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If you get into a hit-and-run accident, your car insurance policy can cover your vehicle damages and injuries. But the type of coverage you have and the state you live in determine how your insurance company pays for hit-and-run accidents.
Keep reading to learn how insurance works after a hit-and-run, the insurance coverages that pay for this type of car accident, and what to do if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run.
- Collision insurance and uninsured motorist coverage can cover the cost of fixing or replacing your vehicle after a hit-and-run.
- If a driver injures you and flees the scene, personal injury protection or medical payments coverage can cover your medical expenses.
- If you become a hit-and-run victim, call the police to file an incident report to ensure the insurance claims process goes smoothly.
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Does Car Insurance Cover Hit-and-Run Accidents?
Car insurance typically covers hit-and-run accidents, but it depends on the type of insurance you have. Coverages such as collision, uninsured motorist, medical payments, and personal injury protection cover hit-and-run accidents (we’ll cover this in more detail later). And though liability insurance is a requirement in almost all states, it won’t cover damage from a hit-and-run.
A hit-and-run is when a driver hits another person or their property and flees the accident scene without stopping to provide their information or insurance details. Instead of the person taking responsibility for the damage they caused, the victim has to pay for their property damage and injuries.
Driving uninsured might be a reason someone flees. Around one in eight drivers doesn’t have insurance, according to the Insurance Research Council. Rather than face the consequences of driving without insurance and paying for the damage they caused, some uninsured drivers leave the scene, leaving you to deal with the aftermath yourself.
How does insurance work after a hit-and-run?
A hit-and-run can occur when someone hits you while you’re driving or when your vehicle is parked and unoccupied. In either scenario, your insurer can help pay for your medical expenses if you were in the car and injured, as well as the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it was damaged.
How your insurance company pays depends on the coverage you have and where you live. Understanding how each coverage works can help you decide which coverages to include in your policy if you become a victim of a hit-and-run.
Car Insurance Coverages That Could Cover a Hit-and-Run
Adding the right coverage to your auto insurance policy is crucial — especially if you want to be protected when someone leaves the scene of a car accident. Without the at-fault driver’s insurance company to pay for your injuries or damage, you could end up paying out of pocket even though you’re not at fault.
Fortunately, you can be proactive by making sure you have the following coverages to help you pay for the resulting expenses from a hit-and-run accident.
Collision coverage pays for your vehicle damage after an accident with another car or object or in a single-vehicle accident, no matter who’s at fault. If you have collision insurance and someone hits your car and leaves the scene, your insurance company can pay to fix or replace your vehicle.
Unless you finance or lease your car, collision coverage is optional. Keep in mind that you also might have a deductible for the vehicle repairs or replacement.
Uninsured motorist coverage
Although optional in some states, many states require you to purchase uninsured motorist coverage to drive legally. If you have uninsured motorist insurance (UM) and a driver hits you and flees the scene, uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage can pay for your injuries. Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) can pay for your car damages.
Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage can pay if someone without enough auto coverage hits you. But you might have to pay a deductible to use it.
Medical payments coverage (MedPay)
Medical payments coverage pays for your medical expenses — up to the policy limit — if another driver injures you in an accident, regardless of fault. You can also use MedPay to cover your health insurance copays and deductibles.
Personal injury protection (PIP)
Personal injury protection covers your medical bills, lost wages, and even in-home services like child care or housework if your injuries from a hit-and-run accident are severe enough that you can’t perform these tasks. You can use MedPay and PIP in the same personal injury claim if you have both coverages.
PIP is a requirement in no-fault states, but it may be optional if you live in an at-fault state. You should review your state insurance requirements to know if you need this coverage.
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What to Do After a Hit-and-Run
Experiencing a hit-and-run can be alarming and unsettling, but it’s important to remain calm after a car accident. Do your best to get your vehicle off the street to a safe location before assessing yourself and your passengers for injuries. Then, assess your car for damages and check for witnesses willing to provide a statement.
Call 911 and ask for a police officer and an ambulance to come to the scene if injuries require immediate attention. The officer will make a police report detailing the scene and any information you remember about the vehicle, including make, model, color, license plate number, and the at-fault driver’s description.
Take photos of all sides of your car and ask for a copy of the police report for the insurance claim. And keep in mind that even when you’re not at fault, filing an accident claim can affect your insurance rates. You might see a rate increase if you have multiple claims in the last few years.
How to report a hit-and-run to your insurer
The next step is to start the claims process with your car insurance company. Here are the steps to take to begin the process:
- File the incident case online, over the phone, or through the insurer’s mobile app.
- Provide the necessary information, including receipts for medical treatment, eyewitness accounts, a copy of the accident report, a description of the other driver and their vehicle, and photos of the damage.
- Include your contact information so your assigned claims adjuster can reach you.
- Discuss the compensation process for injuries and getting your vehicle fixed with the adjuster.
Hit-and-Run Insurance FAQs
Knowing what types of insurance cover hit-and-runs can help you determine the coverages you need. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about hit-and-run insurance.
What types of insurance cover a hit-and-run?
The types of car insurance that cover a hit-and-run include collision, medical payments, personal injury protection, and uninsured motorist coverage. Collision and uninsured motorist coverage pay to repair your car. MedPay, PIP, and uninsured motorist coverage can cover your medical bills.
Do you have to pay your deductible after a hit-and-run?
Yes, you might have to pay a deductible after a hit-and-run car accident. If your collision coverage pays for the physical damage to your car, you’ll likely have to pay your collision deductible. Some states mandate a deductible for uninsured motorist coverage. For example, the uninsured motorist deductible is $200 in Virginia.
Does uninsured motorist coverage pay for hit-and-run damage?
Yes. Uninsured motorist property damage, or UMPD coverage, can pay for hit-and-run repairs. But you might have to pay a deductible, depending on your state. It’s a good idea to discuss your coverage options and how hit-and-runs work in your state with a car insurance agent to make sure you have the right coverage.
Does insurance pay if someone hits your parked car?
Collision coverage and uninsured motorist property damage insurance can pay for the damage to your parked car, whether it was hit in a parking lot or parked outside someone’s house. After discovering the damage, call the police to make an official accident report to help make the claims process easier.
- Insurance Research Council, “One in Eight Drivers Uninsured,” Accessed February 1, 2024.
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