Uninsured motorist coverage can save the day in the event you are involved in an accident with a hit & run driver. Learn how your own insurance policy can protect you in such a situation.
An man was just “cruising” on his motorcycle when another car crossed the center dividing line and caused him to lose control of the bike and crash into a tree. As a result of the crash, he sustained several broken bones and a head injury. There were two witnesses who saw the whole accident, but no one was able to get the other driver’s license plate number. The question posed by this gentleman was, can I make a claim with my insurance company since the other driver left the scene?
The first step is to determine if you have “uninsured motorist” coverage. If so, the next inquiry is whether there was “contact” between the vehicles? The reason I need to know about your coverages is because whenever you are involved in a collision with another vehicle and you can’t determine if they have coverage, you must look to your own policy. Uninsured Motorist protection is a MUST on your auto policy in my opinion. Uninsured motorist coverage generally provides protection for you and your passengers if you are involved in a collision with an uninsured driver or hit-and-run driver. If this coverage applies, it basically serves as a substitute policy for the other driver and your complete claim is made with your own insurance company. Under these circumstances, your insurance company will evaluate your injuries, medical expenses, and causation before making a settlement offer to you. The reason for the second inquiry is because most uninsured policies require “physical contact” between your car and the alleged “hit-and-run” driver before coverage will be provided for a “mystery vehicle.”
The rationale for this may be to reduce the risk of fraudulent claims by people who merely fall asleep at the wheel or who are otherwise involved in a one car collision without another vehicle being at fault. Therefore, if there was no contact, it’s possible that your accident may not be covered by your uninsured motorist policy. You should call an attorney immediately.
Regardless, you should also check with your agent to see if any other provisions of your policy may be useful, such as “personal injury protection” or “medical payments” coverage.