Question: I was forced off the road by a vehicle pulling a boat. Neither I nor the witness that was driving behind me knows if there was actual contact. The vehicle with the boat kept going and remains unidentified. Is there any coverage for this under my uninsured motorist coverage?
Answer: If you were injured, it’s possible that the uninsured motorist bodily injury portion of your car insurance policy will cover you for this incident; however, uninsured motorist property damage will not normally cover any of your vehicle’s damages.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury covers hit-and-run accidents, and in some states miss-and-run incidents, which it sounds as if your accident would be considered one or the other.
If you or your passengers were injured when you were forced off the road, you should contact your car insurance company about making a claim for these injuries. Your insurer can tell you if a claim will be covered, even if there wasn’t contact. Having an independent witness to the incident should help your claim.
Your vehicle, unfortunately, won’t be covered unless you have collision coverage.
Uninsured motorist property damage doesn’t cover hit-and-run or miss-and-run accidents. Auto insurance companies fear that drivers would be untruthful about how the damage occurred if they accepted these types of claims.
Car insurance companies’ suspect that drivers would try to pass claims that really should go under collision coverage through their uninsured motorist property damage by saying the incident was the fault of someone that didn’t stop. Even with a witness, this coverage wouldn’t cover your vehicle if the other party is unknown.
For a claim under uninsured motorist property damage, it can’t be a “phantom vehicle” that hit you but a known vehicle and driver, so that your insurance company can investigate and find that the other person was at-fault and uninsured.
If you have collision coverage, then you can make an auto insurance claim under this portion of your policy for the damages your car received when it was forced off the roadway.
With collision coverage, your associated deductible will be due, and it’s possible your car insurance rates may go up. Speak to your agent to find out if this claim would affect your rates.