Hit-and-Run Car Accident – What’s Covered & How To File a Claim?Motor Insurance-
A hit-and-run car accident is a stressful event which is typically violation of the law. Leaving the scene after hitting a vehicle is a criminal offense. If you are a victim, this may leave you confused and upset.
Handling the situation wisely may help you overcome the trouble in a most effective way. Anytime you are involved in such a situation, what to do next? If you have purchased car insurance in kenya, fortunately your insurance company can help you recover all your loss.
What is a HIT AND RUN Accident?
A hit and run car accident is any accident in which the driver of another vehicle hits your car and flees from the scene intentionally. Many a times, people run from the site because either they are not insure for the vehicle they operate or they are not properly licensed. In Kenya, buying the minimum cover i.e. Third Party car Insurance for the vehicle you own is a mandatory rule.
But this type of cover may not offer you or the victim with the needed protection. That’s why people leave the place after causing a car accident if no one noticed the incident or the victim party is not present at the situation.
Hit and Run Case occurs in two major conditions:
- When a driver strikes your vehicle in a road accident and escapes.
- A driver hits your unattended parked car and leaves no contact information or way of collecting damages.
Today, we will discuss all the essential steps which you should follow in any of these two unfortunate situations:
SOMEONE HIT MY PARKED CAR AND RUN AWAY. NOW WHAT?
Hit and Runs are very common these days. As stated by Insurance Information Institute (III), approximately every 10 cases out 100 are Hit And Runs out of which 4 to 5 are Car Hit In a Parking Lot Cases. When it comes to insurance in such cases, it’s actually difficult especially when the accident is not witnessed.
What if after buying groceries, you headed towards your car in the parking lot and you found it damaged. Whom will you blame for the damage and who will recover for all that loss?
Here are some common steps which you should pursue while caught in such a situation?
Ask the people
The first thing which you should do is to ask the people standing nearby or if someone witnessed the accident. If there is no one, you can ask anyone in the parking lot like security guards. Tell them the whole story, how you found your car hit by someone and it has big nasty dents over it. Ask them for the next procedure like if they have cameras or anything that can assist you to catch the offender.
Collect the maximum information
Try to gather as much information about the incident as you can. If someone witnessed the incident, you can ask their names, addresses, phone numbers etc. You can also collect information about the culprit if you get the CCTV Camera Recordings.
Report the police about the accident
Do inform the police about the accident as soon as possible. The delay may lead to mask the culprit as well as proofs that you can get instantly with the assistance of police. Tell them about the extent of damage. Provide them with all the information which you have gathered. You can also take pictures and can use them as proofs. They will provide you a report number which will further help you while filing claim for damage that you have gone through.
Inform your Insurance Providers
This is mandatory to inform your Insurance agents about the accident within 24 hours if you want to file the claim and get coverage for the loss. If the driver of the vehicle which hit your car is not identified then your insurance company will pay for this claim under your own automobile insurance policy subject to your deductible. But if the driver is identified then it may be claimed under direct reimbursement without any deductibles under your insurance policy. For that, make sure that you are paying your premiums at best rates and timely.
II. I AM A VICTIM OF HIT N RUN, NOW WHAT TO DO?
No one plans to be in an accident but it happens unfortunately. Whether you are at fault or some other person, the major thing is who is going to compensate all the loss or damage which the victim encounters. And if it is a HIT N RUN CASE, how should a person handles the situation?
Try to record information
Whether you are a victim or an offender, first rule is to stay at the incident site. When your car is hit by another vehicle and the driver speeds off, first thing one should do is to record as much information as possible. Leaving the incident place may mask the liable person. Never leave the incident place.
Try to record the following information:
- Make and Model of another vehicle, if possible.
- Get the license number plate.
- What color the car is
- Time and location of accident
- Contact information of potential witnesses
- Pictures of the scene and damage to your car
Gathering the valuable information may help the police to catch the criminal. Additionally, this will help your insurance firm to adjudicate your claim.
Report the accident to the Police
Striking a vehicle and running from the place is a criminal offense. If a person does such a serious offense and gets caught, then he has to face strict consequences. Call the police as soon as possible. In case, any one is injured, call the ambulance immediately. Try to get out of traffic and move to one of the safest place nearby. Wait for the police to arrive at the site. Report the complete incident and provide all the information about the offensive which you gathered.
This may include
- Exact location of accident.
- Name of possible Witnesses
- Direction the driver headed
- Pictures of the scene and damage to your car
- Any recorded information about the vehicle of offender.
Now, finally when you have informed the police, the next step is to contact your insurance agent.
Contact Your Insurance Company
To reimburse all your loss or property damage, it is must to contact your insurance agent about the accident within 24 hours. Reporting to police is important as when you file for claiming a ‘hit and run’ case, your insurance company will likely require a copy of report or a report number. This is a preventive step to avoid any kind of fraudulent reporting of the damage occurred to your vehicle. The Hit N Run Case is covered under your own purchased policy as the driver of the vehicle flees away after hitting your car to avoid any kind of coverage that will be fulfilled under his policy.
If the policy is successful to catch the liable person, you can easily get every information about the policy owned by him and thus can file claim from the insurance company he is a customer with. Another probability is that the other person didn’t have any policy protection, you can try to get money through court or take any other legal actions.
The other case is when police is not able to catch the offender, in such situation, you can choose to claim your own insurance company. Minimum cover or third-party cover is not enough to cover the protection that you need and here comes the role of comprehensive car insurance.
If you have purchased comprehensive car insurance, you can claim for all the loss with your insurance provider. A hit and run case ends up costing a large amount of money and filing claim for such case with your own agent may lose some or all of your no claims discount, and it may involve a large excess.
If you have not bought comprehensive car insurance and are planning to buy one, the best way to protect and insure your car against all types of damages and accidental losses is to buy Car Insurance.
Allianz Kenya offers Customized Car Insurance premiums with superior coverage, affordable price range and all the benefits of fully comp. We are ranked among top car insurance providers in Kenya. For car insurance rates, visit our page for a free quote!
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