86 per cent of drivers causing damage don’t leave details

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Auckland, 29 October 2014 - Most Kiwis don’t leave a note if they damage a parked car, according to AA Insurance.

A recent AA Insurance Driver Survey, which interviewed 1,000 Kiwi drivers online, found that two thirds of respondents returned to find their parked car damaged, and in 86% of those cases, the person who caused the damage did not leave a note.

Respondents were also asked how they would behave if they damaged a car and no one had seen them. Amelia Macandrew, Customer Relations Manager at AA Insurance said, “While the reality is that most people don’t leave a note, only one person in five was prepared to admit that they would not. There seems to be a huge disconnect between what people say they’ll do and what they actually do.

“Interestingly, those aged 25-34 years (38%) and female drivers (24%) were most likely to think twice about leaving their details if they damaged a parked car and could get away with it. Those over 60 years (12%), as well as male drivers (18%), appeared to be most likely to leave their details.”

According to claims statistics for the last 12 months to 30 September, AA Insurance handled almost 7,700 cars damaged while parked, costing over $11.5 million.

“We understand that it can be infuriating to find your parked car damaged, but it’s even more so when the person who damaged it wasn’t honest enough to leave their details,” continued Amelia. “If we don’t know who did the damage, we can’t contact them or their insurer to manage the claim. This means the owner of the car must claim on their own insurance and pay an excess, or if the damage is minor, foot the bill for getting their car repaired out of their own pocket.”

Some drivers don’t realise that if you damage someone else's property you’re legally required to give your contact details and registration number to the owner within 48 hours, unless of course you’re unable to because of injury, said Amelia.

“According to the Road Code if you hit a parked vehicle, or are involved in a collision, and don't know who the owner is or how to contact them, you should report it to the police within 60 hours. Or do the right thing and leave a note with your details tucked under the windscreen wipers of the other person’s car.”

If you’ve witnessed someone else damaging a parked car, she says, pass on any information you have to the innocent party. And if your car is damaged and no one has left a note, you may still have a chance of tracking down the culprit.

“Report the incident to the car park security or mall firm,” said Amelia. “They may have CCTV footage that’s captured the entire event, which can help identify the person who damaged your car and wasn’t considerate enough to leave their details.

“However, whether you find the person responsible for the damage to your car or not, if you have comprehensive insurance your repairs will be covered, so you can get on with your life.”


About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association Limited (NZAA) and Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (VINZL). Since 1994 we have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand, and in 2018 introduced commercial small business insurance. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our 1000+ employees look after 500,000+ customers with more than 1,000,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Variety New Zealand – the Children’s Charity (as the lead partner of its Beds for Kids programme), Student Volunteer Army and support grassroot school sports via our Big Little Sponsorship sports grant in partnership with Eden Park. We are consistently recognised in industry awards and honours, including being voted the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted General Insurer for 13 years running, named Canstar’s 2023 Home and Contents Insurer of the Year and Outstanding Value Award winner, and currently ranked 7th amongst 100 of New Zealand’s most successful companies in the Kantar Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015).

Find out more at www.aainsurance.co.nz

For more information please contact:
AA Insurance Media Team