Both drivers will often stop to exchange information when they are involved in an accident. Fleeing the scene of an accident, also known as a hit-and-run, comes with major consequences. In Rhode Island, the average annual cost of full coverage car insurance is $2,018, but after a hit-and-run, the average rate increases 61% to $3,251, according to 2021 data obtained from Quadrant Information Services.
Hit-and-run accidents are not uncommon, which is one of the reasons why most states, including Rhode Island, require every driver to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. It is crucial to be familiar with the consequences of a hit and run, as well as what to do in case you are involved in a hit and run accident.
Hit-and-runs on Rhode Island
A hit-and-run in Rhode Island is a collision in which a driver involved in an accident fails to stop. If a driver is not at fault, an accident can still be considered hit-and-run.
Although Rhode Island doesn’t publish data about hit-and-runs in its state, such accidents are increasing in number across the country. According to the AAA Foundation, there were roughly 737,100 hit-and-run crashes in 2015, which shows that one hit-and-run crash happened every 43 seconds.
Rhode Island hit and run laws
Drivers in Rhode Island who hit another driver and then leave the scene are fully responsible for their losses. The driver will be held responsible for the vehicle repairs and medical bills of the victim if they are caught.
The consequences of hitting-and-running in Rhode Island can be severe. If a driver flees the scene of an accident, they will be charged with a misdemeanor. A fine of $500 to $1,000, up to six months in jail and a suspension of your license for six months are the consequences. The penalties for causing injuries or deaths in a crash are higher.
How do hit-and-runs affect car insurance rates in Rhode Island
A hit-and-run in Rhode Island can have a significant impact on your car insurance premiums. After an accident, the average cost of full coverage car in Rhode Island is $2,108. The average rate after a hit and run is $3,251. The rate for drivers after a hit and run is slightly higher than the average in the United States, but they could see their premium rise depending on the situation.
There are three things you can do following a hit-and run in Rhode Island
If you are involved in a hit-and run in Rhode Island, you must immediately call the emergency services to report any injuries. Here are the next steps to follow after you have pulled over safely and donned your hazard lighting:
- Notify the police if you have not called 911 yet. An officer will arrive at the scene and file a report. You will be asked to provide any details about the driver or the vehicle that struck you. A police report is helpful for filing an insurance claim.
- Note any damage: Take photos of your vehicle’s damage if you are able before you leave the accident scene. Write down everything you can remember about the accident, and then describe the damage. Keep a log of any medical treatment you received and the place it was given.
- You must file an insurance claim. The final step is to contact your insurance company to initiate the claim process. An agent can help explain what is covered and how to file a claim. The adjuster will request photos of the vehicle and a police report.
Is insurance available to cover hit-and-run?
Every driver with car insurance in Rhode Island should be protected in the event that he or she is hit-and-run. But although Rhode Island auto insurance companies must offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as part of a minimum coverage policy, the coverage can be declined in writing. If you are struck by a fleeing driver, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage may help to pay for your vehicle’s repairs as well as your medical bills.
Drivers with full coverage policies will also have additional protection in the case of a hit and run. Collision insurance could pay for your car repairs and medical payments coverage could compensate you for any medical bills, lost wages and rehabilitation costs, up to your policy limits.
Insurance experts recommend that you buy more car insurance than the minimum state-recommended limits to protect your financial interests in cases like hit-and run accidents.
Questions frequently asked
Which is the best auto insurance company?
The best car insurance company is different for every driver. The type of coverage you require, the amount you are willing to spend, and your location all play a part in this decision. Compare several companies and get quotes to find the best rate.
What is the cost of car insurance in Rhode Island?
The average cost of car insurance in Rhode Island is $2,018 per year for a full coverage policy and $749 per year for a minimum coverage policy. The average rate in the United States for full coverage is $1,674 annually, and $565 per year for minimum coverage. Rhode Islanders tend to pay more. Your individual circumstances will impact the rate that you actually pay.
Is there a hit-and-run on your record?
Yes, hit-and-runs will be recorded on your driving record regardless of whether you caused the crash. But, hit-and-runs that are not at fault usually have a lower impact to your car insurance premium. After three to five years, hit-and-run crashes are typically removed from your driving record.