Innocent drivers pick up £169 million annual hit-and-run bill

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New figures show innocent drivers are being left with hefty bills after their parked cars are hit when they are not there.

New figures show innocent drivers are being left with hefty bills after their parked cars are hit when they are not there. The Daily Mail reported that incidents involving parked cars account for an estimated 700,000 of the 3.5 million crashes that happen every year.

According to research conducted by driver support company Accident Exchange and based on 50,000 insurance claims, half a million of those accidents occurred when the car owner is absent. And in 20% of cases, the perpetrators ‘hit and ran’.

However, the majority of drivers were more honest. Fifty-six per cent did either find or contact the car's owner directly, while another 20% left their details on the victim's windscreen. The police were involved in tracking down the offending drivers in the remaining cases.

On average, repair costs per crash are estimated at £1,800, but that bill can shoot up due to the potential loss of no-claims bonuses. The impact of uninsured and untraced drivers has a financial bearing nationwide, adding around £40 a year to the average premium.

Industry experts are warning that hit-and-run incidents will become more common as driver numbers increase, and off-street parking becomes less available in cities and built-up areas. Lee Woodley, insurance director of Accident Exchange, said: "Parked car prangs cost the insurance industry more than £1.2 billion annually in repairs. "It's therefore appalling to think that £169 million of that figure has to be picked up by the innocent motorist's own insurance policy."


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