Parking damage: What a festive mess!

Parking damage: What a festive mess!

Cars are getting bigger and bigger and parking spaces seem to be getting smaller and smaller: Parking lots and underground garages are bursting at the seams and all your thoughts are on just one thing ­– where can I park my car?

The exhausting search for a parking space causes lots of stress for many drivers. Because they know, once again the only vacant parking space is probably the tiny gap against the wall. You have to keep your eye on so many things at once when you’re parking. If you’re in a hurry or nervous it’s so easy to overlook something.

Distance slightly underestimated

In tight parking garages, it's easy to accidentally drive into someone else's car. While this is annoying, it's not tragic: The liability insurance pays for the damage to the other car. And if you damaged your own car as well, your comprehensive insurance will foot the bill. This also applies if no other car is involved and your vehicle, for example, becomes closely acquainted with a post.

Important: If you find yourself in a situation like this, then take a photo of the damage to the other vehicle and your own – as well as the number plates and the accident location. This facilitates subsequent processing, avoids unnecessary debate and helps you to forget those annoying dents. You must also inform the other driver of your unintentional feat by either waiting for them or notifying the police.

Unknown party leaves behind scratches

But what if, on returning from shopping, you discover deep dents in your own car – but the responsible party has made off without leaving a message? If the driver has selected the "loss or parking damage" option in their motor vehicle insurance, then the insurer will pay for the repairs, without you having to pay a deductible. However, insured individuals who don't have this option might lose their spending appetite for a while, because they will probably have to shell out for the repair themselves. At least this is the case for normal scratches and dents.

When it comes to the crunch, the National Guarantee Fund is there to help

However, if the car is severely damaged and the repair costs exceed CHF 1,000, the National Guarantee Fund (NGF) will help. The Guarantee Fund is intended for cases of hardship where the driver at fault is unknown or uninsured. If the person who caused the accident cannot be found, the owner must pay a deductible of CHF 1,000. The same applies here, too: take photos of your car and the scene of the accident. And report the incident to the police.

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