My Car Was Damaged in a Hit-and-Run. Am I Covered?
Publish Date: October 2015
Most motorists do the right thing if they cause an accident, but hit-and-run accidents are all too common.
If your car is hit by another vehicle, you may be able to make a claim against the other driver's insurance policy, if he has one. But what if the other driver flees the scene and is never caught?
If you're hurt or your vehicle is damaged in a hit-and-run, your own auto insurance policy may help protect you. It helps to know before an accident what protection your policy offers against a hit-and-run. Here are some coverages you might want to consider:
Collision coverage may pay to repair your vehicle if you hit another car (or another vehicle hits your car). Collision coverage helps protect you no matter who is at fault. So if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you may be able to make a claim on your own policy, regardless of whether the other driver is found.
Collision coverage generally has a deductible, which is your responsibility to pay before you receive insurance money. You pay a deductible even if the accident wasn’t your fault.
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage
Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage may help you and your passengers with the costs of medical bills and lost wages. This coverage typically only applies where you are in an accident with another party and the other party is at fault, and they don't have insurance. According to the American Institute of CPAs, uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage may also help provide coverage for hit-and-run accidents.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage has limits, so if you’re unsure how much coverage you have, it’s important to check your policy or talk with your agent.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
Almost every state requires drivers to purchase auto insurance, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Yet the Insurance Research Council has found that more than one in eight American drivers are uninsured.
In some cases, uninsured motorist property damage coverage can help to protect you against damage to your car if another driver hits your car and leaves the scene.
Uninsured motorist property damage coverage isn’t typically available in all states, however. And in some states where it is available, uninsured motorist property damage does not cover hit-and-run accidents, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). If you’re unsure what your policy covers, talk to your insurance agent. Like collision coverage, uninsured motorist property damage generally has a deductible.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments coverage may help protect you from paying medical bills out of pocket that aren’t covered, or aren’t completely covered, by health insurance, if you or your passengers are hurt in a hit-and-run accident.
Medical payments coverage can help protect you regardless of who is at fault in the accident, meaning that it may offer protection even if the other driver can’t be found. As with other types of coverage, a deductible and limits may apply.
Personal Injury Protection
Like medical payments coverage, personal injury protection (PIP) may provide no-fault coverage for medical bills for you or your passengers. In addition, PIP may also provide protection against lost wages, and can help cover the costs of services such as child care if you’re hurt and can’t take care of your kids.
PIP coverage varies among states. In some states, PIP isn’t available. In others, it’s mandatory. If PIP is available, coverage limits and a deductible typically will apply. An insurance agent can help you decide how much coverage is right for you.
Hit-and-run accidents can cause a great deal of damage and distress — especially if the party responsible never comes forward. However, a customized insurance policy may help you protect your car, yourself and your passengers, if you're ever the victim of a hit-and-run.