Car Insurance Coverage in Hit and Run Accidents
Whether you’re in the car or nowhere near it, a hit-and-run accident can really shake you. It also leaves you with lots of questions. We’re here to help answer some of those questions for you. We also want to give you the comfort that comes from knowing how you’re covered and what to do in this situation. Let’s look at what some of your questions might mean and how we can help.
What is a Hit and Run?
While the name pretty much sums up what a hit and run accident is, let’s look at some of the subtle nuances of this type of accident. The hit and run definition is, when someone knowingly causes an accident and then flees the scene. While we’re discussing these car accidents here, please note that a hit and run can also happen when a car hits property or another person.
If you’re hit by another driver while on the road, it can be quite unsettling. Try to keep your calm and remember everything you can about the driver and the vehicle. Then call the police and report this information. If you’re able to get a license plate number there is a chance the driver will be caught and held liable for your injuries and damages.
If your car was parked when it was hit, the first step is to look for a note. Sometimes drivers don’t wait around but they do attach a note with their contact information and a description of the accident. In this situation, you have not actually had a hit and run since they are admitting responsibility. If there isn’t a note, check to see if the area was recorded by security cameras in case you’re able to find the perpetrator through surveillance video. If there is no way to determine who hit your parked car, you’ve had a hit and run.
Does Car Insurance Cover Hit and Run Accidents?
Now that you’ve determined you were in a hit and run accident, you’re probably wondering if your car insurance covers it. Whether your car while hit while on the move or when parked, the process for auto insurance claims is the same. There are several different types of insurance that may help cover your losses, but none of them are specifically named “hit and run insurance”. So let’s look at the types of insurance and how they can help you recover faster from this experience.
Collision coverage. Collision coverage is optional but it offers great peace of mind in situations just like this. It can help with your expenses if you’re the victim of a hit and run accident. The thing to note here is that collision coverage has a deductible, which you will have to pay out of pocket.
Uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage steps in to help pay your damages if you’re hit by a motorist who doesn’t have insurance. In many states it also helps if you’re in a hit and run accident and the at-fault party flees the scene. In some states uninsured motorist coverage is legally required, in other states it’s optional coverage. It’s best to check with your American Family Insurance agent to see if uninsured coverage will apply toward a hit and run in your state.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. This coverage is designed to protect you and your passengers if you’re struck by an uninsured motorist. This may step in and pay for some of your medical expenses and other expenses in a hit and run situation. This is an optional insurance in some states, while other states require uninsured motorist coverage. Check to see what your state requires and if they will use this type of coverage for hit and run accidents.
Medical payments coverage. With auto insurance medical coverage you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ll get help with medical expenses, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. In addition to your medical coverage, this insurance may help pay for your passengers’ medical bills as well.
Personal injury protection (PIP). Personal injury protection, often abbreviated to PIP or called no-fault insurance, is designed to help pay for medical bills for you or your passengers, regardless of who is at fault. PIP is mandatory in some states and in other states it’s not available. Connect with your American Family Insurance agent to see if your state requires PIP insurance.
Liability coverage. No, liability coverage does not cover a hit and run accident. Your auto liability insurance is designed to help pay for someone else’s expenses if you’re in a car accident. If you were to discover who hit your vehicle, then their liability would pay for your damages and/or injuries but your liability insurance will not cover your damages if you were in an accident.
How to Claim Hit and Run on Your Insurance
Once you determine if you have insurance coverage that will help with the hit and run, it’s time to look at how to claim hit and run on your insurance. There’s an online option for reporting a claim, which takes just a few minutes to complete. Or, if you have any questions, you can connect with claims support at 1-800-MYAMFAM (1-800-692-6326) and they will be happy to walk you through the process. You can help speed the process along by having the following things handy.
Your policy number. If you’re filing online, you’ll want to enter only the numeric values of your policy number, which is the first 10 or 12 digits in the field.
Your contact information. Use your home address, email and phone number(s).
Accident information. Document everything you know about the accident, weather, time of day, direction vehicles were traveling, etc. If you weren’t there when it happened, you may not have a lot of information, but every little bit helps.
Police report. If you have a copy of the police report, you’ll want to include this as well.
No matter how you decide to file your hit and run insurance claim, American Family Insurance is here to help you get your life back on track. Our claims department professionals handle claims every day and they know what it takes to make your experience as convenient as possible.
Will a Hit and Run Affect My Insurance Rates?
Let’s look at it and see if we can answer your question. Each insurance company may have a different policy when it comes to hit and run accidents, and it’s best to check your policy details. But if you’re an American Family Insurance customer, you can rest assured, if it’s found to be a not at-fault hit and run, it will not negatively affect your insurance rate.
The most important thing in any hit and run accident is your safety and the safety of those around you. Once you are sure everyone is okay, then it’s time to focus on filing your claim and getting everything back in order.