What To Do If Someone Hits Your Car
If someone hits your car while youâre driving, donât panic. You should pull over to the side of the road and make sure you and all passengers are safe and uninjured. Hopefully the other driver has also pulled over. You should then take the same steps that are necessary after every car accident:
Exchange information with the other person involved in an accident
Document the damage with photos or videos
Record contact information for any witnesses who saw the accident
Alert your car insurance company that your car was just hit by another driver
What To Do After A Hit
In California, a hit-and-run is a serious crime in which a driver leaves the scene of an accident without stopping to properly identify themself to the other driver or to the police.
If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run, make note of as much information as possible about the incident, especially about the fleeing vehicle. Stay in contact with your insurance company and law enforcement throughout the claims process.
Hit-and-runs are covered by some types of insurance, such as collision and MedPay, but you may not be covered in all situations. Here are details about what to do after a hit-and-run in California.
Its All About You We Want To Help You Make The Right Coverage Choices
Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our insurance industry partnerships dont influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.
Its a good idea to fully understand the coverage on your car insurance policy, despite how complicated it may seem.
This certainly includes knowing what your liability-only car insurance coverage does for you, considering the fact that it is mandatory in nearly every state in the union.
Put simply, you should not operate a car without at least this minimum coverage. If you get caught driving without car insurance, your insurance premiums will shoot up, youll have to pay some fines, and youll be stuck with an SR22!
You May Like: Altindal Hail Protector Car Cover
Know What You Deserve
Knowing your state’s prompt-payment law is beneficial. Every state’s unfair claims settlement practices act outlines the time frame in which an insurer must issue you a check for your damages. We have more on how your states Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act can help you.
Laws vary widely from state to state, with many simply mandating a “prompt” payment of claims, while others specify a number of days and the interest owed to you if the insurer fails to pay within the specified period.
One last factor to keep in mind: Unfair claims settlement practices acts often do not extend the same rights to you if you’re making a claim against another driver’s insurance as opposed to making a claim under your own insurance policy.
Writing a matter-of-fact letter to the at-fault person’s insurance company is a smart way to inform it of your expectations and rights. Telling the insurer that you expect it to pay all reasonable costs you incur as a result of the accident, including payment for repairs to or the total-loss value of your vehicle, diminished value of your car, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and rental-car costs will highlight the insurer’s responsibilities under public policy.
Make sure you keep a record of all correspondence, including dates and the names of customer service reps.
Is Bodily Injury Liability The Only Coverage I Need
There are many states that require other minimum policies. These might include:
Read Also: Car Salesman Pay Rate
What If I Disagree With The Insurer’s Valuation Of My Damages
If you disagree with the insurer’s valuation of your damages, your only real options are to accept it, try to negotiate further with the insurer about the figures, or file a lawsuit.
Regardless of whether you want to negotiate or sue, you will need to have some basis for disagreeing with the insurer’s figures. You will need hard evidence that the car was worth more than what the insurer said it was worth. You will need two types of evidence: evidence as to exactly what type of shape the car was in, and evidence as to the car’s actual value.
The best way to prove the car’s actual condition is reasonably current photographs of the car. If you generally have reason to think that your car is worth more than its Blue Book value because you have done some serious upgrades and work on it, you should get into the habit of photographing your car regularly. That way, you can always prove what your car looked at any time.
The best way to prove a car’s actual value is through the opinion of a qualified appraiser. If you disagree with the insurer’s valuation of your car, you are going to need to hire a qualified appraiser to come up with an opinion as to your car’s value. Simply going online and trying to use an online car value calculator won’t be good enough. You are going to need actual live testimony from a qualified expert.
Situations Where Your Insurance Company Has To Pay
In most cases, your insurance company wont have to pay for a not-at-fault accident since the other drivers policy will cover your expenses. But if youre hit by an uninsured motorist or youre the victim of a hit-and-run, your policy might cover the damages depending on what types of coverage you have. Liability insurance alone wouldnt cover your expenses, but other types including collision and uninsured/underinsured motorist would. And if you live in a no-fault state, your insurance company will have to pay for your medical expenses regardless of who caused the accident. As a result, any cost to your insurer will be taken into consideration when your insurer is re-evaluating your premium.
Although its frustrating to be charged for an accident that wasnt your fault, the effects on your premium will only be temporary. Accidents usually only stay on your driving record for three years, so if you continue to practice safe driving habits during that time, your rates will eventually go back down.
