There’s nothing worse than approaching your car in a parking lot and noticing damage that wasn’t there before. A Hit and Run, unfortunately, can happen to anyone. Typically, these kinds of accidents occur in parking lots and the damage is minor. Sometimes they happen on a road, during traffic, and cause a lot of damage. The offending driver races away, leaving you to wonder what just happened? What do I do now? What isn’t minor is the inconvenience to you when your car is hit.
The first thing you should do if you are in a Hit and Run situation is look around. Is there anyone who may have witnessed the collision? Someone may have some information for you. Note the time of day and where you parked. Take photos of your car and the area, clearly showing the extent of the damage. The more information you can gather about the incident the better you can support your side.
Once that’s done visit a Collision Reporting Centre. Don’t know where the nearest one is to you in Ontario? Visit here to find a convenient location. The more information you have to report to the police the better. Your information may lead to identifying the other driver. Once reported you will receive a collision report number.
If you are going to make an insurance claim insurance companies require a police report and that collision report number.
How Damaged is Your Car, really?
Sometimes, what looks like superficial damage, could lead to more severe repairs than at first glance. Getting your car to a trusted mechanic for an assessment is paramount. Most insurance companies have preferred repair shops. This means they will guarantee the work of the repair shop. You can call your broker to ask for what preferred repair shops your insurance company has in the area. You can also take your car to your own mechanic.
Understanding the extent of the damage, and the cost to repair it, might affect how you will proceed. Minor scratches are one thing, but damage to front tire areas could lead to more expensive repairs.
Do You Have the Proper Coverage on Your Policy?
A little quirk in Ontario auto insurance is that if you are the victim of a hit and run, where the third party who caused the damage is not identified, then the claim falls under your uninsured/unidentified motorist coverage. This means your Collision Deductible will apply to your claim. If you do not have collision coverage on your policy you will have to pay for the repairs yourself.
How Will a Hit and Run Affect My Insurance?
If you are the victim of a hit and run and reported it to the police, to your broker and insurance company, you will be deemed not at fault. Meaning the accident won’t be charged against you for the calculation of insurance premiums.
Unsure of what to do? Call us. A personal insurance expert at Lackner McLennan and Erb and Erb will help you through the claim process and answer any questions you have.
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Lackner McLennan and Erb and Erb provide these informational articles to educate the public about insurance and investment related matters. This article does not substitute for broker advice regarding your specific insurance or investment needs. For a comprehensive strategy to tackle what you, your family, or your business, may need we invite you to speak directly to a broker who can guide you through all the options available to you.