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.
Continue reading some more details about whether you should report a car accident to your insurance company below and then make sure to find cheap car insurance by using our FREE car insurance quote comparison tool at the top of the page!
Do I Have to Report a Car Accident?
The answer is that, yes, you are contractually obligated to report accidents to your auto insurer. The reality is that there is basically nothing in place to back it up. Police usually don’t report accidents to the insurance companies. So, it’s more a matter of don’t tell and handle it yourself and the insurance company will never know. For this reason, even if you are supposed to report any and all accidents to your insurance company, many people do not, depending on the circumstances.
When reporting your car crash, make sure to take pictures so you can show the insurance company the evidence.
No matter the circumstance, we are here to answer the question to “Do I have to report an accident to my insurance company?”
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, what they have read from car crash articles, and whether or not there are any injuries. 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. That is why you should push someone to inform their insurance company when they ask, “Should you report a car accident?”
When there are no injuries involved and only very minor damage, both parties often decide between themselves to either pay for their own damages out of pocket 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 the repairs for the other party, as well as his or her own repairs.
This may save the at-fault individual high increases on their insurance policy premium for years to come. No matter your circumstance, never find yourself asking, “What if I don’t report an accident to my insurance company?” This could be the start to 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 or not an insured individual actually decides to report it or not. 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, tree, etc. are often unreported. If you have ever been a part of car crashes in your area, make sure you follow the correct reporting procedures from your insurance company!
The Consequences of Reporting a Car Crash
You might ask yourself, “Do I report it to my insurance company?” Quite often, reporting a car crash will mean a change in the premium you are paying for your car insurance, if you are at fault. 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. One thing to be especially wary of is if the car crash was a minor one and you talk with the other affected party and plan to deal with it out of pocket rather than involving the insurance company. In this case, you may still 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, which is a serious violation which will cost your insurance to definitely rise. 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 or not 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. The results are even presented in an easy to compare format. Don’t get caught not reporting a car accident.
Get started now using our car insurance quote comparison tool by entering your ZIP code into the tool below and get the ideal coverage you need right away!