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What to do after a hit-and-run in New Hampshire

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If you are involved in a hit-and-run in New Hampshire, it’s important to know what to do from an insurance standpoint if the other driver fails to stop and exchange information. Hit-and-run accidents are one reason why insurance is required in most states, since your own coverage may kick in if the other driver can’t be found.

New Hampshire does not require auto insurance for drivers, although it is strongly recommended by the state DMV, and the Insurance Information Institute estimates more than 90% of the state’s drivers do have policies. In addition, if you choose to forego insurance, you must prove you have financial resources to cover the costs you might incur in an at-fault collision. If you choose to purchase insurance, minimum limits do apply. If you do not have auto insurance to protect you financially from a New Hampshire hit-and-run, you would have to pay for repairs and medical costs out-of-pocket.

Hit-and-runs in New Hampshire

A hit-and-run accident is one in which the at-fault driver hits a pedestrian, stationary object or another vehicle and leaves the scene without stopping to render aid or exchange information. New Hampshire hit-and-run law states that a driver must stop if they are involved in any accident that causes death, injury or property damage. Failure to do so is considered a misdemeanor, and in some cases, a felony.

In addition, a police report is required if there is damage in excess of $1,000. Even if the damage does not exceed this limit, it’s typically a good idea to call the police. A police report can be a valuable document if and when you file an insurance claim for damages and can help to establish fault for the incident, even if the other driver flees the scene.

New Hampshire hit-and-run laws

Causing an accident and fleeing the scene is a crime in New Hampshire. You are required by law to stop following a collision and give the other driver or property owner your name, address, license number and insurance information. If the other person is injured, you must give this information to a police officer. Either you or the officer must submit a report within 15 days to the DMV. If you fail to follow these instructions, you may be charged with a misdemeanor. Giving false information increases the potential charge to a class B felony.

Involvement in a hit-and-run will also likely impact your insurance. If the driver is found, they are responsible for damages and medical costs, but if they cannot be found, you may need to file a claim on your own policy. You could see your rates increase after this, unless you have a form of rate protection that ensures your premium will not increase after a claim.

How hit-and-runs impact car insurance rates in New Hampshire

If you are involved in a hit-and-run and flee the scene or do not follow proper protocol post-collision, you may be required to file a New Hampshire SR-22. Hit-and-runs are among the more serious high-risk driving behaviors that can cause insurers to charge higher premiums, so this incident on your motor vehicle record could have serious financial impacts.

The average cost of a full coverage auto policy, which includes collision and comprehensive coverage, is $1,275 per year in New Hampshire. If factoring in a standard collision, in which a driver does not flee the scene, insurance rates increase to an average of $1,596 per year. But if the driver does leave the scene of the incident, the average premium increases to an annual rate of $1,983. Compared to the state average, this is a substantial increase of about 56%.

Average annual full coverage premiums:

Before a hit-and-run After a hit-and-run After a standard accident
New Hampshire average $1,275 $1,983 $1,596
National average $1,674 $3,367 $2,311

6 things to do after a hit-and-run in New Hampshire

You may be wondering what to do in New Hampshire after a hit-and-run. With safety as your top priority, here are a few considerations you may find helpful to review, in the event you are ever the victim of this type of incident.

  1. Be safe: If you can safely do so, get your car off the road or to a safe shoulder. If you’re on a heavily trafficked road, be very careful about exiting the vehicle.
  2. Check for injuries: Assess yourself, your passengers, and anyone else involved for injuries and seek medical help immediately if necessary.
  3. Call the police: Calling for medical help will typically also trigger a police response, but separate from any requests for medical assistance, it’s best to contact the authorities, particularly with a hit-and-run. A police report can help establish fault and make your insurance claim filing process go more smoothly.
  4. Gather documentation: If it is safe to do so, take pictures of the damage and the road you were on at the time of the incident. If you don’t have a camera or smartphone, write down as many details as you can, including the weather and the level of traffic. If you see possible witnesses, you could also ask them for their contact information and see if they’re willing to stay and talk to the police.
  5. Cooperate with the police: If there is any information that you can give officers to help them track down the perpetrator, it is helpful to cooperate.
  6. File your insurance claim: If possible and necessary, contact your insurer to open a claim. Call your agent, who can answer questions and review your policy with you. Or, if you prefer, many insurers now allow you to file a claim online via a website or mobile app.

Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?

Auto insurance policies may cover you in the event of a hit-and-run if the other driver cannot be found, depending what type of coverage is included on your policy. The first step is determining if the other driver can be found. If found and determined to be at fault for the incident, the offending driver’s liability insurance should cover your damages and medical costs.

If the other driver is not located, or if you would like financial compensation without having to wait for the other driver to be found, a few coverage  types may be useful immediately. Per New Hampshire statutes, if you purchase auto insurance you must also buy at least $1,000 in medical payment coverage. This coverage may allow you to file a claim for medical expense reimbursement whether the other driver is found or not.

New Hampshire law also requires you to buy uninsured motorist coverage if you carry a policy. Your coverage for this will typically be equal to your liability limits and might be able to be used to file a claim for damages following a hit-and-run. If you have a full coverage policy, your collision coverage may also be used for your vehicle damages, although you may have to pay your deductible.

Frequently asked questions

How much does car insurance cost?

The average cost of a full coverage insurance policy in New Hampshire is $1,275 per year, which is below the national average of $1,674 per year. Your specific rate will depend largely on factors unique to you, including your age, motor vehicle record and insurance-based credit score. If you have a hit-and-run on your record, rates can be up to 56% higher or more than the state average, depending on the insurer and your other personal factors.

Who has the best car insurance in New Hampshire?

The best car insurance company is likely to be different for each driver and will depend on a number of factors. One way to find the best company for you is to gather quotes from at least three auto insurers to find the right balance of affordability, coverage or discount options, and customer service.

How does a hit-and-run impact New Hampshire insurance?

Filing a claim can sometimes increase the cost of your insurance, even if you aren’t at fault, but if you are the perpetrator of a hit-and-run, rates can increase substantially. Analysis of 2021 quoted annual premiums from Quadrant Information Services indicates rates increased an average of 56% with a hit-and-run conviction factored in.

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, hit-and-run, single DUI conviction or lapse in coverage.

Written by
Mary Van Keuren
Insurance Contributor
Mary Van Keuren has written for insurance domains such as Bankrate, Coverage.com, and The Simple Dollar for the past five years, specializing in home and auto insurance. She has also written extensively for consumer websites including Reviews.com and Slumber Yard. Prior to that, she worked as a writer in academia for several decades.
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