No, you do not have to file a claim after an accident. Most car insurance companies require you to report accidents as soon as possible, but reporting an accident does not automatically mean that you are going to file a claim.
If you’re trying to decide whether or not to file a claim, it’s important to know how long your state allows you to wait. Depending on your state, you may have 1-6 years to file a bodily injury claim or 1-10 years to file a property damage claim.
Even though you don’t have to file a claim immediately after an accident, it’s typically in your best interest to do so. The longer you wait to file a claim, the more difficult it will be to investigate, which lowers your chances of receiving a settlement.
A waiver of subrogation is a legal clause that prevents an insurance company from recovering the money they paid on a claim from the responsible party’s insurer. In car insurance, a waiver of subrogation usually keeps the not-at-fault driver’s insurer from recouping claims payments from an at-fault driver.
Say Driver B ran a red light and hit you when you were driving legally. You need your car repaired soon, but Driver B won’t admit fault, so you file a collision claim with your own insurance company and pay your deductible.
Then, your insurer begins the process of subrogation, negotiating with Driver B’s insurance company to try to replace the money it paid for your claim. You will even get your deductible back if subrogation is successful.
However, Driver B may offer to pay a set sum for the damage if you agree to sign a waiver of subrogation. Signing this waiver would mean forfeiting your right to get any more money from Driver B or his insurance company, regardless of any expenses from the accident that might arise in the future.
If someone hit your parked car, you should file a police report because it will make the claims process easier and might come in handy if there is more damage than you initially think. If the person who hit your car left a note, their insurance company should pay for your expenses with … read full answerproperty damage liability insurance. But if the incident was a hit-and-run, you or your insurance company will end up footing the bill.
What to Do After Someone Hits Your Parked Car
1. Contact the police to file an accident report.
An officer might be dispatched to the scene to investigate and write a report, or you might be asked to provide details to your local district in person or online.
2. Document the accident at the scene.
Take photos of the note left by the other driver, if there was one. Photograph any damage to your car and the overall scene, including a view of the roadway, the position of your vehicle, and any wreckage or skid marks.
If possible, get information from witnesses, including names, contact details, and a brief statement. Note the date, time, location, weather conditions, and any other relevant details, too.
3. Begin the claims process with your insurance company.
Your insurance company will guide you through the claims process and contact the other driver’s insurance provider on your behalf, if the person who hit your car left a note. If someone hit your car and didn’t leave a note, you’ll have to file a claim using your own collision coverage or uninsured motorist protection, assuming you carry these coverage types.
Insurance To Use If Someone Hits Your Parked Car
If your car is hit while parked, you can use your collision insurance or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to pay for the damage. Both types of coverage typically have a deductible, though, which means you’ll probably pay something out of pocket to get your car fixed. You’ll also be subject to your policy limits, so you’ll be responsible for any cost that exceeds your coverage terms.
Finally, it’s important to note that uninsured motorist property damage coverage is not available in some states. And in other states where it is available, you might be unable to use it if the at-fault driver is unidentified.
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