Not Reporting a “No Damage” Accident May Cause You Bigger Damage!
You have always been careful when driving down the road. You’re the defensive kind of driver. But, all of a sudden, something you have never expected to happen just happened!
You are caught in a road accident.
Nervous and frantic, you got off your car. You began checking for any dents or scrapes or broken headlights. Thankfully, there was none. You felt a huge sigh of relief. Since there was no loss or damage, you just decided not to report the “no damage” accident to your insurance.
Not the wisest idea. Not reporting an accident, even if no one’s car got damaged, may actually cause you bigger damage.
Reporting an accident makes your rates tick up.
Almost all of us have been involved in a minor car accident. It is a miracle some accident leave both care scratch and dent free, the only injury is to our pride.
In these very fortunate cases, it can be tempting not to report such accidents – after all, any traffic incident makes your insurance rates go up, right?
Actually, there is no truth to this.
Your premiums may actually increase if you file an accident report that includes an insurance claim. However, if you keep a clean driving record, were not at fault and are not claiming any damages, chances are your rates will stay the same.
The truth is doing the opposite, which is not filing an accident report, will put you at more risk than reporting it.
What can happen if you don’t file a claim?
When you sign up and take an auto insurance, there may be an agreement that you must inform them of any accidents within a reasonable period of time. This is spelled out for you in the contract which you sign. The time may not necessarily be stated in black and white but anything over a year is too long.
Not filing a claim, even if there was only minimal damage, may lead you to severe repercussions. Your insurer could refuse to pay for your damages, or those of any third party making claims against you. You could also lose your coverage entirely. Worse, if liability is the issue, your insurer may refuse to defend you.
What looks like a minimal injury, May have caused a big damage inside the car.
What seems like a “just a dent” to you, may actually have jarred something loose inside the car. If you don’t report this accident, it may get back at you when you get yourself caught up in another accident in the future.
An insurance examiner decides that the damage from the first accident isn’t covered if it isn’t the kind of damage that can be explained by those circumstances.
How do you make sure you’re reporting an accident the right way?
Remember these two things when you are filing a claim for an accident:
Instead of calling your car insurance agent, call your insurance provider’s claims department. Your agent may think the same way you do, that there is no need to fuzz at such minimal damage and forget to file a report.
If you are very sure that there really was not any damage to your vehicle, you may consider waiving damage payments. This way, you can protect your rates. You can then deal with the damage by handling the repairs yourself. Just make sure that you go on record with your insurer.
Even a no damage accident shakes you up. Reduce the stress by not risking your insurance coverage. Report your accidents, every time.