How does insurance cover a hit-and-run accident?
Coverages for damages to your car
Collision: Protects you against any physical damage to your car. That means if you're the victim in a hit-and-run accident and your car needs repaired or replaced, collision has you covered. You'll just have to pay your deductible.
Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD): In most states, a driver that flees the scene of an accident will be considered "uninsured" by your insurance company. So, if you don't carry collision coverage, consider UMPD for any damage to your car caused by a hit-and-run. UMPD, available in some states, is generally an inexpensive coverage and usually can be added when you don't have collision coverage. A deductible may apply.
UMPD cannot be used to cover hit-and-run accidents in a small number of states. If you live in one of those states, you'll need to add collision coverage to properly cover vehicle damage caused by a hit-and-run.
If you don't have collision or uninsured motorist property damage coverage, your car will not be covered if damaged in a hit-and-run. Your only hope for compensation will be finding the driver that caused the accident. Keep in mind, about 13% of drivers are uninsured countrywide, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
About 13% of drivers are uninsured countrywide, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
See more on uninsured motorist coverage.
Coverages for your/your passengers' injuries
Uninsured motorist bodily injury: Like UMPD, but instead of covering your car, UMBI covers injuries from an accident, including a hit-and-run.
Medical payments/personal injury Protection (PIP): These coverages apply regardless of who's at fault in an accident, so they can be used in the event of a hit-and-run. Medical payments and personal injury protection cover injuries and may have a deductible. PIP also covers things like income continuation, funeral expenses, and rehabilitation costs. Which coverages will be available to you depends on your state.
If you don't have health insurance, you should strongly consider UMBI coverage and (depending on your state) PIP or medical payments. If you elect not to have these coverages, your injuries at the hands of a hit-and-run driver will not be covered.
See more on personal injury protection.
Pro tips if you're involved in a hit-and-run accident
You won't always be able to identify the driver or vehicle that caused the hit-and-run. If you see the other car speeding away, don't panic or chase the fleeing driver. Your priority should be the health and safety of you and your passengers. Pull over, make sure everyone is OK, and assess the damage to your car.
If you're able to see the other driver's license plate, inform the police immediately. They may be able to track down the at-fault driver if they know the make and model of the car. Also, find out if the incident was captured on a camera or if there were any eyewitnesses to the hit-and-run. Those may be your only options in cases where your car was damaged in a parking lot and you have no clue how it happened. If the driver can be identified and is properly insured, their insurance will typically pay your damages or injuries.
Finally, alert your insurance company as soon as you can.
Remember, you can't control the actions of others. But you can control the coverages on your policy. If you're concerned you aren't properly protected against a hit-and-run, call us at 1-866-749-7436 to get a car insurance quote and add the right coverages.