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Who is responsible for hit and run damage?

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Responsibility for Hit and Run Damage
The driver and the owner of the vehicle being driven are both jointly and separately responsible (liable) for the damage caused. Since it was a hit and run, I assume no coverage on their part. If you have Full coverage Insurance or at least uninsured motorists, then your policy will cover the loss. A police report is recommended.

If you have uninsured motorist coverage included on your policy, it should cover this damage. It could depend upon on policy language and state law, your collision coverage will also cover your damages minus any applicable deductible. If covered through the uninsured motorists portion of your policy, in most U.S. states there is no deductible on uninsured motorists claims but this may vary depending on your local regulations and the policy options you chose when you purchased your Automobile Insurance.

Deductibles
while you can choose varying amounts for your deductible, which will influence your premium amount, the amount you pay toward your damages due to an uninsured motorist does NOT change, allowing you to influence your premium amount. Additionally, because it was paid under Uninsured Motorist coverage, it will be clear to any potential NEW carrier, that this was NOT an at fault accident. And to further complicate matters, with some insurance carriers, you could possibly be required to identify the hit-run driver in order to trigger the UM coverage. (license plate, year/make/model/color, etc. You may not have to have name, rank, & serial number.).

More Information:
  • This is a good question, particularly since it's such a frustrating thing. The best way to look at it is this: Your deductible has nothing to do with liability. Rather, your deductible relates to the rates you pay for insurance, and how much of the damages you are willing to absorb out-of-pocket. Your insurance carrier considers your deductible the amount you agreed to pay in any accident, regardless of fault and assuming your carrier is paying for damages to your vehicle. For instance, say you're sitting at a red light, and a drunk driver comes up behind you and rear ends your vehicle. Obviously, you're not at-fault for that; however, if you choose to go through your own insurance, you'll still be required to pay your deductible when you have your vehicle repaired. Unfortunately, unlike an accident in which the other driver is known, your insurance company can't go after a hit-and-run driver (this is called "subrogation," which most insurance companies are happy to pursue when they can because they want their money back, too). So, unless your insurance policy waives deductibles for hit-and-run accidents (which is rare), you'll be paying.
  • Be careful about reporting this if the damage is minimal. Someone dented my truck overnight in a parking lot. I reported it to my insurance company, the repair was $526. I paid the $500 deductible, and they paid the $26. About 4.5 years later, I'm shopping for new insurance, and the insurance companies are adding about $130/6-months because of that 'accident'.
  • EXACTLY.. (referring to the last post).. I was in a hit and run, my car was totaled. My own insurance company paid me $5,196 for my dead Honda Civic (RIP). But the pay out was from my collision insurance. SO... that claims record shows up when I try to shop around to other insurance companies... even though my carrier (GEICO) coded the accident as me being NOT at fault... the other companies don't care! They see your claims history, and their risk algorithms return higher rates! It's crap!
  • Again, this is inevitably an insurance adjuster ploy. The only legitimate reason for which an adjuster may ask for such information is when an insured damages their own car and claims that the cause was another car which forced them off the road but did not actually strike their vehicle. (known in the trade as a "phantom" driver claim).
  • In the UK - the driver of the vehicle which causes the hit and run and in turn his motor insurance. If however the driver cannot be found or is uninsured when found the Motor Insurer Bureau will meet your claims for vehicle damage and injury compensation. see the related link entitled "hit and run accident" for more details on how to recover compensation in the UK.
  • The question is, 'who's responsible for hit and run damage?', The 'runner' would be responsible of course, but if they 'ran' chances are they may not be caught and thus made responsible for their actions. Hopefully the victim got a license plate (if that were possible and not just hit while parked and no one around to witness this accident) and this can be traced either thru their local law enforcement agency or their states DMV.
  • If you have collision coverage you can file the claim, and have your vehicle repaired (subject to your deductible) your company will attempt to subrogate the guilty party, recouping your deductible and their payout (if information on fleeing vehicle is available).
  • You do not say which state you are in, so I couldn't check that states requirements or coverage definitions directly, however I think it needs to be clarified that uninsured motorist coverage (in all but very few states that mandate UM also includes UMPD), will ONLY cover injuries and costs associated with the injury caused by a negligent uninsured driver. Uninsured motorist property damage coverage, is NOT a required, but rather optional coverage that (unfortunately), most people neither know about or have. Will cover the physcial damage to your vehicle caused by a negligent uninsured driver subject to the deductible. Most people however would not see the necessity of carrying UMPD if they have collision coverage. There is no deductible for uninsured motorist coverage.
  • I have been in the insurance industry for 11 years now in the state of VA. I am aware that coverages in each state are different but uninsured and under-insured motorist typically doe includes BI and PD. On an insurance policy the uninsured motorist bodily injury and property damage is written at the same limits as the liability coverage on the policy. Lower uninsured/under-insured coverages can be requested if a form is signed stating that the insured does not want the limits to match. Also, uninsured motorist does come with a deductible depending on your state so the above statement that uninsured motorist coverage does not have a deductible is false. Most uninsured motorist claims are subject to a $200 deductible. Be cautioned when filing a uninsured/under-insured motorist claim as you may see the insurance company pay out a small amount under this coverage and then pin the rest under collision. This is when it becomes a problem of proving fault. Whenever a claim is paid out under collision it is considered at fault and it is like pulling teeth to prove otherwise to an insurance company. Take it from me, I have a hit while parked and $300 was paid under uninsured/under-insured motorist and $1400 was paid under collision and every insurance company is listing this as a chargeable at fault claim which holds a surcharge for 3 years on an insurance policy.


Another view: At least in the US, "hit and run" is a term typically used in property damage claims. Further, it is use in the context of an individuals car being hit by an unknown person and the latter leaving the scene after causing the damage. The victim's car may have been occupied or not.

If the victim is insured, he/she should be sure to get a police report to document the occurrence. Since such reports are made after the (the officer did not see the occurrence), the report serves the purpose of documenting the occurrence for later action. If the victim had physical damage coverage on the vehicle, this will be just about the only was to give any credence to the claim. All other things being equal, the insurer should pay for the reasonable cost of repair subject to the terms of the policy.

If the vehicle that was hit was occupied and the occupant(s) sustained compensable injuries under the law of the jurisdiction, they may be entitled to recover under the uninsured motorist coverage of the policy. In such a case, they would have to prove the "value" of their injury in much the same way that they would in a third-party claim. Again, it is important that the occurrence be documented, including by a timely police report.
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