Auto Insurance: What to do in a Hit and Run
Hit and run auto accidents happen far too often and in some cases your auto insurance won’t cover the damage, so what can you do to protect yourself? Unfortunately you can’t avoid hit-and-run drivers and while you may be lucky enough to see the accident, in many cases you will arrive at your car to find it damaged with no one in sight.
The first step after you arrive at your car is to call the police and see if you can round up any witnesses. If you were lucky enough to witness the accident yourself you want to make sure you get the drivers license plate number and if possible, grab a couple people who witnessed the event. Always make sure you call the police and file a report because without one you will have a difficult time getting your insurance claim approved. If you didn’t witness the accident but someone else in the area did, you want to make sure you get their full name, address and phone number. These people may be your only evidence that something happened to your vehicle and it is of the utmost importance you get their personal contact information. Often times no one will be standing on the street waiting to tell you what they saw. In such cases it doesn’t hurt to knock on doors and speak to anyone who could have possibly seen the accident first hand. Having the license plate number is highly valuable as police will be able to track the other vehicle and match the damage to what your vehicle sustained.
Once you do all of this you want to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it is going to be to get your claim approved. If it is after hours make sure you call your insurance providers 24-hour hotline, do not wait to file your claim. The good news is that if you carry collision coverage and you have a police report and statements from witnesses you should be able to get the vehicle repaired. The bad news is that without a police report or proper insurance coverage you are out of luck. Once you file your claim, your insurance company will probably send you a hit-and-run insurance form. You may be asked to provide a police report and describe the accident. Make sure you are descriptive as possible. Any misrepresentation or contradicting reports could lead your insurance company to think you are trying to commit fraud.
Locating the vehicle, driver or owner of the other cars involved in the accident will help in filing your claim. By doing so you can get their insurance provider to pay for the damage. So even if you do not carry collision coverage you can still get your vehicle repaired. However, this is often difficult and you will need eyewitnesses or the driver of the other vehicle in order to prove your claim. If you cannot provide the license number of the other car, have no uninsured motorist coverage and no full coverage you are basically out of luck.
Those unlucky enough to be the victim of a hit and run have few options to resolve the situation. Always make sure you contact the police, get eyewitness accounts and contact information. Contact your insurance provider promptly and take meticulous notes about the accident. If all this is in order, you should be able to get your vehicle repaired with little trouble.