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

29/10/2014

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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.”

ENDS

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About AA Insurance

AA Insurance has demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents, and car insurance in New Zealand since launching in 1994. We’re a joint venture between New Zealand Automobile Association and Suncorp Group, and we employ over 650 staff - who are all based in New Zealand - to look after nearly 350,000 customers and over 650,000 policies.

We proudly support youth charity Blue Light, and have been consistently recognised by: Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands (since 2011), NZ Insurance Industry Awards (since 2012), IBM Kenexa Best Workplaces Survey (since 2008), Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers (2011-2016), and the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015) that recognises New Zealand’s most successful companies.

AA Insurance has an A+ (Strong) Insurer Financial Strength Rating given by Standard and Poor’s (Australia) Pty Ltd. For further information visit aainsurance.co.nz.

For more information please contact:

Arwen Vant, Botica Butler Raudon Partners, (09) 303 3862, 021 484 232 or email arwenv@botica.co.nz

Amanda Fifield, AA Insurance Limited, (09) 927 2085 or email Amanda_Fifield@aainsurance.co.nz

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