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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 auto insurance, but how does your insurance company 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 help you 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 can eventually identify the driver that hit you, you can obtain their insurance information and file a claim through their insurance. If you or the police are unable to locate the driver, or if the driver is uninsured, you may have to file a claim with your insurance company and seek coverage through uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.

North Carolina law requires that auto insurance policies include uninsured motorist coverage equal to the state minimum liability coverage limits, which are currently $30,000.00 for bodily injuries per person, $60,000.00 for bodily injuries to more than one person, and $25,000 for property damage. 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 who 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 about two or three times (not ten times) as much, so purchasing the additional coverage is not nearly as expensive as you might 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 is experienced in handling these cases. Contact us today to see how we can ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

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