We’ve all been there. You’ve been in an accident and you don’t want to tell your insurance company. You might be afraid that your insurance rates will go up. Maybe you don’t want the hassle of dealing with insurance. You may also want to be the nice guy and just work things out with the other driver. Who could blame you?
Then, the shoe drops. The other driver doesn’t have insurance. Maybe the other driver files a claim and blames you for the accident. The only time you don’t need to report an accident is when the accident doesn’t involve any other drivers or when it happens on your property. You should always report an accident to your insurance company. Here’s why.
#1 It’s Your Responsibility
When you took out your auto insurance policy, you agreed to report all accidents to the insurance company. If you don’t report an accident, your insurance company could deny coverage in the future.
#2 Damages Aren’t Always Obvious
Damages to your car may not be seen until you get it to the shop. You may think that your headlight will only cost a couple of hundred dollars to replace, then you find out that it’s going to be more like $1,000. Same with your own body. Soft-tissue injuries may not become apparent until a couple of days after the accident when the adrenaline is no longer surging through your body. Reporting the accident immediately supports your claims.
#3 Your Insurance Company Can Help You Get Repairs
You may be able to make repairs through your own insurance policy instead of waiting to settle with the other driver’s company. The insurance company can also help you work out a settlement.
#4 The Other Driver May Blame You
If the other driver doesn’t have insurance or thinks you are to blame, you could be on the hook for the accident when you don’t report it. Reporting an accident to your insurance company can help you with your claim, even if you aren’t at fault.
#5 Reporting an Accident Isn’t the Same as Filing a Claim
Alerting your insurance company to an accident doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily file a claim. You may decide to pay out of pocket if the amount of damages is less than your deductible. You can make that decision once fault is determined and damages are calculated. As a personal injury lawyer from Daniel E. Stuart, P.C. would suggest to clients, it’s better to report the accident and make sure you can obtain future coverage than to risk your driving privileges.