Do You Need to Report a Car Collision to Your Insurance Company within 24 Hours?
Just as car collisions have to be reported to the police or the authorities within 24 hours, car collisions should also be reported to the insurance company within 24 hours if possible. Each state has different laws regarding insurance, but in every US state car collisions should be reported as early as possible. If two or more parties are involved in the collision, they must exchange vital information such as identification and proof of insurance.
Why Report Within 24 Hours?
Aside from being a policyholder, reporting car collisions within 24 hours is very important because it not only shows honesty and promptness on your part, it also shows your trust in your insurance company. Bear in mind that there is still an investigation process for the insurance company to see who was actually at fault. By reporting the car collision within 24 hours, you can help the company make an earlier and quicker investigation. On the other hand, reporting after 24 hours may be a problem on your part because the company might consider your report late if you are not able to do so within the specified time period. Insurance companies have rules and time frames regarding reports, and if your report is not within the time frame, the company may not be able to cover for you despite being insured.
What Can Happen If You Don’t Report Car Collisions to Your Insurance Company?
This depends on the rules of the insurance company. If the damage was not colossal and if you or the other passengers were not harmed (including animals) and you do not feel like reporting it to your insurance company, then there will be no adverse effect on your part or on your insurance policy. For some companies, however, it is your duty to report every time you get involved in a car accident—no matter how big the damage is. If you fail to report the car collisions to them during the time frame they have laid out for you, they can refuse to pay out your insurance claim in the future in case something happens again. Even worse than their refusal to give you insurance money is that they can invalidate your insurance because you failed to comply with their policies.
So, Just to Be Sure…
Check the policies of your insurance company once you get your car insured. Do not ignore these policies, because it is best to always be prepared. That said, be aware of your rights as well. If you are wary of your insurance company, you might want to hire a lawyer for your security. Reporting to the insurance company within 24 hours is always the safest and best thing to do, though, and it will be easier for you and the insurance company (and the lawyer too, in case you hire one).