Does Insurance Cover Hit-and-Runs?

Quick Answer

Car insurance may pay for injuries and vehicle damage that result from a hit-and-run, depending on the types of coverage you include in your policy.

A blurry shot of two cars about to collide on a city street at night.

Remaining at the scene of an accident isn't just the courteous thing to do—it's the law. Unfortunately, not everyone follows the law. If a driver leaves after damaging your vehicle or, worse, injuring you or your passenger, will your insurance policy cover you? The answer depends on your state's rules and what type of coverage you have. Read on to learn about the kinds of coverage that can help minimize or eliminate out-of-pocket expenses after a hit-and-run accident.

Does Insurance Cover Hit-and-Run Accidents?

Auto insurance may cover hit-and-run accidents if you have the right types of coverage, but you may be responsible for paying your deductible before coverage kicks in.


Although liability is the coverage drivers are most likely to have because nearly every state in the country requires it, it won't pay your bills after an accident—hit-and-run or otherwise. Its purpose is to protect other drivers from injuries and damage you cause when you're at fault in a crash.


Collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle, no matter who is at fault. Including it in your policy can reduce out-of-pocket expenses after an accident with a hit-and-run driver. Collision coverage is optional unless you have an auto loan or lease. Then, your lender or the leasing company will likely require it. If you file a claim under your collision coverage, you must pay your deductible before your insurer will cover repairs.

Uninsured Motorist

There are two types of uninsured motorist coverage (UM): bodily injury and property damage. It's mandatory in some states, optional in others and not available everywhere. If you have UM coverage, your insurer will likely treat an incident with a hit-and-run driver like an accident with an uninsured driver. UM bodily injury coverage doesn't typically have a deductible attached to it. However, if you file a claim under UM property damage, you must pay your deductible before your insurance will kick in.

Medical Payments

Medical payments (MedPay) coverage kicks in for injuries you and your passengers suffer in an accident, no matter who is at fault. You're covered even if the driver doesn't stick around. MedPay is mandatory in some states and optional in others, but it isn't available everywhere.

Personal Injury Protection

Like MedPay, personal injury protection (PIP) covers injuries you and your passengers suffer during an accident, regardless of fault. Depending on your state, it may provide additional protection, like reimbursement for lost wages or services you can't perform while recovering from your injuries, such as cleaning and child care. PIP is mandatory in some states and optional in others, but it isn't available in all states. Personal injury protection usually has a deductible.


Comprehensive insurance doesn't cover injuries or vehicle damage from crashes—unless you're in a crash with a deer or other animal. It helps pay for damage from non-accident-related incidents, such as severe weather, theft, vandalism, falling objects and more.

What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident

The steps you should take after a hit-and-run accident are similar to those you'd take after an accident with a driver who doesn't leave the scene.

  1. Get to safety. Don't follow the driver. If your car is drivable, pull over on the shoulder and assess your and your passengers' injuries. If you or someone else needs immediate medical attention, call 911.
  2. Call the police. When they arrive on the scene, let them know what happened and file an accident report. Provide as many details as possible about the other car and driver. The police may use the information you provide to locate the person who hit you, and your insurance company may request the accident report if you file a claim.
  3. Get witness statements. Gather information from anyone who saw the accident and can verify what happened.
  4. Document the damage. Take photos of the damage your car sustained and keep copies of your medical bills if you seek treatment.
  5. Contact your insurance company. Let them know what happened as soon as possible. If you need clarification on whether your policy will cover the incident, your insurance company can review your coverage with you and help you decide whether filing a claim makes sense.

How a Hit-and-Run Insurance Claim Works

If your policy covers hit-and-runs, you can file a car insurance claim with your insurer to get reimbursed for medical bills and vehicle repairs. Here's how.

  1. Contact your insurer. Depending on the company, you may be able to file a claim online, over the phone or through your provider's mobile app. If multiple coverages may apply, your insurer can help you decide which type of claim (collision or uninsured motorist, for instance) to file.
  2. Pay your deductible. If the coverage has a deductible attached to it, you must pay it before your insurance kicks in. You may want to get a repair estimate before filing a claim. If your deductible is close to or exceeds the total cost of the claim, it's often best to pay for the repairs (or medical bills) out of pocket and skip filing a claim.
  3. Receive payment. After you file the claim and pay your deductible, if applicable, your insurance company will cover repair costs and medical bills up to the policy's limit. If the insurance company or police locate the hit-and-run driver, your insurer may be able to file a claim with their insurance company, so the claim doesn't show up on your insurance record.

Frequently Asked Questions

Knowing how your auto insurance applies to hit-and-run accidents isn't always straightforward. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about what happens if you're involved in an accident with a driver who leaves the scene.

  • It depends. Filing any claim on your auto insurance policy may raise your rate. Whether a hit-and-run increases your premium depends on where you live, who was at fault and how many other claims—if any—you have on your insurance record.

  • Some types of coverage that may apply after a hit-and-run have a deductible attached to them, and others don't. Whether you have to pay a deductible depends on the circumstances of the accident and the type of claim you file. For example, collision, uninsured motorist property damage and personal injury protection generally have deductibles you would have to pay. MedPay and UM bodily injury typically don't.

  • If your policy includes coverage for hit-and-run accidents, it will cover repairs to your vehicle if someone hits it while it's parked and then leaves the scene.

The Bottom Line

Car insurance can help you pay for injuries and damage after a hit-and-run if you have the right kind of coverage. However, no matter what coverage you have, your policy will only pay for injuries and damage up to the established limits. Reviewing your policy at least once or twice a year to ensure it still meets your needs and provides adequate financial protection is crucial.

If it doesn't, it's important to adjust it right away. Maintaining adequate car insurance is essential for protecting your financial health. Experian's auto insurance comparison tool can help you compare quotes and find affordable coverage that fits your needs.