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.

If your vehicle has been hit in a hit and run:

  1. Call 911 if you were in your vehicle when it was hit or 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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, the incident can’t be considered a “not-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.
  5. 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.

Insurance for hit and run accidents

When your vehicle is damaged in a hit and run collision, the damage is generally covered under the collision section of your car insurance policy, meaning you will need to pay your collision deductibleopens a pop-up with definition of deductible. 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 your vehicle is hit in a hit and run but 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. DCPD coverage usually has a $0 deductible.

Will a hit and run collision affect my car insurance premium?

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.

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.

Know someone who has experienced a hit and run? Share this article on Facebook or Twitter.