Accidents are never a good thing, but they happen more frequently than you might expect. Whether you ’ re in a fender-bender or multi-car collision, knowing what to do after the accident is something you should learn ahead. It enables you to handle the site efficaciously in the chaotic moments following an accident. In this report, we ’ ll look at when you need to report an accident to your insurance company, and when you might not need to report it. We ’ ll besides review what information you should provide and what to expect after you ’ ve reported your accident .

When to report an accident to insurance

Whether or not you need to report an accident to insurance largely depends on the extent of damage, whether or not others were involved, and the rush of the vehicles in the collision. In most cases, you will want to report an accident to your insurance company to ensure you are protected and provided for financially in the consequence of injury or damage.

Any accident that involves another car or cars should be reported. The same is true for any accident where there are injuries — or any accident that involves significant price to your car, another vehicle, or to early property, such as a fence or light post. The only fourth dimension you might not need to report your accident is if your car is the entirely one involved, or the damage is negligible. For exercise, if you are backing out of your garage and you sideswipe your postbox, you may decide to pay for the repairs yourself and not involve your insurance company, so your premium doesn ’ metric ton rise .

What you need to report an accident

Accidents can leave you feeling reasonably shaken, so having a beneficial estimate ahead of what you need to say and do is a bang-up theme. You may tied want to keep a list of the data you ’ ll need in your baseball glove compartment so that if the fourth dimension comes when you need it, it ’ sulfur easily accessible. basically, you ’ ll need to contribution the following with the indemnity rep you talk to :

  • Your name and the name of any other drivers
  • The policy number of the policy that you’ll be making the claim to (whether it is yours or the other driver’s)
  • License numbers of all involved drivers
  • Where the accident happened
  • The date and time it happened
  • A general description of what happened. A quick internet search may result in diagrams useful for describing right of way and intersections as necessary. 

In summation, if you are able to get the names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident, that can be helpful. You may need this information late if your claim is contested. Having photograph or television testify of any damage to vehicles is besides recommended .

Reporting an accident to insurance

many providers now make it easy to report your accident via the carrier ’ mho web site. many major indemnity companies, such as Geico, offer an on-line form you can fill out to report your claim. Others may take a telephone call. Either way, it ’ mho typically a fairly childlike process to initiate a claim.

Having a patrol report from the accident helps even more. Calling the police for all but the most minor of accidents is recommended. They will fill out either an incidental or an accident report that you can keep with your paperwork related to the accident. note that the insurance company you report your claim to may not be your own. There are two types of claims : a first-person claim goes to your own insurance company ; while a third-person claim goes to the company of the early driver involved in the accident. The latter would come into bid if the other driver was at defect for the accident. Regardless of which indemnity company you make the claim with, the steps will basically be exchangeable. If you do make a third-party claim with the other company, it ’ s a good idea to let your own insurance company know so that if there are issues with the claim, they can advocate for you through the work of subrogation .

What to expect after you report the accident

Most claims build up smoothly, provided all data is accurately conveyed at the prison term of filing. Expect a brief period of waiting while the policy adjuster assesses the damage and works through the paperwork involved. In many cases, your initial claim will be decided without extra input signal from you, and you ’ ll receive a check, if you ’ re entitled to one. The best car policy companies will handle the site quickly and competently. occasionally, a claim will be denied. If the denial is apologize — for exercise, if you make a claim on damage to your own car for an accident you caused, but don ’ t have collision coverage — there ’ s little you can do about it.

But if you feel the defense was unjust, or that the amount you received wasn ’ thyroxine average, you do have recourse to arbitration. Don ’ t cash any checks, and speak first to your policy agent to find out what the problem was. Every insurance company has its own serve for filing an invoke ; you ’ ll want to follow their directions to do therefore. If that doesn ’ t resolve your situation, and you placid feel you ’ ve been dealt with unfairly, you can file an invoke with your state ’ south indemnity commissioner. Another option is to hire a public adjuster or lawyer and work out a scheme with them to recoup your losses .

The takeaway: 

  • In all but the most minor of accidents, it’s best to report the accident to an insurance company.
  • You can report an accident by phone, or online, in some cases.
  • A first party claim is one you make to your own insurance company; a third party claim goes to the company of the other driver in the accident.
  • If you do not feel the insurer has dealt with you fairly, you may file an appeal with the company or your state’s insurance commissioner. You may also hire a lawyer to represent you.

Being involved in an accident is never fun, but knowing what to do when it happens can spare you some grief. Unless the accident is very minor, you ’ ll want to file a claim with either your own insurance company or that of the other driver in the accident. This is a fairly bare process handled over the call or on-line, in most cases. If your claim is not approved, you can file an appeal or hire a lawyer to represent you with the insurance company .

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