Does Insurance Cover a Hit and Run?

A hit and run accident can leave you footing the bill. Carry more than just liability insurance so you don’t have to pay for damages yourself. Read here to learn what coverage you need.
Cheryl Knight
Expert Insurance Writer
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins, VP of Content
hit and run accident
happens when a driver hits another vehicle, property, or pedestrian and doesn't stop to provide their insurance or personal information.
Such an action is illegal across the U.S., and hit and run penalties range from a traffic ticket to felony hit and run charges if anyone was hurt in the accident.
Knowing who pays for hit and run damages, what type of insurance you need to protect against a hit and run, and what to do following a hit and run can help you quickly resolve the situation and get back on the road.
Check out the following key details by
to learn if your
car insurance
covers hit and runs.
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Does car insurance cover hit and runs?

Whether or not the damages from a hit and run are covered by insurance depends on the type of coverage you carry and whether or not the culprit is identified.
If someone does a hit and run but you get their license plate number, it's possible that the police will be able to figure out who it is. Their liability insurance will then pay for the damages.
If they don't have insurance, however, you need
uninsured/underinsured motorist
collision coverage
to pay for the damages. If you don't have those coverage options, you could sue the other party in court for damages.
If the hit and run offender isn't identified, it's up to your insurance plan. If you only have liability insurance, your insurer won't cover a hit and run. Liability insurance is only meant to cover damage to other parties in the event that you're in an accident. You usually need collision coverage in order to be covered for a hit and run.
Keep in mind that you will first need to meet your

What car insurance coverage covers a hit and run accident?

If you only have liability, you do not have much recourse when it comes to paying for property damage or bodily injury after a hit and run. Luckily, you can opt for certain coverage types beforehand that can help pay for injuries and property damages after a hit and run accident.
  • Collision Coverage: Most often, collision coverage pays for damage to your car in a hit and run accident. You do need to pay the deductible first before any coverage kicks in, but the insurance should cover the rest up to your dollar limits selected.
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage: Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage kicks in if the other driver in the accident doesn't have insurance, and it may pay for injuries suffered in a hit and run too. Check with your agent to see if you have this type of insurance and if it covers such accidents.
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage: The same factors cited above for uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage also apply to uninsured motorist property damage coverage, though in this case it deals specifically with property damage. While this type of coverage might cover your car, keep in mind that you usually need to pay a deductible before coverage kicks in.
  • Medical Payments (MedPay) Coverage:
    pays for injuries suffered in an accident regardless of where the fault lies. MedPay usually only pays what health insurance doesn't, and also it usually has a deductible and coverage limit.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Similar to MedPay,
    PIP coverage
    can also help pay your medical bills in relation to a hit and run accident. PIP can also pay for lost wages resulting from such an accident and cover child care and homecare expenses if you cannot perform them due to injuries suffered from a hit and run accident.

What to do if you are a victim of a hit and run accident

While a hit and run accident might catch you by surprise, by remaining focused, you can get the information to assist the police in catching the offender and help you when filing your claim.
When a hit and run accident does occur, follow these steps to ensure that you do everything possible to protect yourself and your property.
Pull over and check for injuries and damage. Write down all the details of the accident, including:
  • A description of the car involved in the hit and run (this includes color, make, model, and the license plate number). Also, a description of the driver can help police track them down.
  • The time and location of the hit and run.
  • A sequence of events can also help. You should also write down which way the vehicle was heading directly after the accident.
  • Get any information from any eyewitnesses, including their name and contact number.
You'll then want to call the police and report the accident. Make sure that an officer files a police report, since this can help corroborate your testimony and serves as an important part of your claim.
Call your insurance company and report the hit and run accident. You want to complete this step within 24 hours. If you have any questions about filing a hit and run claim, make sure to ask your agent.
Luckily, you have options when it comes to a hit and run accident. By keeping a clear mind when it happens and writing down details from the incident, you can help catch the at-fault driver.

Get the coverage you need

If you don't already have the coverage necessary to protect you from a hit and run, now's a good time to do some extra car insurance shopping. You can either ask for collision coverage from your current insurer, or, you can shop around to find the coverage you need at cheaper rates.
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