To file an auto insurance claim against someone else, follow these steps:
Collect important information from the other driver at the scene. Be sure to get their name, address, insurance policy details, and driver’s license and plate numbers.
Take pictures at the scene. Document the damage to each vehicle and the entire accident with both cars as they sit immediately after, if possible.
Call the police and gather contact information and statements from witnesses. Depending on state laws, you may be required to file a police report. The police will determine who is at-fault and issue citations as needed.
Contact your insurance company as soon as reasonably possible. Notifying your insurer about a possible claim is required under the terms of your policy. They will follow up and represent you with the other driver’s insurance company after you provide the information you collected at the scene. The insurance companies will determine fault, taking into account police reports, statements, and physical evidence.
Wait for the other driver’s insurance company to determine fault. If the other driver’s insurance company determines their policyholder is at-fault, the insurer will settle your claim. If they deny your claim, you can file with your own insurer as long as you have collision coverage.
You do not have to contact the other driver’s insurance company to resolve your claim. It is the other driver’s responsibility to notify their own insurer about a possible claim, and your insurance company will contact them on your behalf anyway. Most insurers try to resolve claims within 30 days, but it could take less or more time than that.
You should file a claim with the other driver’s auto insurance company if you are not at fault for the accident and you have standard liability insurance but no collision coverage. Liability insurance pays for injuries and damage that a driver might cause to other people and property if at fault for a car accident. That means your liability insurance won’t be involved if you are not at fault. The other driver’s liability policy would cover the damage.… read full answer
But there are drawbacks to filing a claim with someone else’s insurance company. The other driver’s insurer will investigate your claim and confirm that its policyholder is at fault. And it’s typical for them to deny fault, especially if no police report was filed. If your claim is denied and you don’t have collision coverage, you’ll have to take the other driver’s insurance company to court, which could drag on for a while. Insurers know that the longer it takes and the more difficult it is to resolve a claim, the more likely it is that you will settle or drop it.
Things are a bit different if you have collision insurance, however. In that case, you can file a claim with either your auto insurance company or the other driver’s insurer. Filing with your insurer starts a process called subrogation. Your insurance company pays for your property damage and pursues compensation from the other driver’s insurance company after the fact. You may have to pay your collision deductible, but you could get that money back when your insurer settles with the other driver’s insurance company.
Collision insurance doesn’t cover your injuries, but if your insurance company is able to establish the other driver’s fault through subrogation, it might help get your medical bills paid by the other carrier. If the other driver was responsible for your property damage in an accident, they’re equally responsible for your injuries. Your insurance company will only pay for your injuries if you have medical payments coverage or personal injury protection.
If it turns out that the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you can make a claim through your uninsured motorist protection, if you have it. There is no deductible for uninsured motorist claims.
Yes, you can file an insurance claim with no police report after a car accident. Having a police report is helpful and can simplify the claims process, but it’s not required to file or authorize a claim. Whether or not you are legally required to file a police report depends on your state’s laws, however.… read full answer
In most states, you are required by law to file a police report if anyone is injured. You may also have to file a police report if property damage exceeds a certain amount, but the exact number varies greatly by state.
You don’t have to call the police after an accident if no one was hurt, the damage was minor, and everyone involved is licensed, insured and cooperative. In fact, the police can’t and won’t come to the scene of every accident. For example, you only need to contact the police after a minor fender bender if the other driver is uncooperative, uninsured, or intoxicated.
If you don’t file a police report right after a car accident, at least make sure to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver, and photograph the damage to both vehicles as well as the full scene of the accident. Write down the date, time and location of the accident, too, along with the weather and road conditions and a description of the vehicles involved.
You can always take this information to a police station to file an incident report if the police don’t come to the scene.
What happens if there is no police report for a car accident?
When a claim is filed after an accident, insurers want to know who was at fault so they can decide whose insurance will cover the damage. A police report is a detailed and official account of the accident that includes whether anyone was cited, eyewitness accounts, the officer’s opinion of how it happened, and any on-the-scene evidence – like the length of skid marks or the position of the wreckage on the road.
These details are useful when making an insurance claim, and a police report can make the process faster and easier. But not having one won’t bar you from being able to file a claim or lawsuit.
Whether you decide to file a police report or not, it’s always in your best interest to report a car accident involving another driver to your insurance company. Making a report is not the same thing as filing a claim. Most insurance companies require you to report an accident as soon as possible, and failing to do so could give them an easy reason to deny your claim. The only time it is OK to skip reporting an accident to insurance is if it happens in your car, no one is injured, and only your own property is damaged.
You should always call your insurance company if you get into an accident involving another driver, especially if the accident caused injuries or property damage. Even if you are not at fault, you may still want to use coverage from your insurance policy, like collision or medical payments coverage. If you want to file a claim, you’ll be required to notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident.… read full answer
Your insurance company can also help you work with the at-fault driver’s insurer. They will assist with investigating the claim and establishing fault, and they can defend you if the other driver tries to file a claim against you. In most states, not-at-fault claims are filed with the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, which makes it less likely your rates will go up. If you have to file a claim against your own policy, it’s more likely your rates will increase. But it is possible that your insurance company gets reimbursed for the cost of your claim and decides not to raise your rate.
It’s common for insurance companies to raise rates even if the accident is not your fault, especially if you live in one of the 12 no-fault states. Drivers in no-fault states file claims with their own insurance company no matter who is at fault, and they almost always see premiums go up after an accident. The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) found that at least four of the nation’s largest insurers increased rates after a not-at-fault claim.
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