What to Do if Someone Scratches Your Parked Car

It can be frustrating to ask your auto insurance company about what to do if someone scratches your car while parked because the answer is hardly ever satisfactory. Drivers who need repairs after a hit-and-run will have to file a collision claim which could increase their insurance rates; however, knowing what to do if someone scratches your car while parked could save you money. If the damage is less than your deductible, consider paying for it out of pocket instead.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent Cynthia Lanctot

UPDATED: Jan 15, 2022

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A Concise Overview

  • If the damage to your car is less than your deductible, you should avoid filing a claim
  • Drivers would have to file a collision to get financial assistance from their insurance company after a hit and run
  • Drivers can utilize discounts to keep their rates low

There’s nothing more frustrating than walking out of your favorite coffee shop to find that your car was sideswiped while you were inside. If you don’t know what to do when someone hits your parked car, GEICO, State Farm, and other major carriers have coverage that can get you the repairs you need. However, you should always think twice about filing a claim for a hit-and-run accident as such a claim would only be covered by your collision insurance coverage.

Even if you have affordable auto insurance, knowing what to do if someone scratches your parked car can help you save money down the line and keep your claim history clean.

If you don’t know what to do if someone scratches your car while parked and leaves the scene, keep reading for more great tips. If your rates have risen after filing a collision claim and you don’t know what to do if someone scratches your car while parked, get auto insurance quotes to find a cheaper policy.

Enter your ZIP code to get free auto insurance quotes if you’re facing higher rates and don’t know what to do if someone scratches your car while parked.

Who should drivers call after a hit and run?

No matter where you are when you discover that you were the victim of a hit and run, you should call the police to file a report and tell them, “Someone scratched my car and didn’t leave a note.” This will at least get the incident down on paper and make filing your claim easier.

After you’ve called the police and let them know what happened, you should also look for any people in the area. Ask them if they witnessed what happened. If your car was scratched in a shopping center, you may be able to request some of the stores’ security camera footage.

Hit-and-run incidents can happen anywhere, but if you live in any of the cities listed below that have high crime rates, you may want to consider purchasing a car cover to give your vehicle just that much more protection:

