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Does insurance cover parking damage?

An unadulterated parking damage. When parking, you pay attention to how much space is between your car and the other car(s), right? When parking, assume that other people should have enough space to open their car door and get in. But of course, it's still a risk. Some people pay no attention to the adjacent car when opening their door. Then, just like that, the adjacent car may get damaged. People with a modicum of decency do leave a bill or something along those lines to inform the driver of the damaged car of this and pass on contact and address information. But there are certainly those who do not do this for various reasons. At that point, it is not known who the perpetrator is. So then there is no counterparty to put it in insurance terms. If it is known who the culprit is, the damage can be claimed on the culprit's third-party insurance policy. But how do you recover the damage amount if the culprit is not known in a parking damage?

Suppose you have just done the necessary shopping and upon your return you find an ugly dent in the side of your car door. It must have been someone who opened their door too hard after which it caused a dent in your car. The culprit, of course, is difficult to pinpoint at the time. So how do I get compensation for my damage?

Parking damage unknown perpetrator

What is meant by parking damage?

Parking damage is damage you incur while your car is parked. This can include damage caused by another car, moped or cyclist, as well as damage caused by vandalism or your own fault. Parking damage is very common. It accounts for as much as 40% of all car damage. Parking damage can be caused by inattention or an error of judgment while parking, resulting in a scratch, dent or collision.

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What to do in case of parking damage?

Do you have parking damage and the perpetrator is known to you? Then there are a few things you should always do:

  • Take photos of the damage
  • Note the date, time and registration number of the other party
  • Fill in the claim form together
  • Record the details of any witnesses
  • Send the completed claim form to your intermediary or insurer

Is the perpetrator unknown? If so, always make a report to the police. Also in this case, it is important to see if there are any witnesses who saw what happened. That way you may still be able to track down the perpetrator.

Parking damage: offender unknown

It can happen just like that: you park your car and go to run an errand. When you return, you notice that your car has been dented. Someone has hit your car, but the culprit is nowhere to be found. Chances are considerable that you can't immediately identify the culprit either. When parking damage occurs when the culprit is unknown, it is important that you always report it to the police. You can also try to track down the culprit by, for example, visiting witnesses or perhaps requesting surveillance footage. Before the perpetrator is found, you cannot recover damages anywhere. In this case, there are two things you can do. First, in some cases you can turn to the Motor Traffic Guarantee Fund. The Motor Traffic Guarantee Fund compensates damages where there is no known perpetrator. One condition, however, is that the damage was caused by another motor vehicle. If it cannot be determined that the damage was caused by another vehicle, the damage can often be recovered from your car insurance. Contact your agent or insurance company for more information.

Car door against other door

Did you hit someone else's car door with your car door? Then this can cause a big dent in the door or a scratch in the paintwork. Damage to another driver's car is covered by your third-party vehicle insurance. If you cause damage to someone else with your car door, your insurer will reimburse the other party for the damage.

If the car door is pulled out of your hands by a storm and blows against another door, this is considered storm damage. In that case, the damage to your own car door is covered by your car insurance, provided you have WA + Limited Comprehensive or All-risk coverage.

Continuing to drive after parking damage

It probably happens more often than you'd like: you park your car and upon returning find a dent, scratch or other damage. However, the culprit is nowhere to be seen. There may be various reasons why the culprit drove on after causing the damage, for example, because he is not insured, has been drinking or because he fears a higher insurance premium. Obviously, these are not valid reasons for driving on after an accident.

The Road Traffic Act states that it is an offence to drive on after a collision. This does not necessarily concern a collision in which another person is injured, but also a collision in which there is only material damage, such as eye damage. Continuing to drive after parking is therefore prohibited by law and punishable. The perpetrator has a maximum of 12 hours in which to voluntarily report to the police.

Parking damage: registration number known

In some cases, the perpetrator is known after parking damage, for example, because he left a bill. That way, you can contact the offender and the damage can be recovered from his or her car insurance. In some cases, however, this is not possible. You can then turn to the Guarantee Fund. For example, consider the following situations:

  • The motor vehicle causing the damage is not insured
  • The motor vehicle causing the damage was stolen
  • The insurance company is not creditworthy
  • The person causing the damage has been exempted from the obligation to take out insurance because he or she does not want to take out insurance due to his or her belief or philosophy.

Repair parking damage

If you claim car damage from the insurer, it will affect your car insurance. This is because it costs you claim-free years, causing you to fall on the bonus-malus ladder and your premium to go up. This applies to all damages you have caused yourself. If another car causes you parking damage, it is covered by the other party's insurance. If you caused the damage yourself, it is wise to check whether it is more advantageous to claim the damage from the insurer or to pay for it yourself. Parking damage can sometimes be quite expensive, but the premium increase after one claim can also be substantial. One claim can cause your discount to drop by dozens of percent. Because of this, it may not be wise to claim small amounts of damage.

Parking damage to car

Parking damage, and car damage in general, is never pleasant. Especially if you cannot recover it from someone else and have to pay for it yourself, even though the damage is not your fault. Fortunately, in these situations you can fall back on the Guarantee Fund. The Guarantee Fund compensates the damage in certain situations without an identifiable perpetrator, so you do not have to pay for it yourself. However, you must be able to prove that the damage was actually caused by a motor vehicle. You must also show that you have tried to find the perpetrator, for example through a neighborhood investigation, police report or an advertisement. Don't wait too long with these actions, as this must be done within 14 days of the damage occurring.

Parking damage door

You throw the car door open a little too hard, causing it to crash into another car. Oy, a big scratch on both doors. Bummer! Of course you want to get that repaired as soon as possible. Unfortunately, a third party or limited liability insurance does not provide compensation for paintwork damage. Whether it concerns scratches on your car or some other form of paintwork damage. Are you all-risk insured? Then the insurer will pay for paintwork damage to your car, even when the culprit is unknown. If the culprit is known, the insurer will recover the damage from the other party. Apart from filling out a claim form, you don't have to do anything extra for this.

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