Hit and run accidents are accidents where one of the involved parties fails to stop, or leaves the scene of an accident without identifying themselves. It is a crime, and can result in up to five years of imprisonment if charged under the Criminal Code of Canada. Lighter cases can be charged under provincial laws, e.g. the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario. To help clarify Fail to Remain incidents and their consequences, we’ve got answers to some of your FAQs about hit and run accidents.
Does insurance cover hit and run accidents in Ontario?
If you have collision coverage on your policy, you will have coverage. In this instance, you must pay the deductible on your insurance policy. There is no coverage alternative on your policy that will cover a hit-and-run incident. You will have to pay out of pocket to repair the damages to your vehicle.
Will a hit and run claim raise my insurance?
If you’re not at-fault in the hit-and-run, your insurance claim will not raise your insurance rates. However, if you are at-fault, your insurance will likely increase.
How do hit and run accidents affect my insurance?
The consequences of a hit-and-run accident on your insurance are dependent on the following circumstances:
- If you can’t identify the driver who causes damage to your car, your claim will be handled under your collision coverage. However, your insurer will require you to pay the deductible.
- If you can figure out who’s responsible, your insurance will pay for the loss under the Direct Compensation Property Damage (DCPD) portion of your policy. This typically has no deductible. This is why having a witness is beneficial. Identifying the at-fault driver helps you save money on the deductible by ensuring they are held accountable for the damage.
- If the motorist is unidentifiable and does not have insurance, Uninsured Motorist Coverage will apply. This is standard in all policies.
Do insurance companies investigate hit and runs?
Yes. Your insurance company will look into the hit and run just as it would with other car accidents. They’ll do a separate investigation to determine liability, which isn’t part of the police report.
Does my insurance cover hit and run accidents in a parking lot?
Hit and run accidents do happen quite often in parking lots. Many believe the likelihood of getting caught is small. However, most residential and commercial parking lots have security cameras. If you are a victim, your insurer needs to be informed and you must have evidence to prove that you were not at-fault. Then, your insurer can approve your claim.
Do I need a police report to file a H&R claim?
A hit and run is a criminal offence. You should contact the police immediately to file a report. The police report will provide your insurer important information when assessing your claim.
What do the police do when hit and run accidents happen?
Regardless of the type of accident, police will check for two things:
- Footage on security cameras
How the police handle the rest of the investigation depends on the severity of the accident:
- If someone is injured or killed, forensic officers will try to find a fragment of the vehicle, such as paint samples. Samples are used for testing to narrow down the car’s profile to aid the investigation. Mechanics and auto body shops are notified to keep an eye out for a vehicle matching the description that may need parts. Witnesses may approach the police with information once the incident is on the news.
- For hit-and-run collisions in parking lots, the police rely on security cameras and witnesses to resolve it.
Does insurance cover H&R damage if I’m the driver?
If you are the driver who hits another vehicle and leaves the scene, your insurer may not cover you. If they do cover you, you will have to pay a deductible. You might also see your costs rise. Insurers may also choose not to renew your policy. To learn more about the consequences of leaving the scene of an accident, click here.
How do I file a hit and run insurance claim?
Filing a hit and run claim is the same process as any other car insurance claim. Once you file a report with the police, contact your insurer to open a claim. Most insurers require you to file a police report for the hit and run within 24 hours of the incident. Provide them with the details of the collision. Work with your insurer to come up with a hit and run settlement for the repairs to your vehicle.
For a step by step breakdown of filing a claim, click here.
Is an H&R considered no-fault for insurance?
Yes. No-fault insurance applies to hit and runs. If you are hit by another vehicle that flees the scene, you will not be at-fault. However, you may still be responsible for paying your deductible.
For more information on hit and run accidents, or whether you have adequate coverage, contact isure today.