Most drivers expect to be involved in an accident at some point in their lives. Some collisions are minor, but in cases that justify an insurance claim, you should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.
Understanding when to inform insurance companies of an accident is the best way to get compensated for losses related to personal injuries and property damage.
Reporting the Accident and Filing a Claim
Many drivers don’t realize that there is a distinction between reporting an accident and filing an insurance claim.
The policies held by drivers and their insurance providers require them to report any events to the insurance company if there is a chance that coverage may be triggered by a claim.
You must notify your insurance company if you believe that you or the other driver might file a claim seeking compensation following an accident. Policies may include terms that require these events to be reported within a specified time period.
A claim is filed when the insurance company receives a request to provide the coverage outlined in the policy agreement. Coverage can include automobile repairs, the cost of a rental vehicle, or medical expenses.
This includes a third-party claim in which a driver files a claim with the other driver’s insurance provider. Regardless of whether or not a claim is filed, an insurance adjuster may initiate an investigation into the accident once it’s been reported.
Failing to Report an Accident to Your Insurance Company
In minor accidents, drivers may hesitate to make a report to their insurance companies. This typically occurs due to the belief that their premiums will go up if they report an accident.
But insurance rates don’t automatically increase when you report an accident. In fact, failing to report the accident could lead to more significant and costly issues down the line.
If a claim is made by you or the other driver after the accident has taken place, and you have failed to report the incident, the claim may be denied. This is especially true in cases that involve terms that require you to report an accident as soon as possible.
Violating any term will be viewed as a breach of your agreement and gives insurance companies an easy way to avoid paying for any claims.
Notifying the insurance company within the required time period ensures that you receive the coverage you deserve and that other drivers will be compensated for damages in accidents where you were at fault.
Getting Compensated for Your Damages
The extent of a person’s injuries may not be fully known just after an accident has taken place. Reporting an accident increases the likelihood of receiving compensation for medical expenses.
Future medical costs add up, and reporting your accident as soon as possible notifies the insurance company that you’re receiving medical treatment.
Loss of income due to missed work days or disabilities must be considered. So even if you aren’t at fault, you should still report the accident to the insurance company.
Reporting your accident allows your insurance company to monitor claims. Drivers should collect the contact information of other drivers as well as the information related to their insurance providers.
Photographs and other evidence should also be collected regardless of whether or not you will ultimately file a claim. These and other forms of evidence can be provided to your insurance company when you report the accident.
If you’re not sure when to report or file a claim for your accident, consult with a skilled attorney to ensure that you have all the resources you need.
Understanding your options and important legal considerations maximizes the compensation you receive for any damages. This allows you to fully recover from your injuries while protecting your legal rights and financial well being.