Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

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Key takeaways...

  • Being negligent and hitting a parked car probably will lead to insurance rates going up
  • Causing bodily harm in addition to physically damaging the parked car could lead to even worse consequences
  • Settling property and vehicle damage without bringing in the insurance company might make the situation easier

At the core of any auto insurance policy, there are two central themes. Most obviously, the policy is intended to provide some financial protection when a driver is at fault for an accident.

The other side of the auto insurance coin reflects the acquisition of insurance to cover damages to one’s own vehicle.

Never make the assumption careful driving makes getting into an accident impossible.

Even the most careful drivers can make a mistake and cause an accident. The careful nature of the driver might reduce the accident to “minor” status, but the outcome is still an accident.

If you want to safeguard you and your vehicle from car accidents, start comparison shopping today for better auto insurance rates! Enter your ZIP code above!

Inflicting Damage on the Parked Car


Not every accident is a serious one leading to bodily injury. Hitting a parked car might cause only minimal damages costing only a few hundred dollars to fix.

Regardless of the costs, someone has to pay for the repair work.

The driver who hit the parked car is going to be held accountable. Auto body work, replacing tail lights, or even realigning the wheels may be required.

In a state such as California, the minimum of required amount of liability insurance should cover the expenses associated with restoring the parked car.

The overall expenses are not going to stop there. The possibility of a car insurance premium going up now looms large. Or does it?

The circumstances of the accident and types of claims factor into any decisions to raise premiums.

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The Coverage in Place


Hitting a parked car is going to lead to a liability claim against the driver who was at fault. When the state dictates the purchase of mandatory liability coverage, the state does so with situations such as this in mind.

The liability coverage will pay for any bodily injury or property damage caused by a driver.

Anyone who is deliberately at fault for an accident and requires insurance payouts is going to see increases in insurance rates. That is just how the insurance system works.

Circumstances Dictate Claims

Liability refers to the negligence, which infers a deliberate act of malice or omission. Negligence on the part of a driver is not the only reason that a vehicle might crash into a parked car. There are a variety of factors capable of contributing to an unavoidable accident.

Swerving out of the way to avoid hitting a dog that ran into the street is understandable. Not stopping at a red light and making a left-hand turn through the light is outright negligence.

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If the former hit a parked car, more leniency may be applied to the case. With the latter, insurance rates are going to be reviewed for a premium hike.

Regardless of the circumstances, the person whose car was hit is going to file a claim against the other car owner. The claim will be duly noted.

If a police report or witness accounts suggest the driver was not a fault, insurance premiums might not rise. However, filing more claims will eventually lead to higher insurance costs.

The Second Claim


In addition to the owner of the parked car filing a liability claim, the at-fault driver may need to file their own claim. Both cars are going to end up damaged, which means filing a collision claim is going to be required.

Collision insurance would cover the costs associated with damage to the vehicle.

After all, that is what collision insurance is for. This category of coverage pays for damage to the insured’s vehicle when they damage it during an accident.

Two claims are going to go on the record: the liability claim and the collision claim. Rates could go up.

Once again, issues surrounding whether or not the accident was avoidable or unavoidable will weigh into any premium hike decisions.

Take this as a reason to look into comparison shopping. Getting the best policy at a fair premium price increases the chances of being treated favorably when the time comes to file a claim.

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Avoiding the Insurance Company


The possibility does exist that both car owners could work something out between the two of them. The at-fault driver might find it less expensive to pay $200 for repairs than suffer through several years of insurance rate increases.

Someone who has already been involved with insurance controversies may find this to be an easier strategy.

Following through on agreements is necessary or else the party may seek to sue or chase after the at-fault driver’s insurance company for the money.

A person whose car was damaged in an accident is likely to prefer to work with an insurance company. The chances of actually receiving compensation promptly for the damage increase dramatically when an insurance company is involved.

Bodily Injury Changes Things


So far, the discussion has only referred to situations involving damage to the parked car. If hitting the parked car also leads to injuring someone in some way — a person in the car, a nearby pedestrian, and so on — a liability claim for injury is almost a certainty.

Insurance rates are not likely to stay low if there are thousands of dollars paid out to cover the pain, suffering, and medical bills of someone hit by a car.

In the state of Pennsylvania, any reckless driving-related accident that causes bodily injury may lead to charges of “aggravated assault by vehicle.” 

High insurance rates may be the least of someone’s worries in such a scenario.

The goal of auto insurance is to cut down on personal financial losses when involved in a car accident or other mishaps. Seeking an auto insurance policy with a decent amount of affordable coverage helps with this goal.

If you have recently been involved in a car accident and need more affordable rates, compare three to four policies today and find the best auto insurance rates for you! Enter your ZIP code below to begin!