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

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After a traffic collision, both drivers typically pull over to the side of the road, discuss what happened and exchange information. But what happens when one driver fails to stop and flees the scene? Hit-and-run accidents are more common than you might think, which is one of the reasons why most states, including Idaho, require drivers to carry a minimum amount of car insurance.

Hit-and-runs in Idaho

In Idaho, a hit-and-run accident is defined as a collision where the at-fault driver does not stop. Although the state does not publish data on the number of hit-and-runs that occur on Idaho roads, hit-and-run accidents are becoming more common in the United States. The AAA Foundation reports that in 2015, there were 737,100 hit-and-run crashes across the country, resulting in 2,049 fatalities.

One important thing to consider is that more than 13% of drivers in Idaho are estimated to be driving without car insurance, even though minimum coverage is legally required. With a decent number of uninsured drivers, hit-and-runs could be more likely because drivers know they may face penalties for getting caught driving without car insurance.

Idaho hit-and-run laws

Idaho hit-and-run laws state that a driver who causes a hit-and-run accident is fully liable for the other driver’s losses, such as medical bills and vehicle repairs. After any type of accident, whether there is property damage or injuries, the at-fault driver is required to stop, render aid if necessary, provide their personal and insurance information, and remain at the scene until their legal duties have been fulfilled.

Idaho drivers who cause a hit-and-run that results in property damage only will usually be punished with a misdemeanor and may lose their driving privileges for up to one year. If a driver flees the scene of an accident where there are injuries or fatalities, they could be charged with a felony, be assessed a fine of $5,000 or spend a maximum of five years in jail, or both. They will also likely have their license suspended for one year.

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

Filing a hit-and-run claim in Idaho will typically cause your car insurance premium to increase. If your license is suspended, you may also be required to purchase SR-22 insurance. It is possible that your insurance company will refuse to renew your policy, forcing you to get more expensive insurance through a non-standard provider.

However, the average car insurance rate increase after a hit-and-run in Idaho is significantly lower than the United States national average rate increase. Idaho drivers will see their rate increase by an average of $900 per year if they file a hit-and-run claim, whereas the typical American driver will see their rate increase by nearly $1,700 per year. Idaho drivers also see smaller rate increases after a standard accident than the average American driver.

Average annual full coverage premiums:

Before a hit-and-run After a hit-and-run After a standard accident
Idaho average $1,045 $1,946 $1,472
National average $1,674 $3,367 $2,311

3 things to do after a hit-and-run in Idaho

If you are hit by a driver who does not stop, the first thing you should do is safely pull over to the side of the road and make sure that no one is harmed, including you, your passengers and anyone else involved. If anyone needs medical attention, call 911 immediately. If everyone is safe, remain at the scene and follow these steps:

  1. Call the police: A hit-and-run accident is a crime, so the police should be notified right away. When an officer arrives on scene, they will file a report and ask you to recall any information you can about the vehicle that hit you. The information you provide will help them investigate the incident.
  2. Document any damages: If your vehicle is damaged, take pictures (if you can safely do so) to share with your insurance company. In the event that your car is totaled, make sure to ask where the vehicle will be taken. If you or anyone in your car was injured, keep a record of medical expenses as well.
  3. Tell your insurance company: The last step is to contact your insurance company and let them know what happened, if you want to file a claim on your own policy. An agent can walk you through the claim process and help you understand what your policy will cover. To expedite the process, have important documents, like the police report and damage photos, ready to go.

Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?

Getting into a hit-and-run accident can be stressful, but fortunately, your car insurance policy may help cover the damages, even if the driver responsible is never found.

When you purchase a minimum coverage car insurance policy in Idaho, it automatically includes uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, unless you reject these coverage options in a written statement. If you did not reject these two coverage types, they could help cover your medical bills and vehicle damage after a hit-and-run. Idaho is one of only a few states that offers uninsured motorist property damage coverage.

If you have a full coverage policy, a few other coverage types may come into play. Collision coverage is designed to pay for your vehicle’s repairs after a collision event, regardless of fault, although a deductible usually does apply. Medical payments coverage, which is optional in Idaho, may reimburse you for medical treatment or rehabilitation costs stemming from injuries sustained in the hit-and-run, up to your policy limit.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company is different for every driver. It depends on factors like where you live, what type of coverage you need, what you value in an insurance company and your budget. Shopping around and comparing quotes could help you find the best carrier for your needs.

How much does car insurance cost in Idaho?

The average cost of car insurance in Idaho is $1,045 per year for a full coverage policy and $307 per year for a minimum coverage policy. Based on our research, Idaho is one of the cheapest states for car insurance. Keep in mind that car insurance rates are personalized, so you might pay a higher or lower rate based on things like your age, credit score and driving record.

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
Elizabeth Rivelli
Insurance Contributor
Elizabeth Rivelli is a contributing insurance writer for Bankrate and has years of experience writing for insurance domains such as The Simple Dollar, Coverage.com and NextAdvisor, among others
Edited by
Insurance Writer & Editor