Does Car Insurance Cover a Hit and Run?

    A hit and run accident is a lot like any other car accident in the way it’s handled with your insurance. It can be similar to what would happen if a driver hit someone else but didn’t have insurance. 

    Generally, after an accident, the liability insurance for the driver at fault will pay for the not-at-fault driver’s damages. In a hit and run accident, however, the driver at fault leaves the scene without taking responsibility. Ideally, you will be able to find the responsible driver to hold them accountable. Unfortunately, if you can’t identify them, their insurance can’t pay for your repairs. 

    Your own car insurance can cover the damages of the hit and run, although your insurance company would prefer to find the person responsible. This will also depend on exactly what kind of policy you have. The minimum required insurance policy might not always offer you protection in the event of a hit and run.  

    Types of Insurance

    Look up the details of your insurance policy before you make any decisions after the accident. Insurance companies offer a wide range of policy options, and the standard minimum policy will vary by state. In Georgia, only liability insurance is required, which will pay up to a set amount to compensate other drivers for injuries and damages you cause in an accident. 

    Your liability insurance, however, does not cover any damages you sustain to your car or body in an accident. You’ll be depending on the other driver’s liability if this is the only insurance you have. 

    You might also have uninsured motorist coverage, medical payments coverage or collision coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage will step in to help you pay your own costs if you get into an accident with a driver that doesn’t have liability coverage. This might also apply if the other driver is unknown, as in a hit and run case. 

    Medical payments and collision coverage both help you to cover your own medical and car-related costs after an accident, regardless of fault. If the other driver can’t be held responsible, these policies should take effect and cover the accident for you. 

    Dealing with a Hit and Run 

    Georgia law defines a hit and run as an accident where a driver involved in an accident fails to stop at or go back to the place where the accident occurs. No matter who is at fault for an accident, all drivers are legally required to stop and provide each other with identification and contact information.

    This doesn’t have to be an accident on the street, either. If a car hits you in a parking lot and disappears, that’s still a hit and run. Your first priority should be to find a way to track down the other driver. Any identifying information about their vehicle can help. 

    If your car was hit in a parking lot while you were away, you might ask around to see if you can find witnesses or check if there are cameras operating in the parking area. Finding the person accountable will help you ensure you receive your just compensation.