Getting smashed into while behind the wheel can be a traumatic and shocking experience. Getting hit by another driver who flees the scene makes the whole ordeal even more tumultuous. To be left with more questions than answers, while grappling with injury or damage to the car, is to feel as helpless as one can feel. Unfortunately, this is the essence of a hit and run.
Hit and run accidents are defined as incidents where the driver at fault deliberately flees the scene of an accident without handing over information or helping those who were injured in the accident. While these types of accidents shouldn’t be commonplace, they happen far more than they should, leaving drivers to wonder where they stand in terms of the insurance. If you’ve been the victim of a hit and run, your car insurance policy may be able to help you cover any costs incurred, including medical bills.
While an at-fault driver’s insurance should pay, a hit and run doesn’t leave that as a viable option. Don’t fret. Depending on your insurance policy, you might not have to foot the bill. There are several options that could save you in the event of a hit and run.
Does Most Car Insurance Cover A Hit And Run?
Let’s pretend that you find yourself in the worst-case scenario; you’ve just been in an accident and the at-fault driver has fled the scene faster than speed racer. Are you covered by your car insurance? As long as you carry collision or uninsured property damage coverage, you should be covered by your insurance provider.
Most comprehensive insurance policies include some kind of collision coverage. In the event of a hit and run, this is key. Collision helps to pay for any repairs to your vehicle if you hit another car or another car hits you, regardless of who is at fault. When you’re the victim of a hit and run, you can make a claim on your insurance policy whether or not the driver is found. You will only be responsible for your deductible.
Uninsured Property Damage Coverage
If your policy carries uninsured property damage coverage, you may also be in good shape in the event of a hit and run. Property damage coverage helps to pay for repairs if your car is damaged by a driver without insurance. The downside is that this coverage is not available in all states. Some states that do offer coverage do not include hit and run accidents in the policy.
Uninsured Or Underinsured Motorist
In some states, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is required by law. It covers you in the event that you’re engaged in an accident with someone who doesn’t carry any auto insurance or whose insurance does not cover the full gamut of damages caused. It can also cover you in the event of a hit and run. Keep in mind, this is an add-on to most insurance policies and can raise your premiums. However, it is typically seen as a worthwhile investment.
What To Do After A Hit And Run?
Being the victim of a hit and run can be a bewildering experience. If you find yourself in this situation, start by calling the police. If you can, take note of the license plate number on the fleeing vehicle. Keep any vehicle details in mind to help with the case (ie: a notable rust spot or political sticker). Once you’ve phoned the police, go around your car and take photos of any damage. This will help you tremendously when filing a claim and in the event of a lawsuit.
Finally, call your insurance company and detail what happened. Provide any pictures of damage you have taken and the relevant police report. Hit and run accidents are never easy, but knowing you’re covered can make the situation far less trying.