If you’ve experienced a hit-and-run in Arizona, you may be wondering what to do and how it may impact your insurance rates. Unfortunately, hit-and-runs are fairly common in the Grand Canyon State, but knowing how to proceed if the responsible party drives away following an accident may help make the situation less stressful.

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Hit-and-runs in Arizona

There were over 16,988 hit-and-runs in Arizona in 2021. Over 80 percent of these reported hit-and-runs only caused property damage. However, even an accident that only involves property damage is serious. Arizona hit-and-run law forbids leaving the scene of the crime without providing help or leaving your contact information if no one was present.

Arizona hit-and-run laws

The Arizona hit-and-run statute does not excuse drivers that did not realize that leaving the scene of an accident is illegal. To drive the point home, former Governor Doug Ducey proclaimed October as Arizona hit-and-run Awareness Month in 2018.

In a hit-and-run accident without injuries, the perpetrator could be charged with a misdemeanor, including potential fines and jail time. Leaving the scene of an accident could be a felony if serious injury or death is involved. 

Joey’s Law, formally known as Senate Bill 1163, was passed in Arizona in 2012 and made a hit-and-run that leads to a serious injury or death punishable with a five-to-10-year driver’s license suspension, not including the time they are incarcerated if convicted of criminal charges related to the hit-and-run. Committing a hit-and-run in Arizona where you are the at-fault driver, and there is severe injury or death is a class 2 felony.

How do hit-and-runs impact car insurance rates in Arizona?

The average cost of car insurance in Arizona is $1,743 for full coverage and $579 for minimum coverage. Drivers with a hit-and-run conviction on their record will likely see higher rates. Being convicted of a hit-and-run is a serious offense. It may cause your insurance company to view you as a high-risk driver and increase rates accordingly when your policy renews. In some cases, your insurance company may choose to not renew your policy, limiting your choices for auto insurance.

Even victims of hit-and-runs may see increased premiums if they file a claim on their insurance for the damages or injuries resulting from the accident.

5 things to do after a hit-and-run in Arizona

Any car accident can be stressful, let alone a hit-and-run. If you’re involved in an accident where the responsible driver flees the scene, you could take the following steps.

  1. Assess for injuries and call 911: If anyone is injured, call 911 for medical attention.
  2. Move your vehicle out of the flow of traffic: If you are uninjured and your vehicle can be safely driven, move to the shoulder or a nearby parking lot to assess damages and wait for police.
  3. File a police report: Calling the policy promptly after a hit-and-run will help ensure a police report is filed and the authorities have as much information as possible to search for the perpetrator.
  4. Document the scene: Capture photos of the scene and any damage to share with policy and your insurer. If you require medical attention, keep track of any treatment and payment details.
  5. File a claim: If the responsible driver is not located and you choose to file a claim with your insurance company, your agent may ask you for any photo evidence from the scene as well as the police report from the incident.

Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?

There are a few insurance coverage types that may be beneficial if you are the victim of a hit-and-run. Collision insurance may cover damage to your own vehicle, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage may provide coverage if you are involved in a hit-and-run, but you will likely have to prove that the at-fault driver does not have adequate coverage, which may be hard to do if they are not found.

Frequently asked questions

    • Bankrate’s findings show that the average cost of car insurance in Arizona is $579 per year for minimum coverage and $1,743 per year for full coverage. However, car insurance premiums can vary dramatically based on personal rating factors such as your age, ZIP code, vehicle type, driving record and more. Collecting and comparing quotes from various carriers may help you identify how much you can expect to pay for car insurance.
    • An Arizona hit-and-run may be classified as a felony if the accident caused severe injuries or death. If so, the state may charge you with a class 2 or 3 felony. In most cases where injuries were not involved, hit-and-runs in Arizona are classified as misdemeanors.
    • If the at-fault driver is not located and you file a claim with your insurance company for hit-and-run damages, you will likely have to pay a deductible when using your collision coverage. Speaking with your insurance agent may help you understand your deductible and when a deductible applies.