Being involved in a collision is stressful on its own. But when the other driver leaves the scene, things get complicated – now it’s a hit and run. Regardless of whether you were in your vehicle when it was hit, or someone caused damage in a parking lot when you weren’t around, it’s important to know what to do and what will happen next.
If your vehicle has been hit in a hit and run, here’s what you need to do:
Call 911 if you were in the vehicle when it was hit, or if someone has been injured.
Once help is on the way, do your best to remember as many details about the collision as possible. Write down as much as you can about the vehicle, its colour, make and model, license plate number (full or partial), what the driver looked like. Anything you remember will be helpful.
Look for witnesses.
Don’t be afraid to ask bystanders for their contact information if they saw the incident. Their account of the collision will be important information for both the police and your insurance company.
The scene of the incident will help you when it comes time to make a claim, or if the police have questions. So, snap some photos of the damages, the scene of the incident, or any other references you think might be helpful. At this stage, even tire marks are something.
Report the hit and run to the police ASAP.
The sooner the better, typically within 24 hours of the incident. A hit and run is a crime and it’s vital that you report it as soon as you can. It’s also possible the police will ask you to go to a collision reporting center if there’s one close to you. And if the police tell you the damage is too minor, write down the officer’s name, badge number, and phone number so your insurer can do a follow-up. The most important point here is to report it – if you don’t, it can’t be considered a “not-at-fault” loss by your insurer, and it could have an impact on your car insurance premium.
Call your broker or insurance company’s emergency service line
and be prepared to provide them as many details as you can. This will help them process your claim as quickly as possible.
Will the damages be covered?
Damage incurred by a hit and run collision is generally covered under the collision section of your car insurance policy. This means you’ll have to pay your collision deductible. However, it’s important to note that collision coverage is optional, and some drivers opt out of this coverage. If you don’t have collision coverage, you will have to pay for the damages yourself.
If you live in a province where Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD) applies and a witness can help identify the driver, you may be able to claim coverage under the DCPD section of your policy instead. This coverage typically has a $0 deductible.
Will the hit and run affect my car insurance premium?
As long as you report the incident to the police and your insurance company considered it a “not-at-fault” loss, there should be no impact on your premium.