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

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Even with the best of car insurance companies, getting caught in a hit-and-run in Iowa can be dangerous, expensive and time-consuming. These risks are one of the many reasons that most states require car insurance for all drivers. Iowa, like many states, is a torte state. This means that drivers are financially responsible for the damages that they cause with their vehicles.

Things can be complicated, though, when you are the victim of a hit-and-run. Basic liability can’t help in these incidents unless the police can locate the at-fault driver. As a result, victims can end up paying for the repairs to their car out of pocket. However, there are some types of insurance that can help with hit-and-run costs.

Hit-and-runs in Iowa

Hit-and-runs in Iowa are defined by an at-fault driver leaving the scene of an accident that involved bodily injury without first providing their personal information. While hit-and-runs in Iowa are more common than in many states, exact numbers are hard to come by. In 2016, there were 10 hit-and-runs in Iowa that caused at least one death each. In 2019, roughly 11% of Iowa drivers were estimated to have been uninsured.

The more severe the injuries from an Iowa hit-and-run, the greater the penalties will be. The hit-and-run statute’s primary focus is on bodily injury rather than property damage. The more severe the injuries caused, up to death, the greater the consequences are. Committing a hit-and-run while uninsured can add further layers of violation, penalties and costs.

Iowa hit-and-run laws

Iowa hit-and-run laws state that the more injuries and damage caused by the accident, the worse the crime of fleeing the scene. The charges can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on whether the injured parties survive. The at-fault driver is liable for costs accrued either through property damage or personal injury.

Beyond the hit-and-run Iowa statutes, insurance consequences can also be severe. SR-22 forms may be required, as well as higher levels of coverage. Insurance companies may also be less willing to work with the at-fault driver. Those companies that will work with them will charge higher premiums. On average, insurance premiums in Iowa can nearly double after being convicted of a hit-and-run.

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

Depending on some circumstances, being involved in a hit-and-run can increase the average cost of car insurance for either driver. The at-fault driver will face increased premiums and legal charges if identified by the police. The victim will likely face higher premiums if they have to file a claim on their policy to cover the costs of the accident.

For drivers in Iowa at fault for a hit-and-run, their annual auto insurance premiums go up an average of $1,130, which is just under double. By comparison, drivers in Iowa who are at fault for an accident that is not a hit-and-run only see their annual premiums rise an average of $471. Insurance companies, like state laws, heavily penalize hit-and-runs.

Average annual full coverage premiums:

Before a hit-and-run After a hit-and-run After a standard accident
Iowa average $1,260 $2,390 $1,731
National average $1,674 $3,367 $2,405

4 things to do after a hit-and-run in Iowa

After being the victim of a hit-and-run in Iowa, there are a few steps that are important to consider. The first thing, always, is to make sure of safety. Below is a list of steps for what to do after a hit-and-run in Iowa:

  1. Assess for safety and check for injuries. Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If there are injuries, you may want to contact emergency services for an ambulance.
  2. Report to the police. Once safety is assured, contact the police to report the incident. They will want some basic information about the incident, you and your vehicle.
  3. Detail and document the scene. If it is safe to do so, document the scene as much as possible. These documentations can be pictures, notes or a combination of the two. Evidence can help both the police and the insurance company.
  4. Contact your auto insurance agent. If you intend to file a claim, it is important to promptly contact your insurance company and provide them with the details you gathered in the previous step. They may also want the identification number from the report you filed with the police. It is important to remember that you will have to pay your hit-and-run deductible when filing a claim.

Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?

While your basic liability (minimum coverage) insurance will not cover a hit-and-run, some types of car insurance can function as hit-and-run insurance in Iowa. Collision, uninsured motorists and medical payments are all types of auto insurance that might serve as Iowa hit-and-run insurance, depending on the insurance company and your specific policy nuances.

  • Collision: As the name implies, this type of coverage is to help with costs related to damage that your vehicle sustains from collisions. Unlike minimum coverage, this insurance pays out towards your car instead of others. So, even if you are at fault for an accident or the victim of a hit-and-run, you have insurance to cover your cost of repairs.
  • Uninsured motorist: In essence, these policies are a fill-in for basic liability if another driver, who is uninsured, is at fault for an auto accident that injures you or damages your property. If you are a victim of a hit-and-run, these policies may help with the costs.
  • Medical payments: While it’s important to protect your vehicle, safeguarding your health is even more critical. Medical payments coverage helps to pay for medical bills that result from an auto accident.

Frequently asked questions

How much does car insurance in Iowa cost?

Rates can vary significantly between customers and companies. In 2021, the average annual cost of a full coverage car insurance policy in Iowa is $1,260. The Iowa average yearly cost for minimum coverage is $252. For comparison, the U.S. annual average for full coverage is $1,674.

Who has the cheapest car insurance?

Because rates can vary so much between drivers and companies, the cheapest car insurance for one driver may not be the cheapest for another. Consider comparing some of the Bankrate recommendations for the cheapest car insurance companies in Iowa.

Who has the best car insurance in Iowa?

With policies and rates being as personalized as they are, it can be tricky to pinpoint just one company as the best for car insurance. Experts recommend shopping around between multiple companies to compare quotes and coverages. Consider starting with the Bankrate guide to the best Iowa car insurance companies for 2021.

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 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.

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
Joshua Cox-Steib
Joshua Cox-Steib has two years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, Coverage.com, Thesimpledollar.com, Reviews.com, and more. His work has also been featured on such sites as Msn.com and BBB.org. His insurance writing career has spanned across multiple product lines, with a primary focus on auto insurance, life insurance, and home insurance.
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