Yes, you have to report an accident to insurance. You should report any accident to your car insurance provider as soon as possible because virtually every major auto insurance company in the U.S. requires policyholders to report all accidents in a timely manner. Still, it’s important to remember that reporting an accident to your insurance provider is not the same thing as filing an insurance claim, which could result in a rate increase, unlike a simple notification.
Sometimes, drivers involved in minor accidents want to avoid reporting them to their insurance providers to avoid rate increases, and because they believe they can handle any fallout from the incident themselves. However, this line of thinking is a mistake. Failing to report an accident to your insurance provider could result in claims stemming from the accident being denied since it wasn’t recorded properly. Plus, you could face fines from your insurance provider or lose your policy altogether.
So, whether the accident you were in was just a minor fender bender or a more serious incident, you should report it to your insurance provider from the scene, once you get home, or from the hospital, should you need medical attention. Even if you weren’t at fault, you should report the accident so that if you need to file a claim to cover repairs or medical bills, your provider won’t have grounds to deny it.
The only exception to this rule is if a minor accident that injures no one happens in a vehicle you own outright, on your property, and you don’t intend on making a claim with your insurance company to cover repair costs. In this case, there’s no dispute about who’s at fault for the accident or who’s responsible for paying for damages.
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