When Should You File A Claim
CarInsurance.org recommends filing an auto insurance claim when the estimated repair costs exceed your out-of-pocket deductible. For most policies, you can choose a deductible from about $500 to $2000. Let’s say you have a $1000 deductible and have a minor accident that damages your bumper. If your mechanic quotes you $800 for repairs, you should not file an insurance claim.
According to Credit Karma, you should also consider the increased insurance premium that may result from filing a claim. This may not be a concern if you have an auto insurance policy with accident forgiveness, however.
After notifying the insurance company about the accident, you should take your vehicle to a mechanic you trust for an estimate. Then, do some research to see how much you will pay for coverage after filing a claim, from a source such as the State of Insurance report from The Zebra. Multiply that increase by three and add your deductible. If the result exceeds your estimated repairs, you may want to pay out of pocket.
In some cases, you should always file an insurance claim. Examples include the following:
If you have collision coverage, you can file a claim through this policy if you have significant damage to your vehicle. If you have only liability coverage, you will not receive compensation for repairs in an accident unless another driver caused the crash.
The Final Word On Having Proper Auto Insurance And Police Verification
It is essential that you make sure your car insurance coverage status is up to date at all times.
You can be caught driving without valid insurance even without the police officer asking for your proof of insurance card.
This is because there are state databases that make electronic verification of your car insurance status very convenient for police officers.
There is no use hiding that you are not insured because the police will be able to check quickly. Enter your zip code below to get FREE car insurance quotes today!
Insurance To Use If Someone Hits Your Parked Car
If your car is hit while parked, you can use your collision insurance or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to pay for the damage. Both types of coverage typically have a deductible, though, which means youll probably pay something out of pocket to get your car fixed. Youll also be subject to your policy limits, so youll be responsible for any cost that exceeds your coverage terms.
Finally, its important to note that uninsured motorist property damage coverage is not available in some states. And in other states where it is available, you might be unable to use it if the at-fault driver is unidentified.
Most insurance companies check your driving record for the past three to five years, meaning if you had a violation outside this time period, it will not affect your insurance premiums. Some states regulate this look-back period, however, making it longer or shorter. For example, Massachusetts allows insurance companies to look back at 10 years of driving records. Virginia limits insurers to checking only three years of history.read full answer
When you apply for, or renew, your auto insurance, the insurance company will evaluate your risk level how likely you are to cost them money through claims. The best way to do this is by reviewing your driving record. Insurers look for accident reports and both major and minor driving violations.
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Getting A Copy Of Your Police Report
If the police came to the accident scene, you can get a copy from the law enforcement agency that responded. Similarly, if you did receive a copy but have since lost it, you can ask for another one. If you were transported from the scene with serious injuries, your attorney can help you obtain the police report.
Do you have questions about how to get a copy of the police report from your accident or how to report it to the state? Ask a personal injury lawyer for help.
Talk to the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook
If you are involved in a collision, you should always call 911 to ask for the police to respond. If they dont respond, you should still file an accident report with the state and take other steps to preserve evidence at the scene. If you were injured in a collision caused by someone else, schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook by calling 479-783-8000 , 918-912-2132 , or 479-455-2210 .
Document Everything And Exchange Information
Now its time to document what you can from the scene of the accident and gather information from all the parties involved. Think of it as a scavenger hunt. Make sure you get the following:
Name, address and phone number of the other driver and a photo of their drivers license, if possible
Insurance policy numbers
Year, make, model and license plate numbers of all the vehicles involved
Detailed notes from any conversations you had with the people involved with the accident
If youre hurt and need medical attention, youll also want to hang on to any physician reports, medical bills and other documentation you receive for treatment of your accident-related injuries.
What about homeowners insurance claims? Take photos of damage done to your home or make a list of items that were damaged or stolen in a robbery. And if you have to stay at a hotel while repairs are being made to your house, keep the receipts as proof of costs.
