Being a victim of a hit-and-run accident can be a distressing and frustrating experience. Beyond the immediate concerns of personal safety and property damage, many individuals wonder about the potential impact on their insurance rates. According to a recent study conducted by the non-profit AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, hit-and-run accidents are alarmingly prevalent. The analysis reveals an average of 682,000 such incidents occurring annually on the country’s roads, equating to more than one incident every minute.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the steps to take if you find yourself in such a situation, delve into the coverage options available in Florida, and address the crucial question: Will a hit and run claim raise my insurance rates?
What to Do if You’re a Victim of a Hit and Run
The first moments after a hit-and-run incident are crucial. While the natural reaction may be shock and disbelief, gathering as much information as possible is essential. Take note of the license plate number, vehicle description, and any details about the driver. Additionally, gather contact information from witnesses, as their statements can be instrumental in the investigation.
Once you’ve gathered information, report the incident to law enforcement promptly. Filing a police report not only aids in pursuing the responsible party but also establishes an official record for insurance purposes. Delaying reporting may jeopardize your chances of a successful claim.
Seek medical attention for any injuries, even if they seem minor. Some injuries may not manifest immediately, and having a medical record will be vital for your health and any potential insurance claims.
Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to report the hit-and-run. Timely communication is crucial in these situations, and your insurance company will guide you through the claims process.
Does Your Florida Insurance Policy Cover Hit and Run Accidents?
Understanding your insurance coverage is key when it comes to hit-and-run accidents. While there is no specific “hit-and-run insurance,” various components of your car insurance policy may come into play:
- Collision Coverage: This optional coverage pays for repairing or replacing your vehicle, regardless of fault. In a hit-and-run scenario, collision coverage can be instrumental in covering repair expenses.
- Medical Payments Coverage: This covers medical expenses for you and your passengers, regardless of fault. It may include hit-and-run collisions and is not available in all states.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Mandatory in some no-fault states, PIP covers medical bills and additional expenses like lost wages. It may also apply to hit-and-run incidents, depending on state laws.
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI): UMBI covers injuries caused by uninsured drivers, and in some states, hit-and-run drivers may be considered uninsured. This coverage can assist in paying for medical expenses resulting from hit-and-run accidents.
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD): Similar to UMBI, UMPD covers property damage caused by uninsured drivers, potentially including hit-and-run incidents.
Understanding the specifics of your policy is crucial to ensuring adequate coverage in the event of a hit-and-run accident.
Will a Claim Raise My Insurance Rates?
Unfortunately, even if you are not at fault in a hit-and-run accident, it may impact your insurance rates. According to Bankrate, while you shouldn’t be surcharged for a not-at-fault accident, you could lose an accident-free discount, and your rating classification might change.
Progressive notes that the impact on premiums varies among insurance providers and states. In some cases, your premium may remain unaffected if you were not at fault, but in other instances, any accident, including a hit-and-run, could result in a rate increase.
It’s important to be aware that if you cause a hit-and-run and are found, filing a claim with your insurance may lead to significant rate increases, along with potential criminal charges and legal fees. Each insurance provider handles these situations differently, so it’s crucial to consult with your insurer to understand the potential consequences.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you find yourself wondering, “Will a hit and run claim raise my insurance?” and are entangled in the complexities of such an incident, seeking legal guidance can be invaluable. At Pacin Levine, P.A. in the Greater Coral Gables Area, our dedicated legal team is committed to evaluating your case, providing expert guidance, and fighting for your rights. Contact us at (305) 760-9085 or 1-800-24-7-CRASH (2727) to schedule a free consultation and navigate the legal aspects of your hit-and-run claim. Remember, knowledge is your greatest ally in securing the compensation and protection you deserve.