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Do I have to report a car crash?

Drivers exchanging information after an accident.
Here's what you need to know...
  • You are contractually obligated to report accidents to your auto insurer
  • If there are any injuries involving either party, it is in your best interest to report the accident to your insurance company and the police
  • If you have no fault, reporting an accident will not raise your car insurance costs

There are so many stresses that come as a result of being involved in a car crash.

One of the many stressful aspects is the fact that you need to decide whether or not to report the accident to your car insurance company.

In fact, there are often negative financial consequences that result from reporting such information, even if you do not involve the insurer in making restitution to a third party or to cover your own expenses.

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Do I have to report an accident?

Businessman Making Phone Call After Traffic Accident

You are contractually obligated to report accidents to your auto insure, so it is in your best interest to contact your insurance company if you are involved in an accident.

After you’ve reported your car crash, make sure to take pictures so you can show the insurance company the evidence.

The Extent of Damages or Injuries Affects Reporting

Many people make their decision about whether or not to report a car crash to their insurance company based on:

  • the extent of the damages
  • whether there are any injuries
  • whether other people involved in the accident are threatening to contact their insurance carrier

If there are any injuries involving either party, even very minor ones, it is definitely in your best interest to report the accident to your insurance company and the police.

Small injuries at the time of the accident often have a way of turning into something more serious later.

When there are no injuries involved and only very minor damage, both parties often decide between themselves to either pay for their own damages or to just put up with the slight damage to their vehicle.

However, if it is a clear case of who is at fault, like in the case of one car being rear-ended by another, the person at-fault may agree to pay for the repairs.

This may save the at-fault individual high increases on their insurance policy premium for years to come.

No matter your circumstance, do not consider keeping this information from your insurance company. This could be the start of some major insurance trouble and is not worth it.

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Where the Accident Takes Place

The location of the accident will often have an impact on whether an insured individual actually decides to report it. The time and location will influence when to report an auto accident to your insurance company.

If you do not report a car accident, you could become at fault for not reporting.

Accidents that occur on private property, such as parking lots, are automatically deemed to be 50-50 in terms of who is at fault. Therefore, it is often easier for each party to cover the costs of repairs to his or her own vehicle only and not involve the insurance companies.

Such accidents often go unreported to insurers in order to avoid having the at-fault accident contribute to a rise in premiums.

Single car accidents, especially on one’s own property, in which a driver hits a stationary object, like a fence or tree, are often unreported. If you are ever involved in a car accident in your area, make sure you follow the correct reporting procedures from your insurance company.

The Consequences of Reporting a Car Crash

Teenage Driver Making Phone Call After Traffic Accident

Reporting a car accident usually means that there will be an increase in your premiums.

Even just being partially at fault can mean that you are you considered to be a higher-risk driver than you were prior to the accident.

If you decide to pay the claim yourself you may save yourself some of the increase in your coverage because you will not add a claim to your claims history. However, your premium will still likely be affected because your driving record will be tarnished by the crash.

Not reporting a car wreck to your insurance can drastically affect your car rates.

If you are completely not at fault, reporting a car crash will not affect your coverage.

This does not mean that you should simply not report it at all. You should always consider your options when you are involved in a minor accident.

Some people may speak with the other involved party and agree to pay for any damages and repairs out of pocket rather than involving the insurance company. While this can work in many cases, you may be putting yourself at risk.

While this can work in many cases, you may be putting yourself at risk.

If you leave the scene of the accident after discussing out-of-pocket settlement, the other party may still call the police and make a report.

If so, you can be charged with leaving the scene of an accident, a serious violation which will cause your insurance to rise and get you in trouble with the law.

Reporting an accident to the police does not always mean that the police will in turn report it to your insurer. Watch out for the legal ramifications of accidents.

Finding the Best Car Insurance Coverage

Regardless of whether you have reported car crashes to your present insurer, the time will come when you need to find prices on car insurance coverage.

If you are looking for a new policy and want good coverage at a good price, the best way to get it is to shop around carefully and compare what is available. The quickest and easiest way to get a variety of quotes from companies serving your area is to use our online quote tool.

Enter your zip code below to access car insurance rates from multiple companies today!

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