Don’t Miss: How To Repair Clear Coat On Car
Contact Your Insurance Company At Once To Let Them Know What Happened
A number of insurance companies today have mobile apps for accidents. Check if your insurance company has a mobile app for you to upload the data, police report, and photos you collected at the scene. The mobile app should have a checklist of documents you need to make a claim.
If your insurance company does not have a mobile app, you might have to go old school and call them.
What To Do If Someone Left The Scene Of An Accident
If someone hits your car and drives off, you need to gather as much evidence as possible. First, photograph your vehicle and the surrounding area and write down as many details as you can. These include the time and date, location of the car, and the amount of damage. Then, record the information of any other vehicles at the scene. Next, speak to any witnesses. Their testimony can be valuable if the police files hit and run charges against the perpetrator.
After you gather the evidence, provide it to the police and file a report. They will investigate the accident and attempt to find the other driver.
Finally, contact your insurance company and report the accident. They might ask for the same evidence you gave to the police.
You May Like: How To Protect Car From Hail
Who Is Responsible For Insurance On A Rental Car
Regardless of whether a vehicle in an accident is a rental car, the basic rule in California is that the driver of the car that caused the accident will be liable for an innocent partys damages and injuries. The fact that the responsible party was driving a rental car generally makes no difference.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
Bodily injury liability coverage, often referred to as BI coverage, pays for the costs associated with injuries for which you are legally liable.
- This means that your actions caused injury to another person and you were found legally responsible for those injuries.
- Your BI coverage will pay for bills associated to those injuries, such as:
- Medical expenses,
- Repair to the living room wall you crashed through, or
- Removal of the knocked over tree.
Those are just a few of the bills and costs that could be covered. Also, if you are sued, liability coverage will pay your defense and court costs.
Read Also: How Much Horsepower Does My Car Have
What If Someone Is Driving My Car And Gets In An Accident
Its impossible to predict a future car crash, and as careful as we all are behind the wheel, youll never know when a fateful moment will happen in which your vehicle gets into a car accident. Even if you are a safe driver, there is always the off chance that youll loan your car to a friend or family member and find out later that they crashed your car.
In these situations, insurance coverage can be rather complicated, so its extremely important that you fully understand all the different séances of insurance coverage when it comes to how exactly your car is insured if someone drives your car and gets in an accident.
Some of the questions well be answering in this article are whether or not you can drive a car on your own insurance , if someone can drive your car if he or she is not on your insurance policy, and when you can be liable for damages in these types of situations.
Can’t Work Totaled Car Get Paid
If you miss work because of an injury you sustained in a car crash that was someone else’s fault, you can expect that person’s insurance company to pay for your lost wages. But their policy will have a limit on the amount you can recoup for lost wages.
If you’re hit by a driver whose liability limits are not high enough to cover all of your medical expenses and lost wages, you can make a claim under your own underinsured motorist coverage for the remainder, if you have it. If you live in a no-fault state, your PIP coverage will pay for your lost wages up to the limits of your policy.
When another driver wrecks your car beyond repair, his or her insurance company should pay you the actual cash value of your car before it was totaled. The industry standard definition of actual cash value is “replacement cost” minus “depreciation.” Replacement cost is the amount of money it would take to replace your vehicle with a similar one. Depreciation is the amount of money your car has devalued over time.
The insurer also should pay for the sales tax on the new vehicle that you purchase with the insurance money. See what to do when your auto insurer totals your car for more information.
Read Also: How To Keep Squirrels Out Of Car Engine
Uninsured And Underinsured Motorist Coverage
In addition to the types of liability insurance discussed above, some states require uninsured motorist coverage and/or underinsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage may help pay for your medical or car repair expenses if youre the victim of a hit-and-run accident or one caused by a driver who doesnt have liability insurance.
What if youre in an accident that was caused by a driver whose insurance liability limits are lower than the damage youve sustained? In this case, underinsured motorist coverage might pay the difference between the drivers liability limits and the cost of your damages or injuries, up to your policy limits.
What Liability Auto Insurance Doesnt Cover
Liability auto insurance wont pay for your own medical bills or repairs to your car its only designed to pay others for the damage you cause behind the wheel.
