Yes, you should report a fender bender to insurance. Most insurance policies require the policyholder to report any accident to the insurance company within 30 days, regardless of whether they plan to file a claim or not.
It’s important to remember that reporting an accident is not the same as filing a claim. As a result, you should report the crash even if you don’t plan to file a claim later. If the other driver files a claim with your insurer and you never reported the accident, your insurance company may deny you coverage or even drop your policy.
Why You Should Report a Fender Bender to Insurance
Most insurance policies require drivers to report accidents.
You might decide to file a claim later, since property damage or injuries might turn out to be more serious than they appear.
The other driver may seem agreeable at the scene of the accident, but they might decide later to dispute fault or file a claim against you.
You should file an insurance claim when you can’t afford to pay cash for damages or medical bills that your insurance policy will cover. You should pay out of pocket instead of filing an insurance claim if the repairs or medical bills incurred in an accident that you cause will cost less than your deductible.… read full answer
For example, it might be worth it to pay for a minor fender bender yourself, especially if the accident was your fault or you’ve filed a claim recently. Your claims history is important because the more claims you make, the more of a risk you are in the eyes of insurance providers. You could see higher premiums, or even have your canceled outright, as a result.
When to Consider Paying Out of Pocket
You have comprehensive or collision insurance and there is only minor damage to your vehicle.
Repairs cost less than your insurance policy deductible.
You have recent claims or tickets on your driving record.
When You Should File an Insurance Claim
There is major property damage that will cost more than your deductible to repair.
There are injuries.
The accident involves other vehicles.
You have accident forgiveness on your insurance policy.
Keep in mind that if you’re in a car accident, you should notify your insurance provider of the incident whether you plan on filing a claim or paying out of pocket yourself. All major insurers require customers to report all accidents, no matter the size.
Also, if you’re in an accident that’s not your fault, you should file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider so that it pays its portion of any medical bills or property damage you incurred in the accident. How much the at-fault driver’s insurance provider will pay out depends on the driver’s policy limits and their state.
Yes, a fender bender counts as an accident for insurance purposes. Most insurance policies require drivers to report any accident, including fender benders, and an at-fault fender bender will usually disqualify you from your insurer’s safe driver or good driver discount. The specific requirements for these discounts vary by company, but they usually require at least three years without an at-fault accident.… read full answer
It’s important to treat a fender bender like any other accident for a few reasons. With the technology in cars steadily advancing, even a seemingly-small fender bender can result in expensive repairs. Similarly, injuries sometimes take a while to appear, leading to unexpected claims. By the way, these are also reasons why you should take photos and document evidence, as well as exchange names and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved in a fender bender.
Plus, if you don’t report a fender bender to your insurance company, they will be caught off guard if you or another driver decide to file a claim down the road. Depending on the terms of your policy, the insurance company could even drop you for failing to report an accident. Keeping your insurer informed can help protect you if another driver makes a fraudulent claim in the future, too.
It’s also important to note that in most states, you are required to file a police report for any accident, including a fender bender, if the damage exceeds a certain dollar amount or if anyone is injured. Each state has a different threshold, though, and a few states only require police reports for serious accidents. However, since it’s hard for drivers to assess the cost of damage in the heat of the moment, reporting a fender bender is the safest choice.
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