CityRankTheft RateTotal TheftsTheft 3yr ChangeViolent Crime RatePoverty RateUnemployment RateUnemployment 3yr Change
Albuquerque, NM11,1816,61627.7%1,36515.2%4.8%-3.4%
Oakland, CA21,1795,071-20.6%1,27415.3%6.8%-0.8%
Portland, OR31,0556,93252014.7%4.5%-2.7%
San Bernardino, CA41,0062,194-27.3%1,33322.7%11.5%-4.0%
Anchorage, AK59672,823144.6%1,3109.9%5.7%0.1%
Detroit, MI69616,45423.7%2,00834.5%15.8%-5.7%
St. Louis, MO78962,750-12.6%1,80020.3%7.0%-5.0%
Springfield, MO88721,47017.4%1,31622.3%5.0%-1.1%
Tacoma, WA98701,877-7.1%86714.9%4.9%-2.8%
Hayward, CA108451,376-0.9%4116.0%3.3%-3.7%
Tulsa, OK118083,25922.9%1,06519.5%6.8%1.2%
Chattanooga, TN127891,42462.2%1,04816.7%4.0%-3.7%
Salinas, CA137741,227-36.5%61913.6%4.6%-2.0%
Des Moines, IA1477224333.5%35314.6%4.4%-2.5%
Cleveland, OH157722,9701,45033.1%12.5%-6.0%
Milwaukee, WI167704,589-37.8%1,41325.0%6.3%-4.3%
Spokane, WA177691,678-3.9%79818.0%4.3%-2.2%
New Orleans, LA187552,99419.0%1,16326.2%7.0%-3.3%
St. Paul, MN197412,29631.4%62718.7%4.7%-2.8%
Salt Lake City, UT207371,493-32.1%73017.4%4.0%-1.9%
San Jose, CA217367,70410.0%4248.4%4.5%-2.2%
Denver, CO227325,27520.8%73012.2%3.2%-1.4%
Baltimore, MD237234,375-20.8%1,83322.2%7.6%-4.2%
Bakersfield, CA247202,77716.0%49117.8%8.7%0.0%
Newark, NJ257142,01573327.8%11.7%-3.6%
Dallas, TX267099,66027.2%76518.5%5.2%-1.4%
Wichita, KS277082,77335.6%1,18016.6%6.7%-0.2%
Memphis, TN286824,45063.2%1,94324.6%8.5%-1.4%
Pomona, CA296711,030-18.0%57120.2%6.0%-5.9%
Atlanta, GA306673,308-22.7%76919.3%6.6%-3.6%
Omaha, NE316653,12322.8%56013.0%4.4%-1.5%
Stockton, CA326562,0543.3%1,40019.3%6.6%-7.3%
Jackson, MS336361,0565.2%23.8%12.6%1.2%
Vancouver, WA346061,07623.5%46113.2%6.0%-3.2%
Aurora, CO355932,21075.3%72810.7%4.6%-1.9%
Moreno Valley, CA365771,2063.9%37114.5%9.0%-5.8%
Mesquite, TX37570824-4.2%39611.0%3.8%-2.4%
Knoxville, TN385691,07442.1%79923.8%4.3%-2.8%
Sacramento, CA395692,883-1.4%65715.6%8.2%-1.9%
Dayton, OH4056779516.4%92230.7%11.4%-4.7%
Ontario, CA415651,003-5.9%37713.1%7.1%-1.7%
Indianapolis, IN425644,947-0.9%1,27317.5%6.3%-2.6%
Little Rock, AR435621,12022.3%1,44614.7%2.9%-3.2%
Riverside, CA445571,8455.2%50912.8%7.3%-4.9%
Oklahoma City, OK455563,63025.3%86715.8%4.6%-1.5%
Modesto, CA465551,198-31.0%88212.6%8.2%-6.5%
Seattle, WA475444,0424.2%68011.1%3.8%-0.4%
Salem, OR4852289826.3%41816.3%4.9%-4.1%
Thornton, CO4952072618.0%2718.2%3.7%-1.5%
Minneapolis, MN505112,19027.5%79318.3%4.1%-2.2%
Houston, TX5151011,949-11.9%1,02620.6%6.2%-0.3%
Colorado Springs, CO525092,39938.9%55512.8%6.0%-1.1%
Montgomery, AL5348997231.2%61223.4%5.0%-5.5%
North Las Vegas, NV544861,19923.7%96615.3%7.1%-1.9%
Long Beach, CA554842,279-19.5%69816.6%6.4%-3.5%
Las Vegas, NV564837,9490.6%60514.5%5.8%-4.4%
Tucson, AZ574782,56833.1%73722.1%8.3%-1.5%
Fort Lauderdale, FL584788708.3%55218.8%7.7%-2.2%
San Francisco, CA594744,217-39.0%69110.0%3.6%-2.5%
Phoenix, AZ604737,8156.0%73316.8%5.5%-2.7%
Santa Ana, CA614621,549-17.0%46815.4%4.7%-2.7%
Lancaster, CA6245473047.8%74217.2%4.9%-5.1%
Amarillo, TX6345391016.2%80713.7%3.5%-0.1%
Nashville, TN644493,0821,11314.6%3.9%-2.4%
Fresno, CA654452,365-21.0%55523.7%9.2%-2.5%
Mobile, AL664421,08478.0%65720.8%4.0%-4.2%
Columbus, OH674393,91825.9%49519.8%5.0%-1.1%
Cincinnati, OH684341,31012.9%84027.7%5.7%-7.6%
Los Angeles, CA6943017,3167.2%74817.4%6.2%-2.8%
Honolulu, HI704274,1918.3%25010.3%3.2%-0.9%
Orlando, FL714251,2193.3%79618.2%5.5%-1.4%
Shreveport, LA7242581141.0%83229.3%8.5%1.0%
Baton Rouge, LA7342395092.3%92027.0%9.2%2.0%
Fontana, CA74422903-12.4%33113.4%7.3%-2.0%
Glendale, AZ754221,0540.5%46716.7%5.8%-1.2%
Reno, NV764161,0502.8%64812.7%5.2%-2.6%
Bridgeport, CT77407598-4.5%64420.4%12.0%-2.5%
Tallahassee, FL78399767-20.8%73023.6%7.5%-4.8%
San Antonio, TX793966,089-1.4%62717.3%5.0%-2.1%
Anaheim, CA803871,373-17.7%33615.9%4.8%-1.5%
Chicago, IL8137310,132-0.9%1,00618.6%8.3%-2.6%
Hollywood, FL823675707.5%23311.5%6.3%-0.7%
Akron, OH8336371819.9%86222.5%7.7%-1.1%
Washington, DC843632,549-20.2%94116.6%6.4%-2.5%
San Diego, CA853615,1821.7%37313.1%5.8%-1.5%
Philadelphia, PA863585,68012.8%90925.7%9.2%-3.6%
Syracuse, NY8735450660.1%70332.4%11.5%1.0%
Garden Grove, CA88350612-5.7%29015.3%2.8%-5.1%
Corona, CA8934859126.8%1559.7%4.3%-2.9%
