Will my insurance rates increase if I hit a parked car?

Does your insurance go up if you hit a parked car? Depending on where you live and your company, it won't. If it was your first offense, your insurance company may offer you accident forgiveness.

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UPDATED: May 4, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: May 4, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • Depending who on your insurance company is and what state you live in, your insurance rates may not increase
  • If the incident was your first offense, your car insurance company may offer you accident forgiveness
  • However, you may cause the car’s owner to face an increase in car insurance rates, especially if you are uninsured

The car insurance increase will hinge on who your insurance carrier is and where the accident occurred.

Some car insurance companies offer accident forgiveness for first-time offenders.

Most major car insurance carriers that offer accident forgiveness offer it as an incentive to do business with them.

If it is your first offense and a minor mistake, your insurance premiums will probably not increase unless the problem continues.

To compare major car insurance company rates now, enter your ZIP code now at the top of this page!

What immediate changes will happen to my policy?

If you were recently rated as a new subscriber of an insurance carrier, the company reviewed your driving record to determine your insurance rate.

Unless you become a high-risk driver, they may not view your driving record for the next few years even if you are penalized for the accident.

However, with the growth of the National Driver Registry, that slow process is changing.

Insurance companies receive notice of changes in your driving record increasingly more efficiently.

The same holds true for information reported to DMV. As soon as your insurance is canceled, the DMV is informed of the cancellation.

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Will there be consequences for the car’s owner? 

If you hit a parked car and you are not properly covered, the owner will have to file a claim to their insurance company.

Many insurance carriers, depending on how many previous claims were filed by this subscriber, will increase the premiums.

With accident forgiveness policies, this may be the first claim and the owner’s rate will remain the same.

If the owner has to take responsibility for the claim, the appropriate thing to do is to make written arrangements to reimburse them for damages.

In a no-fault coverage state, the insurance company does not determine fault.

In cases where it appears the owner’s insurance will increase, they may be willing to work out a payment plan with you for damages and avoid involving the insurance company.

Many people may refuse to offer their insurance information to avoid having their insurance company increase their premiums. For this reason, you may just offer to pay the damages, especially if it is a minor accident.

Will my rates increase if there were occupants in the car?

What happens when you hit a parked car? If you hit a parked car with occupants, it is not a simple fender bender. If people are injured, emergency vehicles must be dispatched even if it happen on private property.

Additionally, if alcohol was involved, your insurance company will almost surely cancel your coverage.

Insurance carriers usually do not offer accident forgiveness in cases of alcohol usage.

If they cancel your policy, you will have to seek high-risk car insurance, which is around 50 percent more expensive than standard coverage.

You may even have to take a substance abuse class in addition to the fines associated with the offense.

Will there be future rate changes?

How does insurance work when you hit a parked car? Accidents usually cause five or more points on your license and have a negative rating with your insurance company.

Therefore, if points from your accident remain on your driving record for three years, your premiums could remain elevated for the same length of time.

After the first accident, insurance companies start to pay closer attention to your record.

If you file another accident claim within 12 to 24 months of the first one, your carrier may end up canceling your coverage.

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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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