Getting into a car accident is truly a miserable experience but what can make it even worse is when you are involved with a hit and run driver.
When this happens things become difficult, but there are things you can do to prevent the situation from becoming a financial disaster. In order to do that, you must be prepared ahead of time when purchasing insurance, especially in big cities where accidents involving hit and run drivers are at a much higher rate.
Whenever there is an accident that involves a supplemental crime, or for that matter someone who does not have any insurance, bodily injury claims or property damage is covered under your own uninsured motorist coverage. This is why it is very important that you purchase uninsured motorist coverage to protect you in the event of a hit and run accident or when the other party has no insurance.
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Will Liability Insurance Cover A ‘Hit and Run’?
Each state has different requirements regarding insurance such as state minimums or liability and what a policy will pay out in the event damages occur during the course of a hit and run accident. The amount you are entitled will be dictated by your own policy as determined by the contract of insurance that you signed up for.
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If you have the minimum the state requires, then that is all you will receive in compensation.
Does Uninsured Motorist Cover Hit and Run?
Unfortunately, there are many uninsured motorists out there, so even if it is not a hit and run accident, it is always best to buy more than the state minimum.
For better peace of mind it is always better to purchase additional uninsured motorist coverage just to be on the safe side, otherwise, you may end up in an unfortunate situation of having your out of pocket expenses being quite large especially if there is property or bodily damage. That is also in addition to the costly car repairs.
There are also policies that you can purchase that lets you decide how much insurance will cover you in case of a serious accident. Underinsured coverage will pay the difference between the damages you sustained and insurance on the vehicle that is at fault. Depending on the state you reside in will determine the amount of underinsured motorist coverage available that you can collect on when the accident exceeds the limits of the at-fault driver’s policy.
Now underinsured only works when you can get a description of the hit and run driver. Although you may be in a daze immediately after the accident, it is important to get some type of information, whether it is partial license plate recognition or the color and type of vehicle that was involved. If you can, ask around to see if there are any witnesses to the accident and try to gather as much information as possible.
Filing a Police Report
As you gather information it is important that you contact the police right away. They will record the accident and also be on the lookout for the hit and run driver. Their dispatcher will notify other officers in the area that there was such crime while also giving them important details that you provide.
Hit and Run Insurance Claim
Once all of the information is determined at the scene, the next step is to contact your insurance company. They will help with the tow and begin to process your claim. If you can identify the other driver then your insurance company can file the claim with the other driver’s company, provided they too have insurance.
There are no guarantees of that either since they likely fled the scene for a reason. You may be stuck holding the bag which is why you should always have an adequate amount of uninsured motorist coverage to protect you and your family in case a terrible hit and run accident should occur.
It is also important to know your insurance coverage and what limits to compensation you are entitled to. If you need help determining the right amount of coverage, there are insurance lawyers who can help. They might even be able to help you collect additional damages after the accident should not have adequate coverage.
It is imperative that you know the difference between having uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured. Having sufficient knowledge of how much coverage you have and what you are entitled to in case of a hit and run accident will likely determine how much compensation you get in the event of a serious car accident.
The best advice is to always purchase more uninsured coverage than less because you never know when disaster can strike. It makes it even worse when you are left with the entire bill due to no fault of your own, except for having not enough coverage.
Thankfully you can protect yourself and control the amount of coverage by purchasing additional insurance without any deposit.