Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More than a door ding

The honor code takes a hit with Allstate's release of claims data showing how many hit-and-run accidents it handled in 2009 that involved a parked car.

In Amarillo, 71 percent of the insurance companies hit-and-run claims included a parked vehicle.

That puts Amarillo close to the 69 percent national average Allstate compiled from 200 of the United States' largest cities.

None of the 200 cities, however, could claim a "hit while parked" rate of less than 50 percent, according to Allstate's findings.

But what's up with Sterling Heights, Michigan? In that city of 127,349 residents, Allstate's claims showed 94 percent of the hit-and-runs involved cars just sitting by, minding their own business.

Makes you kind of afraid to park there.

Most states, including Texas, require a driver responsible for an accident with an unattended vehicle to notify the owner. But often there's no note or attempt at contact.

If you come out to discover your car has been crunched, here's what Allstate recommends:

Survey your immediate surroundings. Look for the other driver or a note on your windshield.

Call the police to file an accident report.

Get the facts at the scene. Ask people nearby if they witnessed the accident, write down what they saw and get their contact information.

Check for surveillance cameras. If the accident occurred in a parking lot, the incident could be on tape.

Take pictures. Allstate recommends you keep a disposable camera in your car if you don't have a camera in your cell phone. Shoot the damage and the surroundings.

Contact your insurance company. Report the incident immediately.

No comments: