Claims 101: How to handle a hit and run

Getting into an accident can be overwhelming, especially when a driver intentionally leaves the scene without leaving any contact details. This is considered to be a “hit and run”.  

Whether you were in the vehicle when it was hit or if it occurred while your car was parked, here are some important steps you need to take:

  • Report the incident to the police within 24 hours. Depending on where you live, you may be advised to go to a collision reporting centre. This is especially important from an insurance perspective as the accident needs to have been reported in order for it to be considered a not-at-fault loss.
  • If you happened to be in your car or nearby during the incident and anyone was injured, first call 911. Then, record as much information as you can – the colour of the vehicle, make/model and as much of the licence plate number as possible.
  • If you’re able to do so safely, take photos of the scene where the hit and run took place, as well as any damage to your vehicle. If the other car’s paint is visible where the impact took place, take a photo of that as well.
  • Were there any witnesses? Talk to as many as you can so you can add to your own information. Don’t forget to get their contact information in case the police or your insurer need to follow up.
  • If the police tell you they feel that the damages are too minor to report, take down the officer’s name, badge number and phone number so your insurance company can get in touch again if needed.
  • Call your insurance company. 

Only your collision deductible needs to be paid to your insurer if the hit-and-run driver isn’t identified, but you can avoid this cost by if you have a hit-and-run deductible waiver included on your policy. Remember, you need to report the accident to the police in order for it to qualify as a not-at-fault loss. Your insurance rate won’t increase due to this type of incident (and if it does, it would be for different reasons unrelated to a hit-and-run). 

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