UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Last Updated: November 28, 2018
Hit and run accidents are frustrating. However, dealing with your insurance company in the aftermath of a hit and run can be even more frustrating.
Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about a hit and run accident and your car insurance. Should you report the hit and run accident to your car insurance company? Will my rates go up after a hit and run accident? Keep reading to find out.
Car Insurance Will Typically Cover a Hit and Run
An ordinary car insurance policy will cover a hit and run. However, hit and runs do not typically fall under your liability insurance. Instead, they fall under one of the following types of car insurance:
- Collision coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage
- Medical payments coverage
- Personal injury protection
Some of the above insurance policies are required in certain states. Many states require drivers to have medical payments coverage or personal injury protection coverage, for example. Other states require drivers to have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
If you have any of the above policies, then it’s possible that some or all of the damage from a hit and run would be covered.
Liability Insurance Does Not Cover a Hit and Run
Unfortunately, if you have basic liability insurance – the bare minimum required to drive on the road in most states – then you’re out of luck. You will not receive coverage for your hit and run incident.
Liability insurance consists of two things: property damage liability coverage and bodily injury liability coverage. These policies cover damages you inflict upon other people and property in a collision where you were at-fault.
Liability insurance does not, however, cover your own expenses: it covers the expenses of other people. It covers your liability to pay for things or people you damaged in an accident.
If you have the bare minimum liability insurance, then the at-fault driver’s car insurance would typically pay for any repairs. However, if there’s a hit and run accident, the at-fault driver has fled the scene. The at-fault driver cannot cover the hit and run because the at-fault driver is unknown.
Which Car Insurance Policies Cover Hit and Runs?
As mentioned above, there are certain types of car insurance policies that will cover hit and runs. Here’s how each policy should work after a hit and run:
Collision coverage will cover the costs of repairing your vehicle after a collision. If you’re the at-fault driver, then collision coverage will cover the costs of repairs. If you’re involved in a hit and run and the at-fault driver is unknown, then you should still be able to make a claim on your own collision coverage policy, regardless of whether the other driver is identified. If you have collision coverage, then your hit and run should be covered.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage
Some states require you to have uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. In other states, it’s an optional policy. Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage will cover your medical bills and lost wages if you are hit by a driver who does not have insurance. However, some uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage plans also cover hit and run incidents.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage will pay for car repairs when your car is damaged by another driver who does not have car insurance. Just like the policy above, this policy might cover hit and run incidents as well. Check with your car insurance company to determine if your uninsured motorist property damage coverage covers hit and runs: a surprising number of states and companies expressly forbid this coverage from covering hit and runs.
Medical Payments Coverage
Some states require medical payments coverage, which functions in a similar way to health insurance after an accident. Medical payments coverage can cover the medical bills of you and your passengers after an accident, regardless of who is at-fault. In a hit and run accident where the other driver is unknown, medical payments coverage can cover your bills after an accident.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Personal injury protection, or PIP, covers the medical bills of you and your passengers, regardless of fault. It works in a similar way to medical payments coverage. Typically, this type of car insurance policy is required in no-fault states. In addition to covering medical bills, PIP can cover lost wages, child care expenses, and other losses after an incident. If you’re involved in a hit and run accident, then personal injury protection may provide coverage.
Hit and Run Claims and Deductibles: Will I Have to Pay My Deductible?
Somebody hits you in a parking lot and drives away. There’s some damage but it’s not overly noticeable. Is it worth making a claim? Should you make a claim on your hit and run incident? Or is the deductible going to wipe out any savings?
Some hit and run claims require a deductible while other claims do not.
If you’re filing a claim on your collision coverage, for example, then you will typically pay a deductible. Collision coverage covers damage to your own vehicle after an accident.
If you’re filing a claim on your medical payments coverage or personal injury protection coverage, then you may have to pay an additional deductible under each policy.
Conclusion: A Hit and Run May Raise Insurance Rates
Getting involved in a hit and run can be tough. Unfortunately, it could make things even tougher in the future: a hit and run claim goes on your insurance record. Drivers with a high frequency of claims could see higher insurance rates in the future.
However, a hit and run is not considered an at-fault incident. At-fault incidents significantly raise insurance rates, while not-at-fault accidents – like a hit and run – will have minimal impact.
Don’t expect a single hit and run incident to impact insurance rates – especially if your driving history is otherwise clean.