Hit and run car accidents are extremely frustrating. In many cases where there are no witnesses, the offending driver often gets away with the crime, and the victim is stuck with paying the deductible on your auto policy. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take that can help you in this kind of situation, allowing your car insurance company to help take care of the damages.
Here’s what you should do if you’re involved in a one-sided accident and the other driver doesn’t stick around.
After the hit and run accident
The first thing you should do after a hit and run is to record as much information as you can about the fleeing automobile, writing down anything you remember. Write down these things if you can remember anything at all:
- Vehicle make
- License plate (even just half of it helps)
- Driver description
Do not leave the scene to try confronting the driver, either. Pull over so that you’re not obstructing traffic. Talk to anybody who might have witnessed the accident and is able to provide information to supplement yours. If they’re willing to vouch for you, then obtain their contact information and bring it to a collision reporting centre.
If you weren’t around for the accident and discover your car has been damaged, ask anyone nearby if they witnessed the incident. If you were parked in a location with security cameras, such as a parking lot, try finding out if the offender was caught on tape.
Report the hit and run to the police
It’s a serious offence to flee the scene of a car accident. Call the police and give them all of the information you gathered. This will increase the chances of the offending driver will be apprehended. While you’re waiting for an officer to arrive, take some pictures of the damage for your records.
This is very important: It’s vital you make a police report within 24 hours of the hit and run incident and inform your car insurance company. Many insurers will only accept a car insurance claim if a police report has been filed as well.
Tell your car insurance company
Due to the fact that only one driver is named in the claim, reporting car damages will have to be taken care of under your policy. Hit-and-run incidents are the only type of car accidents in which you’re not at fault but must pay your collision deductible. This is because there’s no other insurance provider to pay the damages under their driver’s liability.
If you don’t have collision coverage in Ontario, you won’t have insurance benefits to help with the damages to the vehicle itself. You need make a police report within 24 hour of the event, and you can usually notify the insurance company either before or after you have made the police report. If the third party is not identified, coverage will be paid out under your collision coverage and you’ll be required to pay your deductible.
Since you’re not at fault and you made a report to police before filing the claim, your premium will not go up due to a hit and run. All you have to worry about is paying the deductible.
Don’t hesitate after a hit and run
If you think quickly and follow the steps above following a hit and run car accident, you can cover all of your bases without a worry. Gathering information and making a report to police are the best things you can do protect yourself and help take a dangerous driver off the road. Get a quick 5-minute quote online to see what your rate looks like and adjust your deductibles here!