Should I Tell My Insurance Company About a Minor Accident?
Updated: Jan 11, 2022
It is not uncommon for a person who drives a car on a regular basis to get into a fender bender or two. But being in any car accident, even a small one, is scary and can make people panic and wonder what to do. Fortunately, most people have car insurance that can help cover any financial responsibility.
Still, if no one was injured and there's no major damage, is it necessary to call a car insurance company? Also, what happens if a person doesn't report the accident? The short answer is yes — it is always good to let the insurance company know about the accident.
But let's get into more details together!
Why Is It Important to Report Every Minor Accident to the Insurance Company?
In the event of a minor accident, it is recommended to call the insurance company or broker and report it. That way, they can help those involved follow the process properly and avoid any complications. Here are some of the reasons why reporting even small fender benders is the right choice.
1. Sometimes People Miss the Extent of the Damage or an Injury at the First Glance
People often assume that the damage won't be too expensive to fix in minor accidents. Therefore, they are more willing to let it slide. However, instead of paying only a few hundred bucks for a broken bumper, they end up spending a few thousand dollars because of their car's special make and model.
In the same manner, some injuries become apparent only days or weeks after the crash. But if a person never reported the whole thing, the guilty party might claim the collision never happened.
2. The Insurance Company Can Help Out With Repairs
Insurance companies sometimes take a long time to settle a car accident. But if a person notifies their insurance provider of the collision with another car (even if it wasn't their fault), they will be able to start the repair process right away. Otherwise, they would have to wait until the dispute gets resolved. Moreover, the insurance company and advisor will fight for a reasonable claim settlement.
3. The Other Party Might Not Have a Car Insurance
If another driver and vehicle were involved in the accident it is important to report it on time. Otherwise, they might have to cover all the expenses on their own. On the other hand, if they report the incident in a timely manner, they can get compensation through underinsured coverage.
What to Say to the Insurance Company After a Minor Accident
Sometimes people get nervous about reporting a minor collision to their insurance company. That happens because they think they will say something that could possibly damage them if they decide to file a claim. While this could happen, it is good to remember that you are asserting the facts when you notify your insurance company about the event.
So, when speaking to the insurance company, it would be best to explain how it all happened, who is involved, what the damage is, and if there are any witnesses. Also, if a person sustained some injuries, they should mention them too, as well as the possible consequences.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if the other driver's insurance company calls, it's best to say as little as possible. Revealing too much information about the accident might cause some trouble if the person decides to file a claim. So, those who find themselves in such a situation should simply report the basic information about the accident and not go into details.
After a person reports the accident, they can expect to get a follow-up letter. That's how the insurance company will let them know about the details of their claim. If they never get such a letter, they should contact the insurance carrier and make sure it has properly filed the claim.
Calling to report a minor accident isn't the same as filing a claim. However, by notifying the insurance company, the person gets a backup in case the damage or injuries turn out to be more serious. While it is ideal to inform your insurance company, it’s not always worth to get a lawyer for a minor car accident.
Also, the other party involved might file a claim with their own insurance company. Then, both insurance companies will get notified anyway. So, it is best to just be honest upfront about the accident, even if it's just a minor fender bender. However, if you need assistance making a claim if the damages are severe, contact a Des Moines vehicle accident lawyer.