The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate, we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. To help readers understand how insurance affects their finances, we have licensed insurance professionals on staff who have spent a combined 47 years in the auto, home and life insurance industries. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation of . Our content is backed by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed entity (NPN: 19966249). For more information, please see our .
Getting involved in a car accident can be frightening and stressful. However, it can be even worse if you’re involved in a hit-and-run, where the other driver attempts to avoid responsibility. Knowing what to do in the aftermath of a hit-and-run in Kentucky could help you feel more confident on the road. Here, Bankrate explores hit-and-run laws and insurance procedures to help you prepare.
Hit-and-runs in Kentucky
A hit-and run occurs when someone involved in a motor vehicle accident leaves the scene. Typically, this happens when a driver causes an accident and wants to escape without being held liable. Nearly 14% of drivers in Kentucky are uninsured. Because driving without insurance in Kentucky is illegal, an uninsured driver may be even more motivated to flee.
Kentucky hit-and-run laws
According to Kentucky law, if a driver is involved in any motor vehicle accident causing property damage, injury or death, they 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 usually suffice as taking responsibility.
But if you leave 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
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run in Kentucky, the incident typically won’t be surchargeable on your insurance policy. However, circumstances may vary by provider and state. But even if you were to experience an increase in your premium, it would likely be much less than if you were at fault.
When you are found at fault for any accident, you will likely see an increase in your insurance rates. If you are later caught after having fled the scene, you’re likely to get a motor vehicle violation for leaving, as well. Since there would be two incidents on record instead of one, the premium increase you might face would typically be much higher than if you stayed at the scene of the accident.
The average annual cost of car insurance in Kentucky for drivers with clean records is $2,124 for full coverage and $678 for minimum coverage. These rates are slightly higher than the national averages of $2,014 and $622, respectively. A standard at-fault accident could add around $1,000 to your annual premium — and a hit-and-run could inflate your rates even further.
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 the victim of such an accident. Experts recommend that you 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.
Consider the following 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 specific marks on the vehicle. Writing this information down might be helpful.
- Report the accident. As soon as you have evaluated the situation, call 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 also 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 are involved in an accident, your car insurance may protect you financially by covering some of the damages. However, this ultimately depends on the state you live in, the laws that are in place and the coverages on your policy. Kentucky is a no-fault state, which means that each driver is required to be offered a minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which helps pay for your own injuries regardless of which driver caused the collision.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Kentucky, your insurance policy may help pay for your property damage if you have certain coverage types. You may be able to pay your deductible and have your vehicle fixed using collision coverage. Additionally, your own uninsured motorist coverage or PIP could help to pay for your injuries. If your policy includes PIP, coverage is afforded for medical expenses, wage losses and essential services.
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 ensure you’re prepared.
Frequently asked questions
The average cost of full coverage car insurance in the United States is $2,014 per year. Kentucky drivers pay an average of $2,124 annually. However, the amount you pay for insurance will vary based on factors like your demographics, ZIP code, driving record, insurance history, vehicle type and desired coverage. It can be helpful to get quotes from different car insurance companies to determine which one best fits your needs.
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 and $50,000 per accident and property damage liability of $25,000 per accident. A policy with a single limit of $60,000 is also compliant with Kentucky law.
Since Kentucky is a no-fault state, each driver must be offered at least $10,000 per person per accident of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, as well. PIP can help pay for medical expenses, lost wages and other costs due to an injury if you are involved in an accident, regardless of who was at fault. However, you may forego PIP coverage for yourself and your household members. If PIP is rejected, you must carry basic guest PIP to cover guest passengers in your vehicle, though. Experts recommend speaking with an insurance professional who can fully explain your options and help you design a policy that works best for your circumstances.