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A Police Officer Can Give You A Speeding Ticket Based On Their Visual Observations Alone
Believe it or not, a police officer doesnât need to use a speed gun in order to determine whether or not youâre driving above the speed limit. Rather, New York attorney Michael Kramernotes that âit has been held that the opinion evidence of a police officer, uncorroborated by any other mechanical device, will be sufficient to sustain a speeding conviction.â Yes, you read that right: So long as the court finds that an officer is qualified to gauge speed visually, then their testimony against you is enough to make a speeding ticket valid.
What If The Other Driver In The Accident Doesnt Have Insurance
Typically, if you get into a car accident, the at-fault drivers insurance pays for the damages and injuries. But what if they are uninsured? That makes things a little more complicated, but heres what you should know.
Almost every state legally requires you to have minimum amounts of specific car insurance coverages so driving without car insurance for any period of time is considered illegal. But that doesnt mean people dont do it. Thats why uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is so important. If you get hit by a driver with no insurance or not enough liability coverage, your uninsured or underinsured insurance will kick in and help cover your medical expenses.
You do have the option to press charges against the driver and take them to small claims court. However, it might cost you more time and money to take them to court, so while it may not be ideal that your insurance company has to cover the liability costs for an accident you didnt cause , thats what uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is for its a safety net for unfortunate instances like these.
Also, consider the consequences if you dont have car insurance in a state that requires it:
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When Do I Need To Show Proof Of Insurance
Here are some of the main situations where you may need to show it :
- Traffic stop : When pulled over by police.
- Rental cars : When renting a car.
- Buying a car : You will be required to show proof when buying a used car or a new car.
- Registration : When registering a car.
- Renewals : Renewing your license plate or plate sticker.
Collision With Stationary Object
You dont always need a police report if you collide with a stationary object. However, if you believe youre not at-fault for the accident, you might want to get a third-party objective review with a police officer.
The accident report will include any personal injury you incur as well as the extent of the damage. It will also include any external factors, like bad weather conditions or a missing stop sign. This can help prove that you werent at-fault, which can help speed up the claims process.
Keep in mind that the object you hit might also be considered personal property. You could end up getting sued for damage to someones mailbox, pole, or trees, for example. A police report can help prove your responsibility in the accident and the extent of damage, so you arent on the hook for more money in the case of a lawsuit.
Accidents with a stationary object or other damage from weather would be covered under your comprehensive auto insurance.
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How Long Do You Have To File A Police Report After An Assault Or Incident
This question may seem unrelated, but sometimes auto accident disputes can get heated. Perhaps other drivers had road rage when they hit you, or they dont like that you are implying they were at fault for the accident. If you are involved in a physical altercation after an accident, the deadline for filing a police report for assault lasts longer than an auto accident police report time limit.
The time limit does depend on what state you live in, but usually, you will have at least a year. In comparison, how long do you have to file a police report after an accident? You will usually only have a week to file a police report for an auto accident.
What’s Considered A Minor Car Accident
Most states don’t require a police report for a minor accident. But keep in mind that what’s considered to be a minor accident varies by state. For instance, Alabama may consider a minor incident to have $250 worth of damage, whereas Oregon may consider $2,500 to be minor.
In many jurisdictions, police won’t issue a report for accidents that occur on private property, such as if you run into your own garage door. Note that many parking lots such as the neighborhood grocery store or local mall are also considered private property, so police may not respond to a minor vehicle incident in these locations unless they have a compelling reason.
Keep in mind, there’s no way to accurately assess a vehicle’s damage at the scene of an accident. There may be instances where the damage appears to be minimal, but a more thorough inspection reveals more issues. When in doubt, it makes sense to get a police report.
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Is A Police Report Necessary To File An Insurance Claim
No, you are not required to have a police report to file an insurance claim in most cases. However, a police report is highly recommended because it can help:
- Show the other drivers fault
- Back up evidence of your damages
- Speed up the claims process
If you need to file a lawsuit against the other driver, youll need a police report as evidence.
What If Another Driver Causes An Accident
File a claim with your insurance company even if the other driver tries to negotiate a financial settlement with you. Unfortunately, without going through the insurance company or the legal system, you have no recourse if they fail to pay up as agreed. In some cases, unscrupulous drivers even provide fake contact information after causing a collision.
