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Hit and Run Accident: What to do in a Parked Car Accident?

Team AckoOct 4, 2021

In 2019, around 30 thousand people were killed and more than 67 thousand suffered serious injuries in hit and run car accidents in India, as per the official report from the Ministry of Road Transport. The government has fixed compensation for the victims, but does car insurance help if your parked car is hit and you suffer injuries? We have answered this question in the following sections of the article.

Parked Car Accident

Hit and run accident: What to do in a parked car accident? 

First, let’s understand what exactly happens in a hit and run accident with the help of examples.

Example 1

Ms. Rose had taken her family out for dinner, and while returning home, they stopped at an ice cream shop. She parked the car a few feet away from the shop and went to buy ice cream for the family while they all waited in the car. It was hit by another four-wheeler at a high speed and the vehicle's driver sped off without acknowledging the accident. 

Ms. Rose’s car suffered major damages, and her brother (sitting in the passenger seat) had a fracture on the leg. 

Example 2

Mr. Manjeet and his wife went out shopping and parked their car near a market. A speeding truck dashed with the car and it was severely damaged. Mr. Manjeet and his wife were not in the car when the accident happened. Fortunately, the incident was recorded in the nearby CCTV camera.

From the above examples, you must have understood that a hit and run incident refers to an accident where the driver at fault does not acknowledge the damage caused and runs away from the accident spot. Hit and run cases have serious consequences. 

Ideally, the person responsible for the accident must provide their contact details and information about their car insurance policy. These details can help the victim to claim compensation against the driver’s Third-party Liability Policy.If you suffer a parked car accident, you can call your insurance company if you have a Comprehensive Car Insurance policy. The insurer will investigate the incident and survey your car for the extent of damages. The claim settlement process is similar to any other Own Damage claim (more on this in the coming sections).

Parked car accident

If someone hits your parked car and leaves, usually the one at fault, without providing contact details, it’s considered a hit and run accident. Some examples of parked car accidents are as follows.

  • A vehicle hits your parked car that was unattended, and the driver leaves the scene of the accident without providing their contact details.

  • A driver hits your parked car and does not leave the scene, and is ready to cooperate in resolving the issue. Note, this is a parked car accident and not a hit and run example.

What to do if someone hits my parked car?

Your car needs financial protection to cater to situations such as parked car accidents.

Apart from remaining calm and alert, here is what you can do if someone hits your parked car.

  • Note important details of the offender

Make a note of the contact details of the person who has damaged your vehicle. However, if it’s a hit and run accident, it’s advisable not to follow the offender. Instead, make a note of the vehicle number and the car model.

  • Engage with the witness of the accident

In case someone is a witness to the accident, ask them for details of the offender and if they are ready to testify for you. Take their contact details if they are ready to testify.

  • Create image proof

Ensure you take enough photographs/videos of the damages sustained by your vehicle. This will help you when you raise a claim as well as for investigation purposes.

  • File an FIR

Report the incident to the police with an FIR (First Information Report) since they will proceed with the investigation upon FIR.

  • Inform your car insurance company

Inform your insurer about the incident and raise a claim for the financial losses due to the damages.

What are the do’s and don’ts of hit and run accidents?

Here is a list of things you must do and refrain from doing if someone has hit your car and ran away. You will find answers to what to do after a hit and run accident in this section.

Do’s Don’ts
Check for injuries and seek medical attention if required Chase the driver that hit your car without checking for injuries or car damages like leaks.
Click pictures or videos of the damage and call your car insurance company Blame the people around you and create chaos.
File an FIR (First Information Report) Send the car for repairs before informing the insurance company.

What is Own Damage car insurance?

While the mandatory Third-party Car Insurance covers financial losses arising out of damages to the third party or their property, a Comprehensive Car Insurance also covers Own Damage. Accidents come unannounced and parked car accidents are one of them. By insuring your car with the Comprehensive car insurance policy, you can get your car fixed in such situations.

Coverages of Own Damage insurance are —

  • Third-party liabilities

  • Accidental damages

  • Car Theft

  • Damages from calamities 

  • Parked car accidents

  • Fire

Hit and run car accident insurance claim procedure 

Claiming hit and run on car insurance is similar to other claims against an Own Damage policy. Here is ACKO’s car insurance claim process for hit and run car insurance claims.

  • Step 1: Log in to your ACKO profile from the mobile application or the website.

  • Step 2: Find your car insurance policy and click on “Claim”.

  • Step 3: Answer a few questions, submit related documents (FIR document, pictures, videos, etc.) and submit the claim.

ACKO will contact you to understand the situation in detail. If the damage and injuries are minor then we will try to settle the claim instantly. Else, it can take more time depending upon the extent of the damage.

Documents required to file a hit and run claim 

The following documents are required while raising a claim under Own Damage car insurance.

  • Copy of the insurance policy

  • FIR copy (as per case)

  • Registration certificate of the car

  • Driving licence of the driver of the insured car

  • Photos/videos of the damage, taken at the accident spot

  • Repair bills, cash receipts, etc. (in case of reimbursement)

Compensation fixed for hit and run under Motor Vehicles Act in India

Hit and run cases in road accidents are serious criminal offences, and one can face imprisonment in case of the death of the victim. The loss of life is priceless. However, the victims or their families must receive fair compensation. 

Currently, the hit and run compensation amount is Rs. 25,000 for death and Rs. 12,500 for grave injuries. But the government has proposed to increase these limits to increase to Rs. 2 lakhs for death and Rs. 50,000 for serious injuries.

Do hit and run affect car insurance premiums?

Making a claim against the Own Damage component of your car insurance policy will not directly affect the insurance premium. However, the No Claim Bonus (NCB) will reset i.e. NCB will drop to zero. This increases the insurance premium upon renewal. 

Another factor is your claim history. The insurance company will price your policy based on your risk profile. If you raise claims frequently, then the insurer may increase the premium after a hit and run accident. But if this is a rare event and you are evidently not at fault, then your premium may not increase significantly. Here, only the NCB calculation may get affected.

Consider a situation where you are at fault. You have caused damage to someone else's car and fled from the accident spot, and then you might have to bear the cost of compensating the victim. The matter is usually handled by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT) and you need to pay the amount as directed by the MACT.

Frequently asked questions

Take a look at the following questions related to the topic.

Can I raise a claim if someone damages my parked car?

Yes, you can raise a claim against your Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy if someone damages your parked car.

What is the claim process for hit and run damage?

The claim process is similar to any other claim process for car damage. You can get a cashless or reimbursement claim depending upon where the car is repaired.

Why does a hit and run case increase car insurance premiums?

The car insurance premium increases because you raise a claim, and this affects the NCB cycle of your Comprehensive Car Insurance policy.

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