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Hit and run accidents are very common. While many hit and run accidents usually result in minor scrapes (such as another vehicle dinging your car door) there are many cases where a vehicle suffers serious damage. When this happens many questions will race through a drivers mind such as:
- Will car insurance cover the damage?
- Will your car insurance rates go up?
- Should you call the police?
There are many questions to ask about car insurance coverage for hit and run accidents but for the initial moments its common to feel shocked and surprised. After all, it can be hard to believe somebody would actually hit your car and leave the scene of an accident but people do stranger things.
Will car insurance cover damages from a hit and run accident?
First of all this is not a question you should ask after an accident. Before purchasing any car insurance policy you should understand what coverage you have. The odds of being party to a hit and run accident are fair and without the right type of car insurance in place you may be the one left holding a large repair bill.
Car insurance laws vary from state to state but no mandatory car insurance laws require car insurance companies to cover hit and run accidents. This type of damage usually is claimed through your collision coverage which is always an optional form of coverage.
How much does collision coverage cost?
Collision coverage rates will vary from one provider to another. In 2009 the average annual premium for collision coverage was just over $300 (according to the NAIC). Your exact premiums will be based on your driving record, credit score, type of vehicle insured and many other factors however without collision insurance you leave yourself open to a large liability.
Who offers collision insurance?
All car insurance companies offer collision coverage as its one of the main types of auto insurance. How much coverage offered varies by provider but most insurers sell collision coverage with the same levels of coverage as comprehensive and liability insurance.
Will my car insurance rates go up if I am the victim of a hit and run accident?
While auto insurance rates will never change during the term of your policy any claims for damages can potentially raise your premiums at renewal time. Even though damages from a hit and run are not technically your fault you still pose a greater risk than preferred drivers who have no history of filing a claim. How much (and if) your car insurance rates will increase will entirely depend on your provider.
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