Does Car Insurance Cover Hit and Runs?

Yes, certain kinds of car insurance cover hit-and-run car accidents, but coverage will depend largely on your policy and the details of your situation. Hit and runs occur when the at-fault driver does not stop at the scene of the crash. This interrupts the insurance process in at-fault states (like Georgia) because no one knows who the at-fault driver is and whether they are insured.

If authorities find the at-fault driver, and the driver has automobile insurance, you can make a claim against their policy. Otherwise, you will have to rely on your own insurance coverage, and you can only use some types of coverage in hit-and-run accidents.

Collision Coverage in Hit and Runs

If your vehicle is damaged in a hit-and-run accident, you will need to use your collision coverage. Collision coverage protects you against any physical damage to your car that occurs due to a collision.

Do I Have to Pay a Deductible for a Hit and Run?

Unfortunately, you will be responsible for your own deductible if you use collision coverage – even if the accident was not your fault. Often, drivers hit parked vehicles and drive away without leaving a note. In this situation, you would have to pay your collision coverage deductible even if you were nowhere near your vehicle at the time of the crash.

There is one exception: if you, the police, or your insurance company can identify the at-fault driver, and that driver has insurance, your insurance company will go after them and waive your deductible (or reimburse you if you have already paid).

Will My Insurance Rates Go Up?

According to Allstate and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, “claim frequency may affect what you pay for car insurance.” Sadly, this means your insurance rates may go up if you are involved in a hit and run.

In some states (like California), however, the law expressly states that your insurance rates cannot go up after a hit-and-run claim, so long as you report the claim promptly.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Hit and Runs

If you are seriously injured in a hit and run, regular car insurance will not pay for your medical expenses. For this reason, many drivers carry uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to pay your medical bills and accident-related losses (like pain and suffering) if the driver who hurts you cannot be identified or does not have insurance.

Keep in mind that uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage is different from uninsured motorist property damage coverage, which is not available in all states.

In a typical hit-and-run accident, you will use collision coverage to pay for the damage to your car and uninsured motorist coverage to pay for injuries and other losses.

Fortunately, there usually isn’t a deductible for uninsured motorist coverage.

Do I Have the Correct Coverage?

All drivers in Georgia must have liability insurance to drive on state roads and highways. Failure to carry the minimum insurance limits is a crime, but so is leaving the scene of a car accident.

Ultimately, liability insurance will not help you if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident. As such, you should check your insurance policy and make sure you have both collision coverage and uninsured motorist coverage to protect yourself from hit and runs.

If you have the correct coverage, and your insurance company fails to honor your claim, you may need to speak to an attorney.

Busch, Reed, Jones & Leeper, P.C. can help you access the coverage you paid for and deserve. We have over 150 years of combined experience and in-depth knowledge of claims like yours.

To discuss your case with our committed lawyers during a free consultation, please call us at (770) 629-0154 or contact us online today.

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