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Is my parked car covered if I have limited tort?

Question: If my car is hit while parked and I have limited tort, am I covered?

Answer: You should be. State tort systems normally deal with limitations on claims for injuries, not property damage. Since it was property that was damaged in this accident, whether you have limited tort or full tort shouldn’t make a difference on how you make your auto insurance claim for your parked car’s damages.

If the person who hit your parked car stopped, then you should be able to make a claim for your damages through the at-fault driver’s property damage liability coverage.

If the person did not stop, then you would need to report this hit-and-run accident with your insurance company and use the collision coverage portion of your car insurance policy to make a claim.

If you have a liability-only policy, then, unfortunately, you wouldn’t have coverage for your parked car if the at-fault driver is unknown. Your own liability coverages, for bodily injury liability and property damage liability, only cover those that you harm or damage and not you or your car.

Full and limited tort options actually deal with your right to sue the negligent party for such things as pain and suffering. So, if you were in your parked car when it was hit and have injuries, then your limited tort may come into play.

Options for full tort and limited tort vary by state; however, in general, if you choose full tort you are retaining unrestricted rights to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party. You pay a higher premium so that you can sue for certain damages, like any pain and suffering you endured due to injuries you received in the auto accident.

With limited tort, usually you and other members of your household are still entitled to recover for medical and other out-of-pocket expenses related to the covered auto accident, but you pay a lower premium because waive your rights to seek compensation for certain damages such as pain-and-suffering.

In some states, with limited tort you're still eligible for financial compensation for non-monetary damages if your injuries are found to meet certain state requirements, such as being serious and permanent (e.g. a life-long disability, an injury resulting in death, etc.).

While it doesn’t appear your limited tort option will affect your ability to make a property damage claim for your parked car, I’d recommend you read over your car insurance policy to see what your specific limited tort coverage allows for claims.  This way you will know what your options are if you’re in an accident with injuries.

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