According to the AA, at least 20% of all insurance claims that they receive come from accidents that happened in a car park. In fact, they are the most common category of car insurance claims, with the RAC reporting that approximately two-thirds of drivers in Britain have experienced some kind of damage to their car after parking in a car park. The real number might, in fact, be much higher than that.
Car Parks & Accidents
One in 5 people admits that they would drive away from the scene of the accident if the damage was minor. Many people are put off of reporting a car park accident due to worries it will affect their no-claim bonus. Leaving many car park accidents unreported. When taking out car insurance motorists should carefully consider protecting their no claims bonus, this enables you to have a dent or scratch fixed without worrying about the costs.
The most common location for a car accident to happen is in a supermarket car park and it’s not just other people and their careless parking that can cause damage to your car. Shopping trolleys and even immovable objects such as concrete pillars or lamp posts pose a risk of damaging your vehicle, or even yourself!
Accidents in Private Car Parks
Private car parks account for 8% of car park accidents. Although most car park collisions are minor accidents, a large proportion of drivers don’t know how to handle this situation when it arises. If you have an accident in a car park located on private property you might find yourself asking questions, such as whether to call the police or your insurance provider.
If you hit a car parked in a private car park you should stay and wait for the owner of the car to return, even if the damage caused is minor. Speaking to the owner of the vehicle will give you a chance to discuss with them what action they want to take. If no one returns, be sure to leave a note with your name, address, contact number and an explanation of what happened.
Remember to take photos of the damage caused to both cars. Include a picture of both of the car number plates if possible. It’s also important to check for witnesses to the accident and ask them for as much information as possible including a description of what they saw happen and their contact details.
If you hit another car in a car park, it’s worth remembering that if you do leave the scene of the accident and get caught, you could end up with a charge for criminal damage.
Insurance Cover for Private Car Parks
For owners of private land where the public pay to park their vehicles, it should be treated in the same way as any other business, which means making sure you have the right type of car park insurance cover so that you are financially protected against any potential claims.
Whilst most drivers will claim against their car insurance in the event of a car park accident, you may find yourself subject to a claim if someone is injured, or if their property is stolen or damaged. Someone could trip and injure themselves whilst walking to or from their parking spot within the boundaries of your car park. So your policy must include public liability insurance, protecting you against these types of public claims. If you employ car park staff, you will also need to make sure that you also have employer’s liability insurance.
Finally, if you operate a private car park then you should also ensure that you have personal liability cover to protect your interests.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding car park insurance or car park accidents, CALL FREE ON 0800 1696137 to speak to an advisor at Ashburnham Insurance.