When you’re involved in a collision and the other driver leaves the scene, it’s called a “hit and run.” Whether you were in your vehicle when it was hit or someone dented it in the parking lot when you weren’t around, we’re here to make sure you know what to do next and what will happen if you make an insurance claim.
What to do if your vehicle has been hit in a hit and run
Take these steps if someone hits your vehicle and drives off:
- Call 911 if you were in your vehicle when it was hit or if someone was injured. Once help is on the way, write down any details you remember about the vehicle that hit you, like its colour, make and model, and license plate number (even if you only remember part of it).
- Find out if there were any witnesses. Ask around to see if anyone nearby witnessed the incident. If you do find any witnesses, be sure to write down their contact information in case the police or your insurance company need to reach them.
- Snap some photos. If it’s safe to do so, take some photos of the scene where the collision took place, as well as any damage to your vehicle. If you can see that paint has transferred onto your vehicle from the one that hit it, be sure to take photos of that, too.
- Report the hit and run to the police within 24 hours. A hit and run is considered a crime, and it’s extremely important that you report it as soon as possible. After you report it to the police, you may then be advised to go to a collision reporting centre if there’s one nearby. If the police tell you that the damage is too minor to report, write down the officer’s name, badge number, and phone number so your insurer can follow up. If you don’t report it to the police, the incident might be considered an “at fault” loss by your insureropens a pop-up with definition of insurer, meaning it could end up having an impact on your car insurance premiumopens a pop-up with definition of premium.
- Call your broker or your insurance company’s emergency service line. Be prepared to provide as many details as you can to help your broker and insurance company process your claim as quickly as possible.
Does car insurance cover hit and run accidents?
When your vehicle is damaged in a hit and run accident, the damage is generally covered under the collision section of your car insurance policy. Collision coverage is optional, and some drivers choose to opt out of this coverage. If you don’t have collision coverage, you will have to pay to repair the damage yourself.
If a witness can help identify the driver of the vehicle that hit you and you live in a province where Direct Compensation Property Damageopens a pop-up with definition of Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD) coverage applies, your claim may be covered under the DCPD section of your policy instead of under the collision section.
Do you have to pay your deductible after a hit and run?
If you make a claim after a hit and run, you’ll have to pay the deductible for whatever part of your policy is covering the damage. For example, if your claim is being paid out through your collision coverage, you’ll need to pay the deductible listed for that section of your policy. If your claim is being paid out through your DCPD coverage, you’ll have to pay your DCPD deductible — the good news in this case is that DCPD coverage often has a deductible of $0.
Some insurers may offer a deductible waiver for hit and run collisions. If you have this endorsementopens a pop-up with definition of endorsement on your policy, your deductible will be waived in the event of a hit and run, meaning you won’t have to pay it.
Will a hit and run accident affect the cost of my car insurance?
Making an insurance claimopens a pop-up with definition of claim after another driver has damaged your vehicle in a hit and run should not have an impact on your premium as long as you have reported the incident to the police and your insurance company considers it a “not-at-fault” loss. If the cost of your insurance does go up following this type of claim, it would be for other reasons not related to the hit and run — there are several other factors that might make your car insurance premium go up.
If you have any questions about how your own insurance policy would apply in the event of a hit and run collision, reach out to your licensed car insurance broker. If you’re shopping for car insurance and would like the support of a broker, find one near you today.
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