Even if it looks like your vehicle only sustained minor damage, you cannot tell if the car has more extensive issues after a crash unless you have an evaluation by an expert mechanic. In this case, you should at least get an estimate by a mechanic before deciding whether or not to file an insurance claim.
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What Are The Laws If An Officer Pulls Me Over
The rights of drivers and passengers that kick in after a traffic stop can vary by state laws, as can the legal outcomes of specific situations such as a routine traffic stop that escalates to an arrest.
For example, an officer needs a reason, called reasonable suspicion, to pull you over in the first place. That can be anything from speeding or not signaling a turn to having expired plates or a broken tail light. And cops also need probable cause to search you or your car during a traffic stop.
Keep in mind a few key protections and how they apply if youre stopped by police.
You Might Have Trouble Proving Fault
Not all accidents involve one party who is 100% at fault. For example, left-turn accidents can include multiple partially-at-fault drivers. If you live in a state like Texas with proportionate responsibility laws , being partially at fault can hurt your compensation.
The police report can help determine liability in your accident. Without the report, it will be easier for the other drivers insurance company to accept enough responsibility. It might also be harder to get coverage from your own insurance company.
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What You Can Find In A Police Accident Report
The investigating law enforcement officer who shows up at the scene of your accident explores and records many details about the incident including:
- Location, date, and time of the accident
- Names and contact information for all parties
- Witness contact information
- Any laws violated or citations issued
- Officers opinion regarding cause and fault
How Does An Auto Accident On Private Property Work
If you crash your vehicle on your own private property, such as backing into your mailbox, you do not need to file a police report. No-one was involved in the accident except for you, and it happened on your property. So if it is only your property that was damaged, you can skip calling the police.
However, you may want to file a police report for an accident on private property if there is an outside party involved. Lets say that a delivery truck hit your vehicle when it pulled into your driveway. To make sure that the police have a record of who is at fault in this case, you should file a police report.
You may also be liable as a property owner if someone is injured or crashes on your private property. So if anyone other than yourself is involved, it is wise to call the police.
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Can You Make An Insurance Claim Without A Police Report
When you are involved in a car accident, you need evidence in order to file a successful claim with your insurance company. You need evidence that you were involved in an accident you need evidence that your vehicle damage and injuries resulted from the accident and, in order to pursue a fault-based claim, you need evidence that the other driver was at fault in the collision.
In many cases, a key part of building an accident claim is the police report. The police report provides documentation that your accident happened. Frequently, it can also help establish that the other driver was a fault.
So, what happens if you dont have a police report? Can you still file a claim? And, if so, how will not having a police report impact your financial recovery?
Can I Face A Summons For Driving Uninsured And For Failing To Provide An Insurance Certificate
Yes, as they are two separate offences. Not only does the driver need to have adequate vehicle insurance but they must be able to prove this by producing a certificate. You have seven days from the time the police caught you without an insurance certificate to produce one at a police station, otherwise you may be charged.
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Work With Your Claims Adjuster
Once your claim has been submitted, you will receive a call from one of your insurance companys Claims Adjusters. Your adjuster will review your policy with you so understand what you are covered for and which items your insurance company will compensate you for. Your claims adjuster can answer any questions you might have about the process.
If at any time you have questions that you want to get answered, reach out to your insurance broker or agent.
Being in a car accident is extremely stressful. Following these steps will not only help to ease your stress but also help to make sure that everyone is properly taken care of in the event of a collision.
What Happens If Im In A Minor Auto Accident With No Police Report And No Insurance
If you have no insurance in an auto accident, you are breaking the law unless you live in a state where no insurance is required. If there is no police report or charges brought against you by the other driver, the state may never learn you were driving without insurance.
However, this is not worth the risk. If you are pulled over or are in an auto accident, you risk losing your license, losing your vehicle registration, paying heavy fines, and spending time in jail. The video below explains why driving without insurance is a bad idea.
You may also ask, what if the auto accident is my fault but there is no police report? Or what if after the car accident, there was no police report but the driver denies fault? If the accident was your fault but there is no police report, or the other driver denies fault, it will be down to the insurers to determine fault.