Increase in ‘hit and run’ incidents during COVID-19 Lockdown leaving car owners out of pocket.
In mid-April, the PSNI reported that despite a 60% reduction in traffic flow due to the COVID-19 lockdown, they had arrested 103 people for drink or drug driving offences in the fortnight prior. The PSNI reported that arrests were made by police officers on patrol and at vehicle checkpoints as well as following calls from members of the public, shop and security staff and in some cases, from concerned family members.
In the same period, we have seen an increase in ‘hit and run’ accident damage repairs for customers. More people are working from home and have also increased the frequency of their grocery shopping, this had led to a rise in the number of people who have had their cars damaged whilst left unoccupied in carparks.
With people’s finances restricted due to the situation the belief is that no one wants to admit to causing, or pay for, the damage, but a trend is showing that these types of incidents are increasing.
It is apparent from repairers that people are reluctant to make a claim on their car insurance. The concern here is that while people feel that claiming may affect their no-claims bonus, but with some damage being well over the policy excess it might be a false economy not to have the car repaired properly. Certainly, for the person who has been hit it is a terrible additional cost for them to have to face at this time.
We urge anyone who has caused an accident with a parked and unoccupied vehicle to leave their details for the owner to be able to contact them to get insurance details.
Jonathan McKeown, CEO of CRASH Services, commented, “With the increase in ‘hit and run’ incidents taking place across the country, we urge businesses, especially supermarkets, to co-operate with the PSNI and insurance claims investigators by providing CCTV footage without delay to ensure that owners who have had their cars damaged are not losing out by being forced to make claims on their own policy, particularly during this time of financial uncertainty for many.”
If you’ve been in a road incident that wasn’t your fault CRASH Services Accident Management can take care of everything at no cost to you. Speak to one of our specialists now from our claims team.