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

Whether or not your car insurance increases after an accident depends on the severity of the accident. Parking lot accidents are usually minor and won't raise your rates for long or at all.

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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

UPDATED: May 5, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Usually, accidents that happen in parking lots are minor incidents
  • A parking lot accident could raise your insurance rates but not for long
  • Since parking lot accidents are minor incidents, they will not stay on your record long

If you’ve been involved in a parking lot accident you may be wondering:

The nature of the accident will determine if your car insurance rates will increase. Although every state establishes its own highway laws, most laws are similar and relative to one another.

In most states, a parking lot is classified as private property, therefore many police officers will not respond to bumper car accidents.

Although most parking lot accidents involve scrapes and dings, they are the most complex accidents to unravel.

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Will a parking lot accident increase car insurance rates if I am not at fault?

If you were to ask a person in an accident who is at fault, more than likely they are going to point to the other guy.

For this reason and others, many states have established no-fault coverage laws. If there is an accident, the insurance carrier pays for repairs and everyone moves on unless there are injuries or civil disobedience.

In a case where injuries are present, it may be necessary to call an emergency vehicle, and the police are usually called to the scene.

They may write a report on the scene or suggest that you file one at the station since the car accident occurred on private property.

Some people refrain from sharing insurance information for one reason or another.

They may refuse to share their insurance information if they feel you are at fault. In any case, you are advised to protect yourself by taking a clue from the other driver’s evasive behavior.

There are many cases where the other driver leaves the scene before you notice the damage or while your back is turned.

For this reason, take cell phone pictures of the license plate as soon as the accident occurs. You may even be able to obtain security footage from the store manager.

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Will a parking lot accident increase car insurance rates if I do not report it?

Sometimes both parties have a desire to keep news of an accident from their respective insurance carriers.

You may decide to exchange phone numbers with the other driver and work out payment arrangements to have the car or cars repaired.

You may be doing yourself a disservice since physical repercussions may flair up later and the liable driver may stop maintaining your agreement.

In other cases where the other driver is uninsured, you must obtain a police report to file your accident under your uninsured motorist protection.

Without collision protection, your carrier may not repair your vehicle.

If you report it to the police, but not to the insurance company, they may find out anyway and raise your rate at renewal time.

Will a parking lot accident increase car insurance rates if it is my first claim?

As a promotional incentive, some insurance companies now offer accident forgiveness. You can file a claim and not have to worry about a car insurance rate hike.

You may have been a policyholder without incident for several years. The insurance company may offer grace for your first incident.

If you have a record that includes a DUI/DWI or previous accidents within a short window, the insurance company may consider you a higher risk after a parking lot accident even if you were not at fault.

Documentation is the key in a contested case.

Pictures are necessary and so are witnesses if available. Videos are good pieces of evidence if you can get it. You may even have to hire an attorney to defend your case.

Will a parking lot accident increase car insurance rates for long?

If your car insurance rates increase because of a parking lot accident, you may not have to suffer the consequences too long.

Most parking lot accidents are not too serious; therefore it may add a slight increase to your premiums after filing a claim.

A safety driving class may help to decrease any points on your driving record.

After two or three years, you should be able to call your insurance carrier and convince them to lower your rate at your next renewal.

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