If you’ve recently been the victim of a hit and run incident, you’ve probably got a lot on your mind. First and foremost, you must be wondering who will pay for the damage to your vehicle, or for your medical bills. As frustrating as it is to be in an accident, luckily, there are a few ways that coverage works for a hit and run when you’re the victim.
Anyone who’s been in an accident or a near-miss knows that the aftermath is stressful. However, by keeping a cool head and following these steps, you’ll be on your way to redemption, regardless of whether the other driver disappears.
First, get as much information about the other vehicle as possible. Even if the other driver decides to commit a hit and run, having even a part of his license plate number, along with the model or colour of the vehicle could be enough to track him down.
Second, pull over as soon as you’re able to and call the police to file a report. While waiting for the police to arrive to hear your statement, take as many photos of your vehicle as possible to help with the claims process later on.
Finally, call your own insurance company to let them know that you’ve been in an incident—especially if it was a hit and run.
While not every insurance company is the same, many will provide coverage for a hit and run if you’re the victim—provided you have collision coverage. The downside though, is that you will likely be on the hook for the deductible.
Once you’ve contacted your insurance company and reported the incident, they’ll let you know their specific policies, as well as the process to get your vehicle repaired and how to file a claim and get a repair estimate.
Fortunately, although you might be required to pay a deductible when you file a claim as the victim of a hit and run, your insurance premiums probably won’t increase. This is because you are not “at fault” for the incident.
If you don’t have collision coverage, you’re out of luck for the cost of any repairs. In that scenario, your best bet is to hope the police can find the person who fled the scene and have his insurance pick up the bill.
In some cases, you might not have insurance at all—for example, a pedestrian who is struck and then abandoned at the scene. In those cases, many provinces have special protections that allow victims of a hit and run to receive compensation directly from the government. The compensation amount and requirement for eligibility vary from province to province.
Being the victim of a hit and run incident is frightening. Without knowing how coverage works for a hit and run if you’re the victim, you might not understand what to do next, how to repair your vehicle or how to have your medical expenses reimbursed. By keeping a cool head and contacting your insurance company, you can quickly be on your way to restoring your financial well-being—albeit usually at the cost of a pricey deductible.