To cover your own bills, youll need to rely on other types of insurance, such as health insurance for your medical expenses and collision insurance for repairs to your vehicle. If you want more protection, consider buying full coverage car insurance. Full coverage isn’t a specific type of policy, but refers to a combination of coverage types including liability insurance and comprehensive and collision coverage.
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Scratches From A Car
When Does Insurance Follow The Driver
As we mentioned above, car insurance typically follows the car, but this is not always the case. There are some cases where certain types of coverages follow the driver. When a driver borrows a car and causes an accident, the cars owners car insurance is the primary insurance, but if the driver has their own insurance as well, then it will serve as the secondary coverage. So, if the damage caused exceeds the limits of the owners liability coverage, then the drivers own liability insurance would cover the rest of the costs. We recommend not lending your car to someone who doesnt have car insurance of their own because if they cause an accident in your car, then you would be liable for the costs that exceed your coverage limit.
Will Auto Insurance Pay Me If Items Are Stolen From My Car But My Car Is Not Stolen
Unfortunately, your comprehensive auto insurance policy only covers items stolen from a car that are meant to be a permanent part of the car or that cant function without the car.
This would likely include items like a built-in, factory-installed navigation system or stereo, but not a dashboard-mounted GPS unit or iPod.
If you have homeowners or renters insurance, these policies should cover any personal items stolen out of your car, regardless of whether your car was parked in your driveway or in a parking lot.
If the items are valuable, file a police report for the stolen items, and then call your insurance company. If the items cost less to replace than to the deductible on your insurance policy, then you should probably forget the claim and just replace them yourself.
When you call your insurance company, ask about your personal property coverage and the items that are not covered. Items excluded, or with limited coverage, include money, jewelry, furs, watches, and business property.
Your home insurance will not help you with any damage to your vehicle, so you will have to call both your homeowners and your auto insurance companies if your car was damaged during the theft of the items inside.
Don’t Miss: Mysynchrony.com/carcare
Does Liability Insurance Cover My Car If Someone Hits Me
Liability insurance does not cover your car if another driver causes an accident. In this case, the other partys insurance should take care of your damages. You can also purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance in case you are hit by a driver who does not have sufficient liability insurance. If you have collision insurance, you may also be able to pay your deductible and have your collision coverage pay for the rest of the damages to your car.
Why You Need More Liability Insurance Than The State Minimum
Your insurance company will never pay for anything beyond the limits of your policy. Using the Arizona example, if you cause an accident that leads to $70,000 in medical bills for the other driver, you will have to pay for $40,000 if you are only carrying the minimum insurance required. And if you cant afford to pay the full amount, the other driver can sue, and you can have your assets seized or wages garnished to cover the remainder.
If someone hits your car, you should call your insurance company. But first, youll probably want to call the police, especially if the damage is severe, there are any injuries, or the accident was a hit-and-run. Even if you dont think you are at-fault, youre required to report potential claims to your insurer.read full answer
There is no need to contact the other drivers insurance company, even if the accident was their fault. It is the other drivers responsibility to contact their own insurer, and your provider will reach out to them on your behalf after you report the accident.
Your insurance company will help you resolve the claim with the other drivers insurer, if possible. And if your claim cant be resolved through the other drivers insurance, reporting the accident to your insurance company is necessary to file a claim using your collision coverage or uninsured motorist protection.
Youll need this information when you call to file a report with your insurance company.
Recommended Reading: How To Fix A Cigarette Burn In A Car Seat
Can I Drive Any Car On My Insurance
This is a much more complicated question than most people would assume, and although many people assume that insurance follows the driver, the reality is that car insurance almost always follows the vehicle.
There are some exceptions to this rule of thumb when it comes to car insurance, and that is with liability insurance. When someone has liability insurance coverage within their own personal auto insurance policy, the policy follows the driver no matter what car is being operated, as long as the car being operated is eligible under the specific plan. Liability insurance typically is a minimum requirement for all drivers in every state, except New Hampshire, and in general, an eligible vehicle under liability insurance can include a friend or neighbors car and rental cars.
When it comes to comprehensive and collision auto insurance coverage the tables are turned and the insured vehicle is what is followed under the policy. In the case that you drive your friends car and then get in an accident and they have this kind of insurance policy, which most people obtain, then the vehicle owners insurance policy will become the primary coverage for paying the damages and the drivers insurance would be the secondary insurance.