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A warning about hit-and-run insurance claims

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

You likely have uninsured motorist coverage as part of your auto insurance to help protect you against drivers who may not carry the legally required coverage. If you get into an accident and the other person has no insurance, you can make a claim to your policy, and your insurance company will pay for your damages up to your coverage limits. 

If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you may think you can take this same approach, especially if you were unable to get any information on the other driver. However, if you do not know the identity of the other driver, then the law prohibits you from making a claim for your damage to your uninsured motorist policy. 

Normal accident 

In a normal accident where the driver stays at the scene and you exchange identification, your insurer allows you to make a claim if the driver lacked proper insurance coverage. The insurance company would not charge you a deductible in this case. 

Hit-and-run accident 

With a hit-and-run accident, if you cannot identify the responsible party, you can only make claims for injuries to your uninsured motorist policy. If you want to make a claim for property damage, you must do that on your collision coverage if you have it. You will have to pay deductibles for your claims. 

The problem 

Lawmakers enacted this law because of the prevalence of insurance fraud. People made false claims of hit-and-run accidents to obtain insurance money. These false claims raised insurance rates for everyone as insurance companies compensated for the losses. 

The difficulty of finding a driver after a hit-and-run accident causes issues for victims, though. If someone hits you and flees the scene, you become responsible financially for something that is not your fault. 

The solution 

The best thing you can do in any accident is to snap a picture of the other vehicle’s license plate right away or write down the number. With this evidence, you may be able to hold the at-fault driver responsible.