Miami, FL903481,644-28.5%63022.7%7.3%-1.3%
Garland, TX913458279.7%27515.2%5.7%-3.6%
Buffalo, NY92338874-10.6%1,04329.6%8.2%-0.3%
Fullerton, CA933374751.7%23514.3%6.8%-1.0%
Fort Worth, TX943332,97231.6%50112.9%5.0%-1.4%
Jacksonville, FL953262,94127.0%59615.1%6.4%-2.1%
Charlotte, NC963253,02535.7%12.4%4.5%-4.7%
Lexington, KY973231,0515.2%30216.6%4.8%-1.7%
Norfolk, VA98322788103.6%46420.0%7.1%-2.1%
Escondido, CA99319488-19.5%35012.0%3.4%-2.6%
Palmdale, CA10031850310.5%37417.6%7.5%-3.9%
Eugene, OR101317542-0.9%38719.0%5.3%-0.6%
Arlington, TX1023091,23841.0%44515.7%4.2%-2.5%
Providence, RI1033065521.1%45522.3%7.6%-3.5%
Rockford, IL104306447-8.4%1,38619.6%12.0%-1.5%
Durham, NC10530382935.9%17.1%4.8%-1.1%
Sioux Falls, SD10630254429.8%4378.5%3.3%-1.6%
Paterson, NJ10730044173325.8%4.6%-2.0%
Irving, TX10829572019.6%20911.6%4.4%-1.5%
Hialeah, FL109293709-1.5%22022.5%3.9%-3.8%
Fremont, CA110287683-2.8%2114.4%4.2%-1.2%
Tempe, AZ11128553849.9%48422.1%5.1%-0.6%
St. Petersburg, FL112281746-51.0%62413.9%5.1%-1.3%
Corpus Christi, TX11327991678.6%75714.5%5.3%-0.4%
Newport News, VA11427649422.6%52717.6%6.6%-1.5%
Rochester, NY115276573-21.9%77832.3%9.5%-4.7%
Springfield, MA116275427-29.3%98927.9%9.4%-4.7%
Savannah, GA117271656-41.6%40521.0%6.0%-7.3%
Oceanside, CA118262465-0.4%37710.5%5.8%0.5%
Austin, TX1192612,5388.9%38213.1%3.5%-0.9%
Bellevue, WA12025938071.9%1326.5%3.5%-2.4%
Toledo, OH121257708-21.3%84824.5%9.3%-1.3%
Chula Vista, CA122251688-15.7%30411.5%10.5%0.6%
Grand Prairie, TX123246484-1.6%2529.8%4.1%-1.3%
Pittsburgh, PA12424172921.3%57920.2%5.4%-2.6%
Alexandria, VA12523838751.8%16011.7%3.3%-0.5%
Waco, TX126238328110.3%63624.3%6.5%0.1%
Charleston, SC12723732514.4%30311.7%2.5%-3.7%
Greensboro, NC12823267926.0%16.8%6.6%-0.1%
Sunnyvale, CA12922735319.3%1646.3%4.1%-0.9%
Pasadena, TX130224345-37.8%44118.6%10.5%3.1%
Jersey City, NJ13122360345614.5%5.3%-4.0%
Santa Rosa, CA132222392-12.7%46710.0%4.2%-1.9%
Rancho Cucamonga, CA133222398-8.9%1626.6%5.0%-2.1%
Clarksville, TN134220344109.8%66614.2%5.8%-1.7%
Henderson, NV13522068128.5%1888.3%4.5%-3.4%
Pasadena, CA136213306-5.3%38113.2%3.2%-2.0%
Orange, CA137213300-15.7%11314.4%3.1%-5.3%
Madison, WI138206532113.7%40418.7%2.8%-1.7%
Fort Wayne, IN13920554865.1%38315.8%6.0%-1.9%
Miramar, FL14019327620.0%23510.4%4.7%-4.1%
Torrance, CA141193283-10.7%1828.3%5.0%-0.8%
Worcester, MA142183340-14.1%68322.4%4.5%-4.9%
Overland Park, KS143177343-34.0%2275.1%3.0%-1.4%
Mesa, AZ1441718634.6%36415.0%4.6%-1.9%
Killeen, TX14516824943.1%39015.5%8.6%0.7%
Boston, MA1461661,154-9.8%62218.7%5.9%-2.1%
Huntington Beach, CA147152310-16.9%2119.2%4.0%-0.7%
Pembroke Pines, FL14813924012.7%1818.3%4.8%-2.4%
Santa Clarita, CA149136295-1.0%1359.7%4.9%-2.2%
Grand Rapids, MI150135270-7.2%65515.8%6.0%-1.9%
Glendale, CA151130266-24.6%9916.5%5.4%-3.5%
Plano, TX15212937337.1%1395.1%2.7%-3.0%
Virginia Beach, VA15312857732.6%1178.0%4.0%-1.3%
Chesapeake, VA154128310-4.9%4049.5%4.8%-2.4%
Peoria, AZ1551282175.9%2286.6%4.4%-1.7%
Chandler, AZ15612431723.8%2378.1%4.2%-0.9%
Olathe, KS157123171-14.1%2194.1%3.0%-1.5%
El Paso, TX1581198172.4%37119.3%6.6%-1.3%
Tampa, FL159117460-22.8%40718.6%5.5%-3.3%
Boise, ID160115264-1.5%27713.5%3.9%-1.3%
Fort Collins, CO161108181-23.9%23317.0%5.9%0.1%
Scottsdale, AZ16210727241.7%1667.8%3.1%-1.4%
Elk Grove, CA163102179-24.5%2377.7%5.5%-2.9%
Cape Coral, FL1649517827.1%14210.3%7.9%1.5%
Joliet, IL1659213715.1%3279.0%5.2%-1.4%
McKinney, TX16682156-1.9%1527.9%3.0%-2.3%
Yonkers, NY16777157-42.5%34815.4%5.6%-3.6%
Brownsville, TX16875139-2.8%37628.1%5.2%-1.9%
Frisco, TX16973138155.6%874.8%3.2%-0.8%
Irvine, CA17069198-1.5%5612.7%3.7%-2.0%
New York, NY171655,534-25.1%54118.0%6.4%-1.8%
Laredo, TX17264169-45.7%33727.2%3.6%-2.6%
Gilbert, AZ1736115210.9%955.6%3.0%-2.5%
Aurora, IL17461122-23.7%26710.5%5.1%-2.2%
McAllen, TX1753855-50.5%8521.4%5.7%-3.6%
Port St. Lucie, FL1763772-15.3%1136.7%3.9%-4.1%
Cary, NC177366212.7%5.6%2.5%-1.7%
Naperville, IL178263918.2%692.9%3.8%-1.3%
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Again, property damage can happen at any time and any place, but knowing how to protect yourself and your vehicle can help you reduce the chances of it happening to you.

