Does Car Insurance Cover a Hit and Run Collision?
Hit and run accidents happen in a variety of ways and for many reasons. Recently a customer told me she was driving home on a Saturday night around 10:00 pm when a car made an illegal left hand turn and hit her vehicle. After impact he drove away! She said her fight or flight kicked in and she chased the driver! Finally the driver stopped, where she was able to take photos and exchange information.
In this case, it was a group of teenagers driving home from a homecoming dance. The young driver was scared, it was his first accident. Obviously, chasing down a driver is a really bad idea and could be dangerous! After all, the driver could be a criminal or someone with a gun. Thankfully, everything turned out ok for this customer.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Involved in a Hit and Run Accident?
- Stay calm, your safety is priority #1
- Try to document with photos or ask if any witnesses saw a license plate.
- Call the police, although they may not come out if there are no injuries.
- Call your car insurance company to see if you have coverage.
Does my Car Insurance Cover Auto Body Repairs?
Your car insurance policy may have coverage. It really depends on what coverages you agreed to at the time the policy was purchased. Hit and run car accidents can be covered under “collision damage”. You will have to pay a deductible even though it was not your fault.
Uninsured motorist coverage may pay for collision repair and typically there is no deductible. If you elected not to purchase this optional coverage (in AZ) you may have to make a claim under “collision damage” or pay for auto body repairs out of pocket. Often, people who purchase their insurance policy online with the “only pay for what you need” theory, may be left without coverage.
Will my Car Insurance Rates Go Up?
Obviously, no one wants their car insurance premiums to increase, especially if the collision was not their fault. As mentioned before, I strongly recommend photos, and/or witnesses. When an insured calls to make a claim for a hit and run, the insurance company may question if it really was a hit and run. Perhaps, it was reckless driving, perhaps you were driving under the influence. They may think there was really only one vehicle involved in the accident. Maybe you hit a tree or a wall. Documenting with photos will help verify time of day and the location of the accident.
Once the hit and run claim is made on your auto insurance policy it will go on your insurance record. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports that claim frequency may affect your insurance premiums.
Will the Accident be Reported to Carfax
Some auto body shops report to Carfax and some do not. Even if the auto body shop does not report, plenty of other parties may share this information with Carfax. Take a moment to think about how many parties are involved:
- Towing Company
- Insurance Company (and third parties they may share your info with)
Will my Insurance Cover a Rental Car?
Hopefully, your insurance coverage includes “rental reimbursement”. If not, it may be covered under your uninsured motorist coverage. If you elected to decline both of these optional coverages you will have to pay out of pocket for a rental car. If you are paying for the rental, ask the auto body shop if they have any body shop discounts with the rental company frequently used by their customers.
How do I Choose the Right Auto Body Shop?
I think everyone can agree that hit and run accidents are more than irritating. After all, the auto body damage was caused by another party and they had the audacity not to take responsibility for their actions. Yes, your car is damaged but you must get back on track.
I suggest doing a little research and finding a reputable auto body shop to avoid any additional problems. Do not assume your insurance is referring you to the best auto body shop for collision repair. I recommend reading different review sites and checking to see if the shop’s reputation is consistent. Once you have found a collision repair center, view their website. How long have they been in business and what brands of vehicles do they repair?
If you choose wisely, then you will almost be at the end of this unfortunate situation. The right collision repair center will guarantee quality repairs and hand your keys back in a timely manner.
Airpark Collision Center is a well known Scottsdale body shop and family run business since 2006. We ease the stress of an accident by staying in communication with insurance companies and providing excellent customer service and consistent quality repairs. Call or stop in for an estimate!