The first rule about auto insurance liability coverage is you need auto liability insurance coverage. It’s a required form of insurance coverage across the U.S., so if you’ve thought about opting out, you’ll most likely be breaking the law in your state. But you shouldn’t just rely on your liability plan. Carrying the minimum amount of insurance imposed by your state may not protect you in all cases—especially when you’re the victim of a hit-and-run collision.
Here are some tips on what to do if you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident.
Are You Covered?
It’s hard to believe that someone would cause an accident on the road and just take off, but it happens all the time. The number one thing you need to do in a hit-and-run accident is stay at the scene. NPR has reported that hit-and-run accidents are steadily increasing in the U.S., leaving motorists, pedestrians and cyclists stranded, and in the absolute worst cases, dead.
These accidents have increased by 15 percent since 2000, and it’s not expected that they’re going to slow down any time soon. Zacks Finance has found that 11 percent of all traffic collisions are classified as a hit-and-run, so who pays for it? Chances are you will. And if you don’t have the right auto insurance coverage, you’ll be paying for repairs and medical expenses directly out of pocket.
If you carry only state-mandated liability insurance, your insurance company will not cover the costs for damages in your hit-and-run accident. Liability insurance does not cover the financial costs of your property or person in the event of an accident. Liability insurance only covers the costs of the bodily injury and property damages of the other motorist in an accident you have caused. As the a hit-and-run victim, you’re out of luck with liability insurance.
Auto insurance types that will protect you in a hit-and-run event include:
Coverages vary by state when it comes to hit-and-run accidents, so make sure your plan protects you in such an event.
So, How Do You Protect Yourself
How can you protect yourself in this situation? The very first thing you need to do when you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident is call the police and stay on the scene. If someone hit you as you were driving, pull over to a safe area. Try to get as many details as you can ready about the vehicle that hit you, including:
We suggest keeping a small notebook and pen in your glove compartment in preparation for this type of situation. Getting the details right is incredibly important, especially when you’ll be making a claim with your insurance agent. Writing everything down will help you to make sure you remember the details of the event and will give the responding officer more information to work with.
Once you’ve filed a report with the police, contact your insurance agency. Your agent will help you file a claim and get you and your car back on the road.
Let’s face it: car accidents are the worst, and not having sufficient insurance protection can be painful for you and your wallet. Let CoverHound help you find an insurance package that will meet all of your needs.