Following a car accident where there are physical injuries or damage to property, it is necessary to notify your insurance company even if you were not at fault.
It may not seem needful, especially if the crash is minor, but it may be of benefit to you in the long run. Below, we look at several reasons why it is essential to inform your insurance company after a car accident.
It’s a Requirement for Filing a Claim
You may need compensation for injuries sustained or property damage in the event of a car accident. If you intend to file a claim for financial compensation, you have to report the accident to your insurance company. Not informing your insurer before the contractual time limit expires may nullify your right to file a claim. This time limit will vary between policies.
The insurance policy you signed with your insurer likely has a clause stating that you must inform the insurance company of any accident you are involved in within a specified time frame.
Failure to do so may mean that you have gone against the contractual obligations of your policy and could face heavy penalties. You may also risk having your insurance policy cancelled, meaning you will be denied coverage.
Injuries That May Arise Later
Sometimes, injuries suffered in a car accident may not manifest immediately. As such, it is essential to let your insurance company know you have been involved in a crash since internal injuries are pretty common and may arise days after.
If you don’t make your insurance company aware of the car accident on time, you may find yourself facing substantial medical bills alone.
The Other Driver Could Be Uninsured
Sometimes, the other driver might be uninsured or lack adequate cover. Should you choose not to inform your insurer of the car accident, it may expose you to unnecessary risks such as inadequate compensation or annoying personal injury lawsuits against the driver.
However, in the event this happens, you can be compensated after reporting to your insurer if you carry an underinsured or uninsured motorist cover.
Your car may be damaged in an accident, and the other driver admits fault. Should you choose to enter negotiations with their insurer, the settlement may take a long time to process. This may inconvenience you as you wait to get your car repaired.
Informing your insurance company of the accident means your coverage will take care of the repairs immediately compared to waiting for the settlement by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Should You Consult an Attorney Before Informing Your Insurance Company?
It is advisable to get in touch with a lawyer before informing your insurer of an accident. An experienced attorney will represent you in negotiations with your insurance company, and given that insurance laws vary across states, legal representation is quite necessary.
Some states like California require you to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company rather than your insurer in the event of an accident. In such a situation, a car accident attorney in Irvine knowledgeable about the state insurance laws can help you get adequate compensation for your losses.
Important Points to Note When Informing Your Car Insurance Company of an Accident
When making the report to your insurer, stick to the facts and do not divulge more information than is necessary because you could negatively impact your compensation.
Also, do not submit a written statement without reaching out to your attorney, as it may be relied upon when arriving at your final payout.