Hit-and-run refers to an accident in which the at-fault party flees the scene after striking a pedestrian, another vehicle or stationary object. In the United States, a hit-and-run occurs every minute. It is crucial to know what your auto insurance covers, and how it could affect your premiums if you are left with the aftermath of a hit-and run.
What to do if your car is involved in a hit and run?
Even if there is little damage, hit-and-run accidents can cause stress. Knowing how to respond and what to do could help make the hit-and-run process less stressful.
Seek medical attention
As with all accidents, it is important to assess your medical needs after a hit-and run. Calling for medical attention should be your first priority if you feel you are injured.
Contact the police
Even if your vehicle was struck while it was parked, you might file a police report. Witnesses may have a description of your vehicle and the license plate number. This information can help you find the at-fault party. Even if the at fault party is not located, a police report detailing your experience can be very helpful in the claims process.
As much evidence as you can
Once you call the police, take photos of the car and property that were damaged. It can be easy to forget details after an accident. Photos or written evidence can be useful when you have to give as much information to the police or to your insurance company.
Contact your auto insurance company
You can file a claim for your auto insurance policy by calling your carrier, or online. If possible, provide the carrier with photos, notes, and the police number. It is a good idea to call as soon as you are able after an accident. Some insurance companies and states have rules about how long you can file a case.
Car insurance coverages in case of hit-and-run incidents
You may be covered for damage to your vehicle from hit and run accidents depending on what coverage you have on your auto insurance policy. Although “hit-and run insurance” is not a separate policy type, it can be covered by several coverages.
- Collision: If your vehicle is in an accident with another vehicle, or object, this coverage will pay for the repairs. This applies regardless of whether you are at fault, or if someone else hits you and drives off. A deductible is usually included in collision coverage. This is the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket for the claim.
- Uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injuries: This covers your medical costs if you are injured by someone who is not insured. This coverage may be available for hit-and run accidents. Some states or carriers may insist that proof of uninsured driver, such as declination of coverage from another carrier be presented before coverage can be applied.
- Uninsured motorist property damages coverage: This covers damage to your vehicle that is caused by someone who does not have insurance. It may also be used in a hit-and run accident. Similar to uninsured motorist bodily injuries coverage, proof of uninsured driver may be required.
- Coverage for medical payments: This coverage covers your medical bills as well as your passengers’ medical bills, regardless of fault. It is not available for all states.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) This coverage covers medical expenses for you and your passengers regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Although PIP may not be available in every state, it is possible to get mandatory coverage if you reside in a non-fault insurance State.
It could be helpful to understand your policy and what it covers in a hit-and run situation. Although you may not be the victim of a hit and run, knowing how your insurance policy might react could make it easier to recover.
Insurance rates and hit-and run
Even though you aren’t at fault for the damage, hit-and run accidents can cause an increase in your insurance premiums. Below is a table showing the average increase in full-coverage premiums following a hit-and run for different carriers. The average cost for full coverage auto insurance in America is $1,674 annually.
|Company||Average national annual full coverage premium prior to a hit-and run||After a hit-and run, the national average annual full coverage premium|
There are many factors that can affect how much your rates rise. The potential premium increase for a policy following a hit-and run will depend on your coverage options, where you live, what type of car and the underwriting rules of your insurance carrier.
How to get car insurance cheaper after a hit and run
Although you might see an increase in your car insurance premium due to a hit-and run, there are still ways you can potentially lower your rates.
- Compare other insurance carriers: Comparing your policy with multiple companies is one of the best ways you can save money on your car insurance. You may be able to find the same coverage at a lower rate by comparing rates between insurance companies.
- Use discounts: Many insurance companies offer discount opportunities for policyholders. You may be eligible for a discount if your other insurance policy is the same as your homeowners or renters policy. Other discounts that are common include paid-in full, vehicle safety features, and paperless billing.
- Keep your driving record clean: Avoiding traffic violations and at-fault accidents can prevent your insurance costs increasing due to surcharges. You can avoid additional increases if you have had an increase in your insurance due to hit-and-run.
Hit-and-runs can be stressful and increase your auto insurance premiums. Understanding how your insurance policy responds to these situations could help you save money. Talking to an agent from your insurance company or representative could help you understand your policy and answer any questions you may have about your coverage.
Questions frequently asked
Which auto insurance company is best for drivers who have been involved in a hit-and-run accident?
Many factors go into choosing the best auto insurance company to meet your needs. You may also want to look at customer ratings, reviews and coverage options, especially if you have been involved in a hit-and run claim. You may also need to consider price, so it is worth getting quotes from several carriers.
What amount of auto insurance do you need?
Your personal situation and the legal requirements in your state will determine how much auto insurance you need . How much coverage you need will depend on your personal circumstances, including your age, vehicle type, value and budget. Talking with an agent can help you determine the right amount of coverage to fit your needs.
What is the cost of auto insurance?
Your driving record, age, vehicle and credit score are all factors that will be used to calculate your premium. Although rates can vary from one person to another, the average annual premium is $565 for minimum coverage and $1,674 for full coverage. Your actual premiums for auto insurance will vary based on many factors.