Yes, uninsured motorist coverage can cover a hit and run. Since the party that caused the accident left, and there is no at-fault driver’s insurance policy to make a damages claim against, it is the same as if the driver had stayed at the scene but was uninsured.
Victims of a hit and run can recover damages up to the limits of their uninsured motorist coverage from their insurance company. Florida uninsured motorist (UM) coverage protects people who would have a legal right to recover damages from a hit and run if the person who injured them had auto insurance.
Damages & Uninsured Motorist Coverage
A victim can recover compensation for bodily injury, sickness, disease or wrongful death if they are the result of the uninsured/hit and run driver’s negligence.
Typically, UM coverage will not pay for damages including pain and suffering, mental anguish or inconvenience. Under Florida law, you might only be able to recover these damages if you experience at least one of these circumstances:
- Significant loss of an important bodily function, expected to be permanent
- Permanent injury
- Permanent, significant scars or disfigurement
Multiple Possible Uninsured Motorist Policies
In some circumstances, you might have more than one possible uninsured motorist policy that could pay your damages. Usually, you can only recover from one UM policy, and you cannot “stack” the coverage of more than one insurance plan.
If you are inside a motor vehicle at the time of the wreck, the UM coverage for that car or truck will apply to your damages.
If you are a pedestrian, bicyclist, or outside a motor vehicle at the time of the accident, you get to choose between any UM policy that covers you. Your choice includes one of the cars in the crash or a policy that either you or someone in your household owns if it names you as an insured.
If you sustain injuries while inside a vehicle owned by someone who is not a member of your household, you can get compensation from any of the auto policies that cover you, as long as you are a named insured or insured family member on that policy. This provision gives you the option of using your or your family’s UM coverage if the policy limits are higher than that of the car in which you were riding.
However, if you were in a vehicle owned by someone in your household and the owner had declined UM coverage for that car, you cannot seek compensation for your damages under the UM coverage for a different vehicle owned by someone in your household.
Which Florida Motor Vehicles Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Under Florida Statute 627.727, insurance companies are not allowed to sell motor vehicle liability insurance unless the policies include UM coverage or specifically permit the buyer to choose not to purchase UM coverage. This provision must be in bold letters and cannot be in the fine print.
Alternative Insurance That Might Pay in a Hit-and-Run Accident
Florida is a “no-fault” auto accident state, meaning that your auto insurance policy will pay your damages up to a point. Florida Statute 627.736 states that your policy must include personal injury protection that pays up to $10,000 in medical and disability claims and $5,000 in death benefits for injuries sustained in a car accident.