What Happens If I Don't Report an Accident to My Auto Insurance Company? Insurance claims can help you pay for damage to your vehicle. When you get into an auto accident, the standard procedure is to check to see if anyone is hurt, call the police and then contact your auto insurance agency to file a claim. However, in some situations you are not required to file a claim or report the accident to your insurance agency. There are a number of things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to report an accident. Out of Pocket Costs o One consequence of not reporting an auto accident to your insurance company is having to pay for any damage yourself. When you report an accident and file a claim, your insurance coverage kicks in, and the insurance company pays for any covered damage after you pay your deductible. If the damage is minor, and you have a high deductible, it might make more sense for you to pay for the repairs yourself because filing accident claims might make your insurance premiums more expensive. You can report an accident but not file a claim. Policy Risks o Many insurance policies require that you report an accident, regardless of whether you want to file a claim or not. The company wants to know about all accidents and damage to the vehicle. If you do not report an accident, your insurance policy might be canceled. The reason the insurance company wants to know about all accidents so that it has a record of any vehicle damage. That way, you cannot include the damage on a future claim. Legal Consequences o According to the FindLaw website, state law requires drivers to report an accident if there is any vehicle damage, injury or death. If you or the other driver leaves the scene of the accident and does not report it, you or the other driver could face a traffic ticket, and possibly a felony hit and run charge. Another thing to keep in mind is that some injuries are not apparent immediately, so it is a good idea to file a police report anyway, even if there is no apparent injury or damage. At the very least, exchange information with the other driver. This fulfills your legal obligation after an accident. Tell Your Side o If you fail to report an auto accident to your insurance company, you lose your chance to explain your side of the story to the company. If there is any question as to who is at fault, the insurance companies of both drivers will review the information from the police report, as well as get detailed information from the insured drivers. Your insurance company can help you prove that you were not at fault, but only if you report the accident.
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