A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver hits another driver and then drives away without providing contact information or stopping to help the other party or injured people. Usually, the person who gets hit is blameless.
Besides being scary, a hit-and-run can cause your insurance premium price to increase when you want to claim your insurance afterward. This article will teach you all you need to know about a hit-and-run and how your insurance attends to it.
What To Do After a Hit-and-Run
After a hit-and-run, keep calm. No matter how angry you are, resist the urge to chase after the culprit. Instead, try to get a picture of the car and especially note its make, color, and license plate.
Next, ensure your safety and the safety of your passengers. Contact emergency services if you or anyone else is seriously injured. Take pictures if necessary. They’ll help you in the process of your insurance claim.
Once you and everyone else are safe, you should next assess the level of damage to your car. Inspect it and take pictures before having it towed away, if necessary, or before going to the mechanic. Doing this also aids your insurance claim process.
Also, talk to witnesses to see if they remember anything you might be missing. You should also check around for security cameras, as they might be your only source of evidence, especially in scenarios where you were absent when the accident occurred.
Equally importantly, call the police. Reaching out to the police increases the chances of catching the hit-and-run driver and helps your insurance claim go more smoothly. File a report within the first 24 hours of the accident, and tell them all the crucial details you remember about the other driver or car.
Finally, notify your insurance company of the accident. Whether you plan to file a claim or not, document all damages and injuries, even if they developed after the hit-and-run.
Does Insurance Cover a Hit-and-Run Claim?
Depending on the coverage under your insurance policy, insurance may or may not cover a hit-and-run claim. For example, if you opted for only liability coverage and the perpetrator is not caught, you might not be covered. On the flip side, you will be covered if you opted for a more comprehensive plan like collision or uninsured motorist protection.
Will a Hit-and-Run Claim Raise My Insurance Cost?
This depends on the type of insurance plan you choose. If you do not have collision or uninsured motorist protection, your insurance will probably not cover the damage to your car caused by a hit-and-run. As such, it will inevitably raise your insurance cost.
However, the coverages under your insurance may require you to pay money out of your pocket before your insurance provider pays for the rest. Despite that, some factors can potentially raise your insurance premium. They include:
- The severity and cost of the claim
- Your driving record
- Which driver is at fault
How Insurance Covers a Hit-and-Run Claim
An insurance provider might cover a hit-and-run claim in the categories:
- Property damage coverages
- Bodily injury coverages
Depending on the coverages under your insurance policy, insurance may cover a hit-and-run as follows:
Property Damage Coverages
Property damage coverages include collision coverage, which includes all damage caused by an impact by another physical object, whether moving or stationary, regardless of fault. Usually, it includes a deductible, but collision will cover your vehicle’s repair or replacement cost. It is usually optional, but if your car is on loan or lease, your lender may require it.
Property damage coverage also covers uninsured motorist property damage. Uninsured motorist property damage specifically covers hit-and-run accidents, and it’s pretty cheap to add to your premium. It also has a deductible. Some states mandate it, while others don’t.
Without these coverages, insurance will not cover damages from a hit-and-run accident. Finding the hit-and-run driver may be your only way of receiving compensation.
Bodily Injury Coverages
Bodily injury coverages under your insurance policy cover injuries incurred in a driving accident, including the following:
This coverage foots the bill for injuries sustained in a driving accident, regardless of who caused the accident. Therefore, it can apply in the event of a hit-and-run if you have this coverage. It may include a deductible. It especially complements health insurance in taking care of expensive medical bills.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection is similar to medical payments coverage. However, it may include payments for things like funeral expenses, income continuation, and rehabilitation costs. In some states, personal injury protection requires coverage under an insurance premium. It also helps to cover bills not covered by health insurance. As such, if you have opted for this plan, your insurance will cover the damages of a hit-and-run.
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury
Similar to uninsured motorist property damage, this covers injuries sustained in accidents, including hit-and-runs caused by an uninsured driver. Even if you are unable to identify the perpetrator, this coverage will still take care of medical costs.
If you choose not to have these coverages under your insurance policy, they won’t cover any medical bills from injuries you sustain.
How To File a Hit-and-Run Claim
Filing a hit-and-run claim is like filing any other insurance claim, except that the results might be slightly different. This goes two ways:
- If you get the hit-and-run driver’s identity, then your insurance company would contact their insurance company and handle the hit-and-run like a standard accident.
- If you couldn’t identify the guilty driver, or if they are uninsured, then having uninsured motorist coverage will cover your car’s repair costs. Collision coverage may also take care of the damages.
Moreover, there’s always the option of suing the guilty driver for damages if the police later catch them.
With a hit-and-run claim, these add-on insurance coverages will cover your costs. Filing a claim is not a big deal, and there’s no need to worry about an increased insurance premium other than deductibles on your coverages.
Now that you know that a hit-and-run claim doesn’t raise your insurance rates, you can rest easy knowing that you can still be covered when an accident happens. It’s a good idea to contact your insurance provider to get optional coverage to protect you further.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.