9 Key Factors to Consider Before You Report An Accident

Published on May 26, 2015

Here are nine important things to consider before you decide to leave the insurance company out of the loop after an accident.

  1. The Law.

    Every province has laws governing when an accident must be reported. Always report an accident in which there has been an injury or a fatality. Report any accident in which damage exceeds the dollar amount set out by your province. These can range but are generally around the $2000 mark.
  2. The Accident Scene.

    Report an accident any time something is amiss at the scene of an accident: the other driver appears impaired or is behaving oddly, there is any sign of the law being broken, or the driver refuses to exchange insurance information with you.
  3. The Insurance Contract.

    Your insurance contract states that you are required to report any accident to them within a certain time period; some contracts have a dollar amount above which the report is required. Failure to do so can result in the insurance company denying a claim on the basis that you violated the contract. Make sure you know the rules of your particular contract.
  4. The Other Driver’s Insurance.

    Is the other driver planning to report the accident? If so, you need to report it as well, as their insurance company will be in touch with yours. Don’t assume that the other driver won’t report simply because they say they don’t plan to – signs of injury can be delayed, or the damage might be more than they thought at first.
  5. Was There Only Damage to Your Property?

    A single-vehicle accident where you damaged only your own vehicle and your own property won’t involve another driver, so you can make the decision on reporting the accident without concern about future lawsuits. When it comes to damage that only involves your own property, you can easily choose to take care of the cost yourself.
  6. Was There Damage to Public Property?

    Even if you’re the only driver involved, you have to report any accident in which damage has been done to public property.
  7. What’s Your Deductible?

    Damage that is below the deductible or just over is likely not worth a claim, especially if there is no liability to consider and you’ll see a rate increase as a result. Paying for minor damages yourself is often cheaper than the increase in your insurance rates.
  8. Do You Have Accident Forgiveness?

    This benefit, which can be added to many car insurance policies, allows you to have one at-fault accident without seeing a rate increase as a result. Having this perk can make filing a claim a lot less painful when it comes to future insurance rate increases.
  9. Was It a Hit and Run?

    If your car is damaged as the result of a hit and run, you will need to make a police report; without the report any claim you make later – if the damage turns out to be more than you thought, for example – might be denied.

In most cases, it’s obvious when an accident needs to be reported, but there are always some situations where it might seem like a better idea to handle it without insurance company involvement. Before you make a choice, make sure you’re protecting yourself from the potential consequences of failing to report an accident.

The Cost to Your Auto Insurance.

Insurance can be tricky especially after an accident but we can make it simple. Our auto insurance team can explain everything in simple terms. We are here to give you the information you need to make the best decisions

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