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Does Liability Auto Insurance Cover Hit and Run?

Despite committing a serious crime in doing so, many drivers flee the scene after causing an accident. Even if they only caused material damage and no one was hurt, not being able to identify the culprit can be frustrating.

If you’re the one whose car is hit by another vehicle owner, you may be left with damage that won’t be reimbursed by your insurance company. In Canada, liability insurance is mandatory but is it enough to cover you for a hit and run compared to the more expensive comprehensive coverage?

This is what we’ll look at here as you’ll find out everything you need to know about being covered for a hit and run with your auto insurance.

Does Liability Auto Insurance Cover Hit and Run?

The short answer is most likely not. Your insurance company will only reimburse you for damages incurred during a hit-and-run if you weren’t at fault and have the right auto insurance coverage in place. Unfortunately, basic liability coverage often doesn’t include hit-and-run coverage.

If you only have liability insurance, you’ll likely pay for your damages out of pocket. If you aren’t sure whether your basic liability policy has hit-and-run coverage, make sure you verify this with your insurer.

If you’re the one committing a hit and run, your insurer likely won’t reimburse you, even if you have collision coverage. They might even cancel your insurance, and you will face serious legal consequences.

Your insurer will investigate hit-and-run accidents just like any other accident and will be able to determine who was at fault. To ensure your fault won’t be brought into question, report the accident to the policy as soon as possible afterward and cooperate with the investigation process.

What Insurance Coverage Do You Need for a Hit-and-Run?

A hit-and-run claim is only payable if the driver who suffered the damages has collision coverage. This is true even in the provinces where there is a no-fault insurance policy, so even if the driver was at fault, they are reimbursed under collision coverage if the other driver leaves the scene of the accident.

Collision insurance is an additional coverage you can buy on top of the mandatory liability policy. It comes with a higher monthly premium but protects you in cases like hit-and-run accidents.

However, even if you have collision insurance, be prepared to pay for additional fees out of pocket. You will likely pay a deductible, which ranges from $500 to $1,000, depending on the amount you agreed to when you purchased your policy.

Unlike liability, collision insurance also covers hit-and-runs involving parked cars. If someone hits your car in a parking lot and leaves, you can be reimbursed for your damages if you have collision insurance.

hit and run

Uninsured Driver Coverage

For reimbursement based on the no-fault insurance coverage, the other driver must be identified and have a minimum liability coverage. Unfortunately, one of the main reasons drivers leave the scene of the accident is because they don’t have insurance.

They hope that if they can’t be identified, they won’t be responsible for the damages they caused or face a penalty for driving without insurance. However, if the driver that fled the scene can be identified, and they aren’t insured, you might be covered by the uninsured motorist clause of your policy.

This coverage is typically included in most policies, including the ones for basic liability insurance. If you aren’t sure whether you have uninsured motorist coverage, contact your insurance provider to find out whether this is an option for you.

If you’re hit by another driver, and they take off, look around for witnesses who might have seen the accident and can help you identify the culprit. There might be security cameras around, which have caught the incident on tape.

Viewing them can help you find the driver who hit you. These are all measures you can take to help your insurance company identify the other person so they can locate them and their insurance company, or if they’re uninsured, apply for uninsured motorist coverage.

Never go after the other driver when you see them take off. You never know who you are dealing with, and trying to chase them creates a dangerous situation. Plus, if you leave the place of the accident, it will look like you are fleeing the scene yourself, which might affect your claim.

Final Thoughts

As we’ve seen, the basic liability auto insurance doesn’t cover hit-and-run accidents. For your damages to be reimbursed after being hit by another driver who leaves the scene, you must have collision coverage.

Even with collision coverage, you may have to pay additional fees, such as your deductible. If you’re looking to upgrade your auto insurance or need more advice, then get in contact with Ron Johnston Insurance today and we’ll be more than happy to help.

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