Will my car insurance increase after an accident in a parking lot?

Can insurance increase after an accident in a parking lot? That depends, and you can even take steps to reduce the cost of your car insurance after a parking lot accident. Read on to learn how.

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UPDATED: Jun 15, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 15, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • Parking lot accidents may lead to someone filing a claim on your car insurance
  • Most accidents that occur in parking lots are minor, resulting in minimal claims
  • While large and frequent claims could impact your car insurance cost, minor accidents may not have as much of an impact

Whether two drivers collide while moving or someone hits a parked car, you may need to file a claim with your insurer for damage coverage if you have a car accident in a parking lot. When it comes to car insurance, a parking lot accident may or may not cover you, depending on the type of insurance you have and the type of accident that occurred.

Filing frequent claims will increase your rates, but a minor parking lot accident may not. Here’s what you need to consider when it comes to such incidents.

Will car insurance increase after an accident in a parking lot?

At-fault accidents (those that you cause) may lead to an increase in insurance premiums. If you are driving recklessly in a parking lot and hit another car, you might find yourself with higher rates. In most situations, your car insurance will not go up if someone hits your car, but some not-at-fault accidents may also cause rates to go up. This often depends on the damage costs of those accidents or your previous claims history with the insurer.

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Will my car insurance costs rise if I am at fault for a parking lot accident?

Fault plays a vital role in insurance costs for most accidents. Some insurance companies may increase prices if you are at fault.

Parking lot cases can be a bit tricky, though. Because they often occur on private property, the police may not respond to a minor incident unless there are severe injuries. That means it is usually up to the insurance adjuster to consider all facts in the case to determine if you were at fault.

Keep in mind that some states have no-fault insurance. That means the insurance company pays for the losses to your car no matter who caused the damage, depending on the type of policy you have. In this situation, your rates may still increase if the cost of the claim is high.

This is very much dependent on the situation and the insurer. Some insurers don’t raise rates for every accident, regardless of fault.

If I do not report it, will car insurance rates increase after an accident in a parking lot?

If an accident occurs, it is best to document the situation thoroughly. That often means letting your insurer know it happened. Sometimes both parties may agree not to involve insurers, especially if the damage is minimal. Keep in mind that there are risks to this. If there is no claim, the insurance rates are not likely to go up from that incident.

Should the other driver come back later and say you caused an accident that led to an injury, you may be responsible for those claims out-of-pocket if you did not file a claim with your insurer.

Could accident forgiveness reduce my car insurance after a parking lot accident?

Some insurance companies have accident forgiveness. Keep in mind that serious, high-value claims may not qualify for this. Certain accidents, including minor ones, will not lead to increased rates. If the parking lot accident is your first claim, the insurer will not likely raise your rates for a small ding.

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How long will I have high rates on my car insurance after a parking lot accident?

It’s important to keep in mind how long car insurance claims stay on your record. A claims history typically remains for three to five years, with some reports lasting longer depending on the accident’s severity and the state where you live. However, insurance company rates depend on multiple factors, and parking lot accidents may not have a big impact on your rates for the full length of time.

Remember, not all claims lead to increased rates.

Understand the Consequences of a Parking Lot Accident

When a parking lot accident occurs, do the right thing to protect yourself. If it is possible, file a police report. Document the incident with photos and a written description. Be sure to exchange numbers with the other party. Then, turn to your car insurance representative for guidance in the following steps. 

You will likely not see a rate increase for a minor accident. The insurance representative can provide you with the info needed to know what steps to take next, depending on the nature of your policy. 

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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