Of course, if it does happen to you, gathering all the evidence will make the call to your insurance company that much easier.

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Should drivers contact their insurance company after a hit and run?

There’s nothing more frustrating than having to ask your auto insurance company about what to do if someone scratches your car while parked because the answer is hardly ever satisfactory to most drivers.

If you want your insurance company to help you get your car fixed after experiencing a hit and run, you’ll need to file a collision claim.

Of course, if, after taking your car to a mechanic, you are told that the cost to fix your car is more than your deductible, you could choose to file a claim with your insurance company. If your collision deductible is more than the cost to get your car fixed, you can simply pay out of pocket and not file a claim at all.

My car was hit while parked, will my insurance go up?

Unfortunately, filing a claim does increase the odds of your insurance rates rising — even if you were the victim of a hit and run. Take a look at how high rates can increase if you just have one accident on your record:

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rate Increase After One Accident

CompaniesAverage Annual Rates with a Clean RecordAverage Annual Rates With One Accident
Allstate$3,819.90$4,987.68
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.75
Farmers$3,460.60$4,518.73
Geico$2,145.96$3,192.77
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$6,204.78
Nationwide$2,746.18$3,396.95
Progressive$3,393.09$4,777.04
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.01
Travelers$3,447.69$4,289.74
USAA$1,933.68$2,516.24
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If you’re concerned about your auto insurance rates, knowing what to do if someone scratches your car while parked can keep your finances in a secure position. Of course, if the damage to your vehicle needs to be repaired and the cost of the repairs is higher than your deductible, you should review your policy to make sure that every discount you are eligible for has been applied to it.

You can refer back to this list of common discounts to make sure that you aren’t missing out on any money-saving opportunities:

  • Multi-car
  • Multi-policy
  • Low annual mileage
  • Good student
  • Defensive driving course
  • Customer loyalty
  • Anti-theft device
  • Daytime running lights
  • Paid-in-full
  • E-billing

Most insurance companies offer discounts like these so you can find easy ways to save money. Of course, you can also raise your deductible to lower your rates, but it would be wise to keep your deductibles at a level that is affordable to you in case you ever do need to file a comprehensive or collision claim.

Someone Scratched Your Parked Car: What You Need to Know

With all this information in hand, you’ll know exactly what to do the next time someone scratches your car and drives off.

Utilizing the discounts offered by your insurance company and refraining from filing claims that are less than your deductible can keep your bank account very happy.

If you don’t want to have to find a cheaper company to buy auto insurance, knowing what to do if someone scratches your car while parked can help you stay with the company you like and keep your rates low.

Now that you know what to do if someone scratches your car while parked, enter your ZIP code below to get free auto insurance quotes from insurance companies near your city.

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