while doing so, hit a car? Of course, there will be some damage to the parked car.

Insurance companies will treat this parking lot accident just like a typical road accident where you hit some other moving vehicle. The owner of the other damaged car is entitled to get reimbursed for the losses from your policy.

Your liability insurance will cover this accident. Liability insurance covers the cost of repairs and hospital bills (medical treatments) of the other driver involved in the accident that is your fault.

Not just car damage, but if you damage someone else's property with your car, your liability insurance will be used to pay for the property repairs. Since the accident is your fault, this policy claim will affect your insurance rates.

Liability insurance is one of the most expensive car insurance policies. Make sure you buy one with a sufficient coverage limit. Your liability insurance rates and premium rates will increase following the accident.

If your liability coverage is lacking, you'll have to pay the rest of the money from your pocket. Make sure you find affordable insurance with a high coverage limit. Keep your search specific to get the best results.

For example, if you are a resident of Illinois, then look for cheap Illinois car insurance and select the most affordable option that offers the best coverage. Do not just go for the cheapest option without looking at the features of the policy, coverage limit, and claim processing speed.

For Your Car's Damage


Now let's reverse the roles here. What if your car is in a parking lot, and someone rams into yours, causing a big dent or something worse? In this case, you should claim the other driver's liability coverage.

The other driver is liable to pay for the damages to your car since it is their fault. But someone hitting your car and waiting there in the parking lot for you to come and pay for the repairs is rare.

This is where Uninsured Motorist coverage comes in. Most of the time, the driver at fault will drive away after causing the damage. What should be done in that case?

An uninsured motorist coverage plan is a policy that covers the cost of repairs and medical treatments when the driver at fault does not have liability coverage or the liability coverage limit is not enough to pay for the total cost of the accident.

Uninsured Motorist coverage has different components for different costs of the accident. In a situation where another vehicle hits your car, but the driver at fault is not present (hit-and-run), you can claim your Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) policy.

Do note that there are some states that do not allow the use of UMPD for hit-and-run accidents. These states are:
California
Colorado
Georgia
Illinois
Louisiana
Ohio

So if you are a resident of these states, you'll have to rely on another policy for the cost of repairs; collision insurance.

Collision Insurance


Collision coverage is one of the essential auto insurance policies. It is an optional policy and covers the cost of repairs to your car in an accident. It does not matter whose fault the accident was; as long as it was unintentional, you can claim this policy.

Going back to the first example, if you are driving your car and hit someone else's parked car, your liability insurance will pay for the repairs of the other car's damages. But what about yours? 

Unless your car is made of pure wrought iron, a car accident cuts both ways. Your vehicle will also sustain some damage. If you have collision coverage, you can claim it to cover the cost of repairs for your car. 

Collision insurance covers all accidents due to collisions. So not just cars, but if your vehicle collides with trees, light poles, walls, fences, etc., you can claim your collision insurance. 

Other Parking Lot Accidents


Cars are not the only way your parked car can be damaged. What if you parked your car in the open, and a tree fell on it? Or what if someone hurls a rock at it and breaks the windshield? Or perhaps a moose decides to wrestle with it?

You can claim your comprehensive insurance to pay for the repairs for all accidents due to natural causes or that do not involve another car.

Comprehensive insurance is also called "Parked Car" insurance, and it covers accidents such as:
Earthquakes
Floods
Hurricanes
Projectile damage
Riots
Vandalism
Theft 

While these damages are rare, if your car gets damaged due to these causes, no other insurance policy apart from comprehensive insurance can be claimed. You will have to pay for the repairs from your pockets.

So if you keep your car out in the open for long periods, consider getting comprehensive insurance. It costs little, and while this policy is rare, when you need it, it can save you thousands of dollars.

Comprehensive insurance also covers theft, meaning that if your car gets stolen, the insurance company will compensate you by paying you the actual cash value of the vehicle.

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