In a typical car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays for injuries and property damage. In the case of a hit-and-run accident, it’s trickier if you don’t have the other driver’s information to give to your insurance company. If you are in an accident and the other driver flees the scene, you should call the police and file a report as soon as possible, then contact your insurance company. You may be covered under your own insurance policy, which could help you pay for repairs or injuries.
There are two types of auto insurance coverages that might pay in this situation: collision coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.
Texas law requires drivers to have liability coverage to pay for damage to other people’s cars in the case of an accident. However, Texas law doesn’t require you to have physical damage coverage that pays for damage to your own car. One type of physical damage coverage is called collision coverage.
Collision pays for damage to your car when you hit something. It doesn’t matter who is at fault. In the case of hit-and-run accidents, collision coverage pays for the damage, but won’t pay for any injuries.
As the name suggests, UM/UIM pays if your car is damaged by a driver who does not have any or enough insurance, including hit and run accidents. It will also cover you and your passengers if you are hurt and for loss of use expenses such as renting a car while your car is being repaired. UM/UIM coverage is subject to a limit, which is shown on your declarations page (link to dec page info). This coverage always has a $250 deductible, which is usually less than the collision deductible.
Auto insurance companies must offer Texas consumers this coverage, and if you choose not to buy it, you must reject it in writing. Remember, you can request to add UM/UIM coverage to your auto policy at any time.
If you have both collision and UM/UIM coverage, they will usually work together in a hit-and-run accident. If you don’t have collision or UM/UIM coverage, consider asking your insurance company or agent how much they cost to add to your policy. You don’t want to be stuck paying out of pocket in a hit-and-run accident. Learn more about auto insurance coverages by reading our Shopping Guide.