Have you ever parked your car and returned hours later only to find a mysterious dent or scratch? If so, you’ve been the unfortunate victim of a hit and run. Hit and run accidents occur when a driver intentionally leaves the scene without providing their contact details. If you’re the victim of a hit and run, would you know what to do and who to contact? Here is what you need to know if you are involved in a hit and run accident:
- Stay calm and try to collect as much information as possible including the location and time of day of the accident. The more information you can provide regarding the incident, the more likely it is you’ll be able to catch the driver who damaged your car.
- Take photos of the accident scene.
- Take photos of your car and the damages, especially if another car’s paint is visible.
- Ask anyone who may have witnessed the incident if they saw anything or have any details on the car (make, model, colour) and licence plate number. Take down all witness names and contact details.
- In Alberta, report the damage to the Police and in Ontario, report the damage to a collision reporting centre no matter what the extent of the damage may be. Be sure to provide the details of the incident, and the names and numbers of any witnesses as this information will be useful if you decide to make a claim.
- Depending on your insurance company, you may be required to report a hit and run within a specific time frame for the claim to be considered “not at fault.”
How does a hit and run impact your insurance? If the driver of the vehicle who hit your car cannot be identified, your claim will be paid out under the collision portion of your auto insurance policy and subject to your deductible. If your auto policy does not have collision coverage, you may have to pay for the damages out of pocket. However, if the driver who hit your car can be identified, the loss may be paid out under the direct compensation section of your policy which is normally not subject to a deductible. For this reason, it’s always best to connect with any potential witnesses.
Rest assured your insurance rates will not increase so long as you report the incident to the police or collision reporting centre, and your insurance company. To learn more on how best to handle a hit and run accident, speak with your BrokerLink broker today.