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Kelly & West News

How Do Insurance Companies Handle “Hit-and-Run” Incidents?

Consider this scenario: You’re driving home from work during rush hour traffic. Suddenly, a car rear-ends you. Before you can react, you notice the car that hit you is speeding off into traffic. You’ve just been involved in a “hit-and-run” incident. What can you do? You have car insurance, but how do they handle this situation?

First, gather as much information as possible. If you notice the car speeding off, write down the make, model, and license plate number. These details can help police locate the driver, and can also help your insurance company decide your claim. If there are witnesses that have stopped to help, ask for their names and contact information so that they can verify your claim. Make a note of the time and location in which the accident took place, and take pictures of your vehicle.

If you are eventually able to identify the driver that hit you, you can obtain their insurance information and file a claim through their insurance. If you or police are unable to locate the driver or if the driver was uninsured, you may have to file a claim with your own insurance company and seek coverage through uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. The law requires insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage, up to the state minimum liability limits, which is currently $30,000.00 per person, $60,000.00 per accident. Additional uninsured motorist coverage can be purchased from your insurance company.

We recommend that you have $1,000,000.00 of uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage will protect you, anyone riding with you, and any family member that is riding in someone else’s car in the event that the person that caused the wreck has no insurance. You will find that once you buy a little bit of this type of coverage, buying say ten times more will only cost you about two or three times (not ten times) the premium, so purchasing this much coverage is not nearly as expensive as you may think. Talk to your insurance agent now, as you should not have to wait for your policy to renew to add this coverage.

If you have been a victim of a hit-and-run, Kelly & West has the experience handling these cases. Contact us today to see how we can ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

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