Uninsured Motorist: Hit & Run 101

So you’re driving down a snowy street on a beautiful winter day minding your own business.  Suddenly, some guy with a snow plow on his pick up truck zooms by and takes a chunk out of your driver’s side door.   You scream and moments later realize he’s gone.  It’s a “Hit and Run” and you’re the victim.  So what now?

Well, your first step should be to call the police.  The big problem with a Hit & Run is that there’s no evidence of who actually did it.  In an “at fault” state like Indiana that matters a lot.  So call quickly to give police officers the opportunity to track down the other driver and collect contact information from any witnesses.

But are you covered?  Well, as always, it depends on your policy, your company, and the state you live in, but here are some rules of thumb:

  • If you have evidence that there was another driver who collided with you then your uninsured motorist coverage should come into play.
  • If you are hurt, and you have Uninsured Motorist coverage on your policy, your medical costs will be covered up to your Uninsured Motorist limit of liability.
  • But what about your car?  Well, most companies offer Uninsured Motorist Property Damage coverage.  This covers your car if you’re hit by an uninsured driver.  But companies will often exclude coverage if you can’t identify the other party (Hit & Run).  In fact, there are often state-wide rules about Hit & Run’s and whether your car is covered or not.
  • If it’s not covered under Uninsured Motorist Property Damage, the company would only pay if you had Collision coverage on your policy.  Basically, you would be accepting responsibility for the collision because there was no one else to blame it on.

So catching that Hit & Run driver is really important if at all possible.  That’s why you want to call the police immediately and describe the vehicle, the direction it was travelling, etc.

Whether you catch them or not, check in with you agent soon after the accident and have him/her lead you through the process.

Now it’s time for action.  Look at your policy and make sure you have Uninsured Motorist Property Damage with a high enough limit to cover the value of your vehicle.   If you have Collision coverage then you’ll definitely be covered one way or another.  If you don’t then ask your agent how your company handles a Hit & Run.

Still not sure?  Give us a call at 812-679-8779.