If you have ever been involved in a car accident, you know how frightening it can be. At the accident scene, your adrenaline races and tensions are high. Days later, you may still be dealing with car repairs and insurance adjusters — all while trying to recover if you were injured. This stress can be even higher if the accident was complicated, such as a hit-and-run accident.
Nearly 14% of drivers in Kentucky are uninsured, which could make them more likely to leave the scene of an accident. Bankrate’s research about hit-and-run laws and insurance premiums in Kentucky might help you prepare, should you be involved in a hit-and-run. Knowing what to do after a hit-and-run in Kentucky could make you feel more confident on the road.
Hit-and-runs in Kentucky
A hit-and-run occurs when someone involved in a motor vehicle accident leaves the accident scene. Typically, this happens when a driver causes the accident and wants to escape without being held liable.
Hit-and run accidents are taken very seriously. The American Automobile Association (AAA) found that a hit-and-run occurs every 43 seconds in the U.S. In Kentucky alone, hit-and-run accidents resulted in 23 deaths in 2016. Alarmingly, statistics also show that 21% of hit-and-run accidents result in pedestrian deaths nationwide.
Kentucky hit-and-run laws
According to Kentucky law, the operator of a vehicle involved in any motor vehicle accident causing property damage, injury or death, must stop, evaluate the situation and render assistance to the other involved parties. If you cause property damage but no other driver is involved, like hitting a parked car in a parking lot, leaving a note with your name, address, vehicle registration and insurance information will suffice as taking responsibility.
If you left the scene of the accident, you may be charged with fines, have points put on your license and face an increase in insurance premiums. You could even lose your license or face criminal charges that result in jail time.
How hit-and-runs impact car insurance rates in Kentucky
Whenever you are found at-fault for an accident, you will likely see an increase in your insurance premiums. Kentucky hit-and-run accidents are considered serious violations, so the premium increase you face by causing a hit-and-run is typically much higher than the increase you would face by causing an accident where you stayed at the scene.
Nationally, the average cost of full coverage car insurance more than doubles after causing a hit-and-run. Because the average insurance premium is already higher in Kentucky, drivers who cause a hit-and-run could face an average premium of $4,401 annually. That means that causing a hit-and-run in Kentucky could increase your annual premium over $2,200, whereas a standard at-fault accident causes just under a $1,000 increase on average.
Average annual full coverage premiums:
|Before a hit-and-run||After a hit-and-run||After a standard accident|
4 things to do after a hit-and-run in Kentucky
Knowing what to do after a hit-and-run in Kentucky can prepare you in the event you are ever a victim of such an accident. Your objective should be to make sure everyone is okay, get help for anyone injured, and if possible, try to make observations that will help the police department locate the driver who caused the hit-and-run.
After a hit-and-run, you might want to take the following four steps:
- Stop and evaluate yourself and others for injuries. Determine if anyone is injured and if so, immediately call for emergency services. You may feel fine at first, but seeking a professional medical opinion may be a good idea.
- Try to observe the vehicle that caused the accident as they are leaving the scene. Note any identifying factors such as the license plate number, vehicle type, driver description or even bumper stickers or other specific marks on the vehicle. Writing this information down might be helpful.
- Report the accident. As soon as you have evaluated the situation, you may want to call for help and get the police to the scene. Not only will a law enforcement officer create an official police report, which could be helpful for an insurance claim, but they may be able to help locate the at-fault party.
- Collect your own evidence. The scene of an accident can be chaotic. Although it is not always possible, it can be helpful if you collect your own evidence — so long as you do not interfere with the official police investigation. Take photos of your vehicle’s damage and the surrounding area, gather contact information for any witnesses and take note if any public locations in the vicinity may have a video recording of the accident.
Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?
If you cause a hit-and-run accident, your insurance policy’s liability coverage is designed to pay for the damages that you cause, including injuries and property damage.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Kentucky, your own insurance policy might step in to help pay for your property damage, but only if you have certain coverages. You may be able to pay your deductible and have your vehicle fixed using collision coverage. Additionally, your own uninsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection (PIP) could help to pay for your injuries.
Talking to your agent or a representative from your company about how your policy would respond to a hit-and-run may be the best way to be prepared.
Frequently asked questions
How much does car insurance cost?
The average cost of full coverage car insurance in the United States is $1,674 per year. Kentucky drivers pay an average of $2,128 annually. The cost of your car insurance will vary based on personal demographics, ZIP code, driving record, insurance history, vehicle type and desired coverage. It can be helpful to get quotes from different insurance carriers to determine which company best fits your needs.
What are the minimum insurance limits required in Kentucky?
Each state sets its own minimum insurance requirements and not carrying the proper insurance can result in serious penalties. In Kentucky, drivers are required to carry bodily injury liability of $25,000 per person, up to $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. A policy with a single limit of $60,000 is also compliant with Kentucky law.
When you buy an auto insurance policy in Kentucky, you must select a tort option. This affects your ability to sue another driver for damages. If you accept Kentucky’s tort limitation, you must also purchase $10,000 in PIP coverage. If you reject the limitation, you can also reject PIP for yourself and other household members, but must still maintain guest PIP for your passengers.
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.