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What to do after a hit-and-run in Georgia

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Hit-and-runs can add a layer of stress to car accidents, which are usually already stressful. A hit-and-run in Georgia can bring about both fines and jail time. Unfortunately, though, hit-and-runs are increasingly common and are one of the reasons why insurance is required in most states. Bankrate’s research into Georgia’s hit-and-run laws, car insurance impacts and how to respond to a hit-and-run could help you feel prepared should you be in one of these stressful situations.

Hit-and-runs in Georgia

A hit-and-run is whenever someone flees the scene of an accident without providing their insurance or personal information.

The AAA Foundation reports that 11% of all car crashes nationwide are hit-and-runs. Between 2006 and 2016, Georgia recorded more than 500 hit-and-run crashes that involved at least one fatality.

Georgia hit-and-run laws

A Georgia hit-and-run is serious. The state outlines several penalties for various levels of offenses. If you are convicted of a hit-and-run, your penalties may be dependent on the specific scenario and your past driving history. You may be facing fines, license suspension and even jail time.

How hit-and-runs impact car insurance rates in Georgia

Hit-and-run claims generally increase car insurance premiums more than claims for a standard accident. For example, in Georgia, a standard accident increases the average cost of full coverage car insurance about 41% per year. If you file a hit-and-run claim, though, the average annual increase is about 94%. Georgia drivers pay more, on average, than drivers in the nation as a whole for car insurance both before and after a hit-and-run.

Average annual full coverage premiums:

Before a hit-and-run After a hit-and-run After a standard accident
Georgia average $1,982 $3,848 $2,791
National average $1,674 $3,367 $2,311

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

Getting into an accident can be frightening, and when the other driver flees the scene, the scenario can be even more stressful. Knowing what steps to take in advance can help you make sure you take care of everything you need to do.

  1. Check for injuries and call 911: Your first priority is to your safety and the safety of those around you. Check yourself, your passengers and anyone else involved for injuries and call the emergency services if there’s a need.
  2. Move your car: If you can, move your car to a safe spot nearby, such as a shoulder or nearby parking lot. You shouldn’t move too far from the accident scene, but getting out of the flow of traffic is the safest option.
  3. File a police report: The police can help you record details about the other driver that you remember, take witness statements and could eventually find the at-fault party.
  4. Take pictures of your car: If it is safe to do so, take photos of the damage to your vehicle and record the details of the accident. Doing this as soon as possible after the crash could help you keep a record of what happened.
  5. File an insurance claim: If you want to file a claim on your own insurance policy, you can call your company to do so. Many companies also have claims services on a mobile app or website. You may want to provide the police report number and the photos of your damage.

Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?

Hit-and-run insurance is not a standalone policy. However, there are a few different types of coverage that could help you cover hit-and-run damage if you are a victim of this scenario.

  • Collision: If you have a full coverage policy, your collision coverage may pay for your vehicle damage regardless of fault, but there could be a deductible.
  • Medical payments: This coverage is not mandatory in Georgia but it is offered. Medical payments coverage could help pay for your injuries and your passengers’ injuries up to your policy limit, regardless of who caused the accident.
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: If the other driver is found and does not have insurance, this optional coverage could help you pay for your medical bills, too.
  • Uninsured motorist property damage: Georgia is one of only a handful of states that offers this coverage, which may help pay for your vehicle damage and other property damage if you were hit by an uninsured motorist.

Keep in mind that you have to have these coverage types before the hit-and-run happens to allow your policy to respond. You won’t be able to add these coverage types retroactively to gain coverage for a hit-and-run that has already happened.

Frequently asked questions

If I am a victim of a hit-and-run, is there a hit-and-run deductible?

It depends on what type of coverage you have and how you are handling the damage. If the other driver is found and has insurance coverage, your damage should be taken care of by their liability coverage and no deductible will apply. However, if you file a claim for your damage on your own policy, you may have a deductible depending on the coverage you use. Collision coverage generally has a deductible, for example, but medical payments coverage does not.

What is the best car insurance company if I have a hit-and-run claim?

The best car insurance company differs for every driver, including for drivers who have less-than-perfect driving records. One of the best ways to find the right coverage for you is to shop around and compare quotes from a few different companies.

How long will a hit-and-run stay on my record?

If you have caused a hit-and-run, the incident may stay on your driving record for life. However, when it comes to your insurance, claims generally only surcharge for three to five years. The exact time range varies by company, but your claim shouldn’t affect your premium indefinitely.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.

Written by
Lauren Ward
Insurance Contributor
Lauren Ward has nearly 10 years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, and Reviews.com. She covers auto, homeowners, and life insurance, as well other topics in the personal finance industry.
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