How Long Do You Have To Contact the Insurance Company After an Accident?

You’ve just been involved in a car accident, and now your mind is racing with the questions you have and things you need to check:

  • Is everyone in your car okay?
  • Are there any injuries that need immediate medical attention?
  • Is your car drivable and can it be moved to a safe location?
  • Did you exchange the necessary information with the other driver?

One of the last things on your mind at such a stressful time may be speaking with the insurance company. In fact, you may dread calling the insurance company and having to explain the circumstances surrounding your crash. However, any delay in reporting the accident to your insurance company may cost you in the end.

How Important is It to Contact My Insurance Company Quickly?

According to Consumerreports.org, you should attempt to make contact with your insurance agency to begin the claims process as soon as possible following a car accident. A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that even inexpensive fender benders between two vehicles can produce upwards of $3,000 of damage. The longer you wait to contact your insurance company and report an accident, the more likely you are to run afoul of the insurance company’s  notification requirements for reporting an accident. Therefore, according to DMV.org, if you expect to file a claim with your insurance company or you caused an accident, you ought to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.

What Information Should I Obtain Before Contacting My Insurance Company?

Consumerreports.org recommends that drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents seek to obtain the name, address, phone number, and insurance information of every other driver involved in the crash. Drivers should obtain the plate numbers for all vehicles involved in the crash. Taking photos of the accident scene with a smart phone and/or drawing a diagram can assist you in remembering important details that your claims adjustor may need to know to process your claim.

Are There Times I Should Not Call the Insurance Company?

Only you can determine whether you ought to file a claim with your insurance company after an accident. Before making this decision, you should be aware that filing a claim may cause your insurance company to view you as a higher risk. As a result, your policy premiums may go up. Depending on your policy, you may receive little benefit from filing a claim. For example, if the accident occurred on your own property and resulted in only minor damage to your car, the deductible that you might have to pay (coupled with the increase in your premium if you did file a claim) may not justify filing a claim. In such an instance, it might make more sense to simply pay for the car repairs out of pocket.

Larry Wins Car Accident Cases!

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