Hit-and-run drivers aren’t the most responsible people in the world, and they can leave you with a massive repair bill. In a typical accident, that repair bill could be handled by the other driver’s insurance company. But if there’s no other insurance company to contact, who’s in charge of paying for your expenses? Here, we’ll take a look at how your car insurance might be able to cover a hit and run or if you’ll have to pay for everything yourself.
Will my car insurance cover a hit-and-run?
If your auto insurance policy includes uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, it could help you cover vehicle damage from a hit-and-run driver. Usually, UM/UIM insurance is used for drivers that hit you and don’t have enough insurance to cover repairs and injuries. However, hit-and-run drivers can also be covered under the “uninsured” portion of the coverage.
Think about it: If someone hits you and speeds off, you don’t have any way of contacting their insurance company. So, there’s no one to help you pay for your medical bills and other expenses resulting from the accident. That sounds a lot like an uninsured motorist, who also won’t have any insurance info to give you or your auto insurance company.
It’s important to note, though, that UM/UIM coverage isn’t the same as your collision and comprehensive car insurance. Those coverages work a little differently.
Will my collision or comprehensive insurance cover a hit-and-run?
Collision insurance is typically used to cover the damages to your car in the event of an accident, whether you’re found to be at-fault or not. So, if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run, you may be able to get the damages repaired under this coverage even if the other driver is long gone.
Comprehensive coverage is usually used for if something else damages your car besides another driver. Namely:
Technically, another driver that doesn’t have insurance won’t fall into the category of what comprehensive insurance covers. So, a hit-and-run driver probably isn’t covered by that either.
Pro Tip: Georgia doesn’t require collision and comprehensive coverage, which can help cover your car in an accident. However, you may have been required to get this coverage to get a car loan. So, check your policy.
So, what do I do if I was in a hit-and-run-accident?
Don’t leave the scene.
Even if the other driver sped off, don’t leave the scene. The position and location of your car could be important to the police report or your insurance claim later. If staying in the same spot as the accident is dangerous or will block traffic, try to pull into a safer place like a parking lot, a road shoulder, or a turn lane while you call the police.
Call the police.
Even if the damages or the injuries were minor, responders still recommend calling 911. The operator can tell you whether or not it’s an emergency situation or if they will just send an officer to the scene. Regardless of the response, it never hurts to have an officer respond and to have a police report to file with your insurance claim.
Pro Tip: If you see a hit-and-run, and you can’t stop to be a witness, call 311. The 311 operator can then either transfer you or give you the number for your local traffic non-emergency line.
When it’s safe to do so, it’s vital to take pictures (or even video) of the damages and any injuries you may have. It’ll help you file a more accurate insurance claim and get the proper payout or reimbursement. Make sure the footage and photos are kept somewhere safe and secure, like an external hard drive or a cloud service like Google or iCloud for easy reference.
Gather information from witnesses.
If there are any witnesses that are willing to stick around until the police come, write down or record their account of the incident. Also, write down their names and best contact numbers in case your insurance carrier, the police, or your lawyers need a second-hand account.
Keep a record of your medical expenses and treatments.
If you notice any bumps, bruises, broken bones, aches, or pains within 2-3 weeks of the accident, be sure to document any medical treatments, medications, or physical therapy costs you have as a result of the injury. Keep track of how the injury affects your state of living as well. This can help your auto insurance more accurately pay for the results of the accident.
Get a property damage evaluation.
An insurance adjuster may come to evaluate the damage to your car. If you disagree with their repair cost estimate, feel free to get a second opinion from a repair shop or a mechanic that you trust.
Make sure that you have UM/UIM coverage BEFORE the accident.
Overall, you’ll want to consider UM/UIM coverage before you’re involved in a hit-and-run. That way, you can rest easy when you drive, even if someone were to hit you. Make sure the coverage limits fit the value of your car and any injuries you might have so that your car insurance can work for you, not against you.
We know how important it is to have the right car insurance coverage to fit your needs and your situation. We also know that it’s not fun to spend a fortune on your coverage. So, give our insurance experts a call. We’ll help you find the best rates on the auto insurance you need. All you have to do is give us a call or fill out our online form to make sure you’re not missing out on the rates and coverage you deserve.