A hit-and-run is a type of accident where the at-fault party leaves the scene after hitting a pedestrian, another car or a stationary object with their vehicle. A hit-and-run is estimated to occur once every minute in the United States. If you are the one who is left dealing with the consequences of a hit-and-run, it is important to understand what your auto insurance covers and how your own premiums could be impacted.
What to do if you were involved in a hit-and-run
Hit-and-run accidents can be stressful, even if the damage is minimal. If you are a victim of a hit-and-run, knowing how to react and what steps to take could make the process less stressful.
Get medical attention
After a hit-and-run, as with any accident, you should evaluate your need for medical attention. If you feel that you are hurt, calling for medical attention or going to an emergency room should be your first priority.
Call the police
Consider filing a police report for the damage to your vehicle, even if it was hit while parked. If any witnesses have a description of the vehicle or its license plate number, that information could help to find the at-fault party. Even if the at-fault party is not found, having a police report that details your experience could be helpful during the claims process.
Get as much evidence as possible
Take photos of your car or the property that was damaged as soon as you have called the police. In the aftermath of an accident, it can often be easy to forget details. Having photos or written evidence may be helpful when you need to provide as much information as possible to the police or your insurance company.
Call your auto insurance company
If you decide to file a claim on your auto insurance policy, you will need to call your carrier or file the claim online or through an app. Provide the carrier with your photos and notes, the police report number or an actual copy of the police report, if you have it. Calling to file a claim as soon as possible after an accident can be beneficial; some insurance companies and states have regulations surrounding how long after an accident you can file a claim.
Car insurance coverages for hit-and-run accidents
Depending on the coverage you carry on your auto insurance policy, you may have coverage for the damage to your own vehicle caused by hit-and-run accidents. While “hit-and-run insurance” is not its own policy type, there are several coverages that could cover the expenses associated with this type of accident.
- Collision: This coverage pays for your vehicle repairs if the damage is caused by a collision with another vehicle or object. This is true whether you are at fault or if someone hits you and drives away. Collision coverage typically comes with a deductible. This is the amount of the claim you must pay out of pocket.
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage: This cover pays for your medical expenses if you are hit by someone without insurance. Some carriers may allow this coverage to be used for hit-and-run accidents. However, some states and some carriers may require that there be proof that the other driver was uninsured, such as a declination of coverage from another carrier, before this coverage can be used.
- Uninsured motorist property damage coverage: This option pays for damage to your vehicle caused by someone without insurance, and may possibly be used for a hit-and-run accident. Just like with uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, this option may require proof that the at-fault driver is uninsured.
- Medical payments coverage: This coverage pays for your medical bills and your passenger’s medical bills, no matter who is at-fault. It is not available in all states.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): This coverage is similar to medical payments coverage and helps pay for medical expenses for both you and your passengers, no matter who is at fault for an accident. PIP is also not available in all states, but if you live in a no-fault insurance state, this coverage may be mandatory.
Understanding your current policy and how it covers a hit-and-run situation could be beneficial. Hopefully you will never be the victim of a hit-and-run, but if you are, having the knowledge about how your insurance policy might respond could help make the recovery process easier.
Insurance rates and hit-and-runs
Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents can increase your insurance premiums, even though you are not at fault for the damages. The table below shows the average increase in full coverage premiums after a hit-and-run for several different carriers. For comparison, the average cost of full coverage auto insurance in the United States is $1,674 per year.
|Company||National average annual full coverage premium before a hit-and-run||National average annual full coverage premium after a hit-and-run|
How much your rates increase depends on a number of factors. Your coverage choices, the state you live in, the type of car you drive and your insurance carrier’s underwriting rules all influence the potential premium increase on a policy after a hit-and-run.
How to save on car insurance after a hit-and-run
Although you may have an increase in your car insurance premium after a hit-and-run, there are ways that you could potentially lower your rates:
- Shop other carriers: One of the best ways to save on your car insurance is to comparison shop your policy with multiple insurance companies. Rates vary between different insurance carriers, so you may find the same coverage for a lower price.
- Utilize discounts: Most insurance companies provide discount opportunities to policyholders. If you have another insurance policy, like a homeowners or renters insurance policy, you may qualify for a discount if you insure it with the same carrier. Other common discounts include paid-in-full, vehicle safety features and paperless billing.
- Maintain a clean driving record: Avoiding at-fault accidents and traffic violations can help to keep your insurance costs from increasing due to surcharges. If you have already seen an increase on your policy due to a hit-and-run, keeping your record clean could help you to avoid further increases.
Although hit-and-runs are stressful and could increase your auto insurance premiums, understanding how your insurance policy reacts to these situations can help you to find opportunities to save. If you have questions about the type of coverage you have or if you would be covered should you be the victim of a hit-and-run, talking to your agent or a representative from your insurance company could help you to understand your policy.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best auto insurance company for drivers with hit-and-run claims?
There are many factors that go into determining the best auto insurance company for your needs. If you have had a hit-and-run claim, you may want to consider a company’s claims service reviews, customer service ratings and available coverage options. Price may also be a consideration, so getting quotes from numerous carriers could be beneficial.
How much auto insurance do I need?
The amount of auto insurance coverage you need depends on your personal circumstances and what is legally required in your state. Factors such as your age, the type of car you have, your car’s value, your budget and your state’s minimum required limits could all impact how much coverage you need. Talking to an agent could help you to determine the appropriate amount of coverage for your situation.
How much does auto insurance cost?
Factors such as your age, vehicle, credit score, state, ZIP code and driving history are all used to calculate your premium. While rates vary from person to person, the average annual premium for minimum coverage is $565 and for full coverage is $1,674. Premiums for auto insurance are based on a number of personal factors, which means that your actual quoted rates will likely vary from the average premiums.
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 coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
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.