Does My Auto Insurance Cover a Hit-and-Run Accident?

A hit and run accident is any accident in which a driver intentionally leaves the scene without providing contact information.  Hit-and-run accidents happen and they are terrible. You go into a shopping mall and come out to find that someone hit your parked car but took off, and there is no way to find out who hit you.

If you are able to identify the person who hit you, you can get the car insurance information from their insurance company or the policy and file a claim with their car insurance company.

If You Know Who Is The Driver

In Ohio, you need to know the identity of the other driver that hit you or to prove physical contact with another vehicle to submit an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim.  Uninsured/Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage will pay the costs of your injuries up to your policy limits, but uninsured/underinsured property damage does not pay for damage to your car as you need an identified at-fault driver.  So, get as much detail as you can remember about the description of the car that hit you.

Here’s what to do if another driver strikes your parked car:

  1. Collect information from the other driver: Name; Address; Contact Number; Explanation of Accident; Insurance Company
  2. Check for witnesses:  Collect their contact information in case police and/or insurance company wants to contact them during an investigation.
  3. Take photos:  Take pictures of the damage to both cars and the license plate number of the other car.
  4. Contact police:  Many states require you to call police when your vehicle is involved in an accident. If there is any noticeable damage, you should contact police. They can take a report and may know if there are any security cameras in the area. Plus, witnesses are more apt to answer questions from a police officer than you.
  5. Contact the insurance company: If the other person is totally to blame, notify his or her insurance company. If the other driver hit your legally parked car, then the other driver’s insurance should pay for the damage. If they don’t resolve the issue, then contact your insurer so they can begin the claims process

If you are able to find the person who caused the accident, you can file a claim with that driver’s car insurance company. Minimum liability limits in Ohio are coverage of up to $50,000 for all people injured in an accident, subject to a $25,000 limit for one individual, and $25,000 for property damage.

If You Don’t Know Who Is The Driver

If you are unable to identify the person who hit you, or that person does not have enough insurance to cover your costs, there are steps you can take to create a smoother experience, should you be in this unfortunate situation.

If you don’t know who hit your car, you have to go to your own insurance company.  As discussed above, in Ohio, state laws do not allow uninsured motorist property damage coverage to be used to pay for damages from a hit and run.

Ohio is one of just a handful of states where uninsured motorist property damage coverage does not cover damages from a hit and run.  Instead, you will use personal injury protection, medical payments coverage, and collision coverage to cover injuries and car damage in an Ohio hit and run accident.  So, if you have collision insurance you are covered for property damage from hit-and-run accidents, subject to your deductible.

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