It’s a car owner’s worst nightmare. You are wakened in the middle of the night by a very loud sound, so you go to investigate. What you discover is that someone sideswiped your car and you have no idea who it could have been because they took off.

It’s pretty helpless being a victim, but don’t let that hinder you from doing what you need to. First you need to immediately call the police and report it. If you call within seconds of the accident, the dispatcher can put out a BOL (Be on the lookout) for a damaged auto and they can hopefully catch the person responsible.

Accident on the street of Miami: collision between two cars - clear case for insurance
A case for collision coverage - but what if your car got hit by a hit and run driver?

Your Car got Insurance – But Will the Company Pay?

Problem is, even if they do catch them, they are most likely uninsured, which is why they ran in the first place.

The next morning you rush out the door on your way to work only to discover that the loud banging noise you heard in your dream was someone sideswiping your car. Your car is parked along the curb, and no one has left a note; there is no indication who or what hit your car.

Make sure you get a copy of the police report. The next step is to call your insurance agent. But do you really know if you are covered?

You may think you have suitable car insurance if you asked for complete coverage when you began your policy. Some people imagine that asking for this delivers you coverage for all things that could possibly happen, but that often is not the situation! You will need to check for this precise coverage before it happens!

Claim quote: "An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car and vanished"
Quote from unknown claimant

Hit and run mishaps are on the increase. There are two fundamental theories for this. First, it might be due to the growth in illegal immigrants driving without insurance and/or a license. Illegal immigrants customarily cannot achieve a valid US driver’s license without permissible immigration status. Unfortunately, the states with a higher illegal immigration populace also have more hit-and-run occurrences.

Secondly, the economy plays a share in this setting. If someone is confronting the choice of paying car insurance or paying the mortgage, guess which is going to win. There are many more uninsured drivers on the road today. Most hit-and-run accidents are because someone is trying to avoid criminal charges because they are either uninsured, driving illegally, or intoxicated.

You will want to start by calling the Department of Insurance for your state to find out what type of coverage will cover hit and run. It varies by state, and you will want to check with a knowledgeable source before checking your auto insurance policy.

Some states have a separate coverage under Uninsured Motorists Property Damage (UMPD). Sometimes there is a small deductible, and sometimes there is no deductible.

Some states require this coverage if you do not have collision, and in some states it is optional. Some states require it if you do not carry collision because they require you to pay your collision deductible if it is a hit and run.

Other states do not offer the UMPD at all, and you would have to claim it under collision, which will be subject to your full deductible. This may also count against you as a claim and your rates may go up on your subsequent renewals.

It is best to learn what coverages are included on your auto insurance before something happens. Nothing would be worse than thinking your covered only to find out you are not and have to pay thousands of dollars on car repairs.

After a hit and run driver has done the damage, you do not want to discover that you are not covered for any loss.

Image: Flickr.