Do You Have To Report An Accident To Insurance?

Car accidents are unsettling experiences for all drivers, no matter their experience level or skill. Understanding when and how to report an incident to your insurer will make the process less cumbersome.

Most insurance providers, like GEICO, recommend reporting immediately so they can begin taking steps on your case immediately.


Many people fail to report accidents because they believe their insurance will cover all damages caused in an accident, when in reality that is often not the case. Most states hold at-fault parties responsible for paying all associated expenses; if their coverage doesn’t fully cover it all, other drivers’ car or health policies may pick up any additional bills incurred as part of a settlement agreement.

Reporting an accident is also vital in order to safeguard yourself against future complications, including injuries related to whiplash and internal vehicle damage that might not immediately appear after a collision. Therefore, it’s wiser to be safe than sorry and document all relevant events, as doing so will protect against future lawsuits or claims being made against you or against others involved.

Insurance companies will likely send a representative out to assess any damage to your vehicle, so make sure you cooperate and give them access to both it and any documents they request. Furthermore, be honest when providing information as misrepresenting facts could significantly harm your claim.

Dependent upon the severity and history of the accident, car insurance rates could increase following an incident. Usually this increase results from having more violations added to your driving record; however, some insurers provide programs which help mitigate such effects on rates.

Assembling as much information for the insurance company will speed up and facilitate their process more quickly and smoothly, saving both time and money over time while helping avoid delays or potential problems that may arise from their investigation of repair costs or liability issues. By giving all necessary details promptly to them, insurance companies can get right down to work identifying repair costs and liability issues quickly – saving both of you time and money as they quickly start determining these factors themselves.


An auto accident can be devastatingly disorienting. Compounding this pain are injuries that don’t manifest right away – whiplash and other soft tissue damages, for instance, may take several days or weeks before becoming apparent. That is why it is imperative that you visit a healthcare professional immediately following any car accident and follow their advice – doing this will allow them to assess whether your injuries qualify as severe enough to be covered by insurance while also creating a record for use should a claim later be necessary.

Most policies require you to report accidents as soon as they happen, not only due to laws and regulations but also as part of your contract with your insurance provider. As soon as they know about an incident, insurance providers can quickly move into action to assess damage, arrange repairs and pay medical expenses or expenses associated with an incident. Any delay causes havoc with their processes.

Pennsylvania allows drivers to become involved in car accidents with no injuries sustained, yet you still must report it as soon as you gather all necessary details for filing a police report. Even in no-fault states such as Pennsylvania, your policy might contain a timeframe in which to report such an event; your policy might stipulate an expectation to report such an incident within five days.

At times, drivers choose not to report accidents for fear that doing so may increase their premiums. While this could be true depending on factors like severity of crash and your insurance history, failure to report may leave you vulnerable if one of the other parties involved makes unexpected claims against you for damages or injuries not immediately visible.

Time Limits

Any car accident is unfortunate, yet taking swift and decisive action after any such event is important for recovery and survival. Report the incident to insurance and consult a lawyer, among others; take swift and decisive actions as soon as possible after such incidents occur.

Many states have laws that mandate drivers report accidents within a specified window, usually when an incident results in injury or significant property damage. While certain statutes only cover certain incidents, others cover all motor vehicle collisions. If you’re uncertain whether your incident falls into this category, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurer and inquire for guidance.

Notifying an insurer immediately following an accident allows them to open a claim file and assist you with the next steps of the process. They can examine evidence such as police reports, witness testimony, medical records and photographs taken of the scene of the collision and vehicles involved as soon as they can. As soon as this process starts, your vehicle can be repaired sooner and any injuries suffered by you or any witnesses compensated accordingly.

Some insurers impose more stringent rules when it comes to filing accident reports, for instance requiring you to report all accidents that cause property or bodily damage (no matter how minor) directly to them in order to protect against potential accusations of fraud and legal ramifications that might otherwise arise should any claims later on be submitted against them. This may help safeguard you against accusations of false reporting if any future claims come up that require legal proceedings to proceed against an insured.

Other insurance providers may have even stricter guidelines when it comes to accident reporting, with those policies potentially denying claims if reported too late as it will no longer be possible to prove injuries or property damages as a result of a collision as their statute of limitation will have passed. Car accident attorneys can offer advice and guidance regarding these guidelines while helping make sure you meet state deadlines and avoid penalties or increased premiums as a result of not reporting an incident on time.

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Although calling your insurance company after an accident is necessary, how you do it could make or break your car accident claim. Therefore, it’s vital that you understand which steps need to be taken after an incident has taken place as well as providing enough information in order to get what compensation is owed to you from them.

At first, it is your duty to report an accident – either by calling your insurer directly, or filling out an online or mobile app-based form on their website or mobile app. Furthermore, taking photographs of the scene as well as identifying witnesses could prove invaluable later.

Remember that after an accident you do not need to speak to the other driver’s insurance company. Doing so increases the chance of offering up information that could be used against you when it comes time to settle your injury or property damage claim; representatives for insurance companies often have an incentive to ensure they pay out as little money possible in claims settlements.

Furthermore, the more statements you give an insurance company after a car accident, the higher your likelihood is of agreeing to have those statements recorded or written down for use against you in court proceedings. This can be an irreparable error as this would permanently lock in one version of events surrounding your crash; recorded statements also allow insurers to create evidence against their clients so that they may deny claims or reduce settlement offers accordingly.

No matter who caused your accident, it is always in your own and your loved ones’ best interest to hire an attorney as soon as possible following one. An experienced car accident attorney can ensure that the insurance company abides by its duty to investigate your claim thoroughly and pay out fair compensation for injuries or losses sustained in an accident. If there are indications of bad faith insurance activity by any insurers you should consult a lawyer regarding filing bad faith claims against them.