Hit and Run Accident Insured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Imagine you are driving on the road, are struck by another vehicle, and the driver of the other vehicle does not stop at the scene of the accident and flees. It is important to be clear what you definitely should not do, and what you should do.
You should NOT chase the other vehicle to determine who its owner and/or driver are. This puts both you and other people’s safety at risk.
Here are some tips on what you SHOULD do. Try to remember the make, model and color of their vehicle. Jot down the licence plate. Get the names of witnesses who observed the accident and can later verify what exactly happened. Contact the police at the scene of the accident and make your report; if the police do not come, go to the nearest self-reporting collision centre. Contact your insurance company and advise them that you have been involved in a hit and run accident.
If the other vehicle is found, you can pursue a lawsuit against their insurance company for compensation. But if the other vehicle cannot be found, or if it is uninsured, you can file a lawsuit against your own insurance company. This is because, pursuant to section 265 of the Insurance Act, all auto insurance policies must have uninsured motorist coverage (“UMC”). For most policies, the limit is generally $1 million; but it is $200,000 for UMC.
Section 3 of O. Reg. 676 sets forth a number of procedural requirements. You are required to report the accident within 24 hours of the accident or as soon as practicable thereafter. Second, you must provide a written statement to your insurance company within 30 days of the accident or as soon as practicable thereafter. In this video, we explain all of these points in more detail.