Does car insurance cover hit and run damage? Let's examine the steps to take in the wake of an accident.
If you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run car accident, you're familiar with the anger and confusion that follows. Unfortunately, these incidents are fairly common, so it’s important to understand the auto insurance implications of a hit and run. Let’s take a look at the steps to take to ensure your car insurance covers you in the wake of a hit and run as well as how a hit and run affects the perpetrator's insurance rates if they're caught.
Car insurance does cover hit and run accidents, as long as you carry collision or uninsured property damage coverage. While these coverage options are not legally required, they’re fairly common. If your vehicle is leased or financed, you probably have this coverage by default.
While many insurance agents say collision and uninsured property damage coverages are identical, that's not always true.
Collision and uninsured property damage (UMPD) are designed to cover damage to your vehicle. Each comes with a deductible. However, the difference lies in the fault. In the case of an accident, collision coverage denotes fault to an insurance company. This is why you’ll often see a premium increase after filing a collision claim.
Car insurance rates after a collision claim:
|Increase at 6 months||Increase at 12 months||Increase at 3 Years|
By definition, UMPD covers you against the actions of an uninsured driver. Thus, you shouldn’t receive a substantial — more than a few percentage points — rate increase after filing a UMPD claim.
While your insurance agent might say collision and UMPD are basically the same, you should ask about the potential rate hike you would face after a UMPD claim vs. a collision claim to fully understand the difference.
For a step-by-step summary of what to do about insurance after a car accident, see our guide to filing an insurance claim. While there is a lot to consider, the big things to keep in mind after a hit and run include:
Being victimized in a hit and run can be a nightmare. Your car insurance after a hit and run should be a steady and reliable source of protection.
If you’ve been charged with committing a hit and run violation, expect your car insurance premium to rise drastically. On average, your premium will increase by over 82% — making it the most expensive violation you can receive. Considering most insurance companies will charge you for three to five years after a serious violation, you could end up paying a penalty of an extra $1,200 per year in additional premiums alone.
Below are estimated car insurance rates for a driver with a hit and run on his or her record.
|Company||Average Premium after a Hit and Run|
Getting car insurance after committing a hit and run will be very expensive — even pricier than being charged with an at-fault accident. Below are rates from the same insurance companies after an at-fault accident.
|Company||Average after At-Fault Accident||Difference from Hit and Run|
Car insurance after a hit and run can be a difficult process. Talk to your insurance company and understand your coverage options. If you have uninsured motorist property damage coverage, use it. While this will come with a deductible, the rate increase will cost less than a collision claim. If your insurance company does increase your rate significantly after a hit-and-run claim, you should consider shopping around for car insurance. You shouldn’t be paying for a claim you did not cause.
If you have a hit-and-run conviction on your car insurance record, this will be one of the most expensive tickets you can receive. On average, your insurance premium will increase by about 82%. Your best option for finding cheap insurance going forward will be to shop around. Enter your zip code below to see insurance rates designed for your record.