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

1
400tmax/Getty Images
Bankrate Logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . This content is powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838). For more information, please see our

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been experiencing a “hit-and-run epidemic” for several years, with about 40 hit-and-runs occurring per day. Police completed reports for nearly 29,000 Philadelphia hit-and-runs in 2017-2018. Many of the hit-and-runs resulted in injuries or fatalities, but even colliding with a vehicle or someone’s property and failing to leave your contact information or report the accident could be considered a hit-and-run in Pennsylvania.

Although hit-and-runs may seem common in certain parts of the state, leaving the scene of an accident often comes with consequences such as fines, misdemeanor charges and a significant increase in your car insurance.

Hit-and-runs in Pennsylvania

A news report found that Frankford, North Philadelphia, Kensington and Port Richmond had the most reported cases of hit-and-runs in the state. And while Pennsylvania hit-and-run law includes penalties for drivers who fail to stop, police can sometimes be overwhelmed with the number of daily complaints they receive and unable to investigate them all. Many citizens take matters into their hands by recording hit-and-runs and submitting evidence to local police.

Pennsylvania hit-and-run laws

The hit-and-run Pennsylvania statute, or Title 75 to be exact, states that drivers are expected to immediately — or shortly after — stop their vehicle at the scene of an accident they are involved in to exchange information or provide aid. Failing to stop after hitting an occupied vehicle could result in a third-degree misdemeanor and considerable consequences, including a $2,500 fine, imprisonment up to a year or both.

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

Pennsylvania’s car insurance rates are less than national rates on average. Full coverage costs Pennsylvania drivers an average of $1,476 per year. However, just like other incidents on your driving record, hit-and-runs could significantly impact your premium. An at-fault accident will likely raise Pennsylvania premiums by about 50%. A hit-and-run is generally more severe and you could double your premium after a hit-and-run citation or conviction.

If you cause an accident or collision, experts recommend that you stop your vehicle, exchange information and take financial responsibility. Attempting to avoid the situation could cost you far more in fines and higher premiums than an accident would.

Average annual full coverage premiums:

Before a hit-and-run After a hit-and-run After a standard accident
Pennsylvania average $1,476 $3,030 $2,226
National average $1,674 $3,367 $2,405

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

Causing an accident can be a stressful situation. Remember that insurance is there to cover you financially. Consider the following steps to help ensure that you are not charged with a Pennsylvania hit-and-run.

  1. Stop: As soon as the accident occurs, pull over to a safe place and prepare to check on other drivers, pedestrians or property that you hit.
  2. Call for help: Check on everyone involved and call for emergency services if someone is injured. If any of the vehicles are unable to be moved and need to be towed, one of the parties left the scene of the accident or there are injuries, you will likely need to call the police so they may come and file a report.
  3. Notify your insurance company: Once the injured parties have been attended to, you should call your vehicle insurance company and give them the details of the accident. You may need to submit photographs of the scene and damage and any witness statements or the police report.

Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?

Your vehicle insurance could cover a hit-and-run in several ways, depending on how much coverage you have. The two standard categories of car insurance are:

  • Minimum coverage car insurance: If you purchased Pennsylvania’s minimum required coverage in the state, liability insurance will help pay for the damages and injuries you caused to others. And if you were the victim of the hit-and-run, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will likely reimburse your expenses if the person responsible disappeared. However, if your car needs repairs, liability insurance will not pay for it.
  • Full coverage car insurance: If you have full coverage, the liability portion will pay for third-party losses. In addition, the collision portion could help pay for your vehicle’s repairs, even if you were at fault.

Frequently asked questions

How much does car insurance cost in Pennsylvania?

Based on 2021 rates, the average cost of car insurance in the state of Pennsylvania is $427 per year for minimum coverage and $1,476 per year for full coverage car insurance.

How much does my car insurance go up after a hit-and-run?

Your car insurance company will likely raise your premiums by a significant amount after a hit-and-run in Pennsylvania. We found that the average cost of car insurance after a hit-and-run doubled to $3,030 per year.

Do I have to pay a deductible after a hit-and-run accident?

If you are at fault in a Pennsylvania hit-and-run, you will typically have to pay the insurance deductible on any claims filed. If you are the victim and need your uninsured motorist coverage to pay for your injuries, your claim payout may not include a deductible.

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
Cynthia Paez Bowman
Personal Finance Contributor
Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance and business journalist who has been featured in Bankrate, Business Jet Traveler, MSN, CheatSheet.com, Freshome.com and TheSimpleDollar.com. She regularly travels to Africa and the Middle East to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development and works with select startups and women-owned businesses to provide growth and visibility.
Edited by
Insurance Editor