When you are involved in a car accident, you probably think of injuries and property damage and may forget to contact your insurance provider. However, it is important that you report the accident to them even if you feel that you are not at fault or the extent of the damage to your vehicle is minimal.
By not reporting, you may run into problems in the future when you would like to file a claim.
It is rather uncomfortable for many people to report an accident to their insurance provider. However, it is a crucial step in your coverage. Let’s explore the circumstances surrounding reporting an accident to your insurance company.
How Quickly Should I Contact My Insurance Company?
You should contact your insurance company immediately after an accident. While there is no timeline in Florida for reporting an accident, generally, you should report an accident within 24 hours. Most policies will also have a timeframe within which you should have reported the accident. Failure to do so on time may result in your insurance claim being denied in the future.
In Alabama, you should also notify your insurance company of an accident, even if you believe you are not at fault. Like in Florida, the timeline for most claims is usually within 24 to 72 hours. Check your insurance policy to determine the timeliness provided. Your insurance provider will take charge of the matter, whether you are at fault or the other party is at fault.
You do not want your insurance company to learn about the accident when the other party makes a claim against you.
Should I Contact My Insurance Provider in All Cases?
What kinds of accidents do you report to the insurance provider? That depends. However, the general rule is that if an accident may result in a claim in the future, you should report it. Here are some cases where you should always contact your insurance provider.
- If the accident results in injuries to you, your passengers, or the other vehicle’s occupants. These injuries can be delayed and materialize in the distant future. In that case, it is essential that the insurance provider knows, even if you were not injured immediately.
- If there was significant property damage, such as if you damaged standalone structures, your car, or the other party’s vehicle. Any of these cases would give rise to insurance claims.
If your accident does not fulfill either of these two requirements, consider the following:
- Is it possible you will file a claim under your policy connected to this incident?
- Is the other party possibly filing a lawsuit against you for a matter related to the accident?
If you answer yes to both of these questions, get in touch with your insurance provider as soon as possible.
Reasons Why You Should Contact Your Insurance Company Following an Accident
You get collision insurance coverage benefits.
Collision coverage takes care of the cost of repairing your car so that you can use it. In Alabama, if the at-fault insurance company is slow to accept responsibility and compensate you for the damage, your coverage can handle the repairs while the provider seeks reimbursement from the other provider.
For this to work, you should notify your insurance provider of the accident at a reasonable time. Otherwise, you may have to repair the vehicle out of your pocket and negotiate compensation much later.
You have towing insurance coverage.
Towing insurance coverage goes hand-in-hand with collision coverage. Contacting your insurance provider immediately after an accident will enable you to access the towing coverage to get the vehicle out of the road.
You get medical expense coverage from your insurance.
Most insurance policies have medical expense coverage should you get injured in an accident. The coverage pays for your medical expenses as a result of the accident. In Alabama, insurance providers will pay for the costs and claim the same from the at-fault party. You need to contact your insurance provider to access the coverage.
Your insurance provider defends you.
There is a real possibility that the other party you were involved in an accident with may decide to pursue a claim against you and claim you were at fault. Your insurance provider will defend you so that you do not have to pay for the cost of defending yourself.
Are There Any Consequences for Reporting an Accident?
The price of a policy is based on the risk that the insurance provider assumes by covering you. Risky drivers may be needed to pay more.
However, if you are at fault, you may see changes in your policy, as explained below.
- An increase in insurance premiums: Your insurance provider may increase your rates due to the accident. Fortunately, you will not see a massive increase in rates for a minor accident.
- Limited coverage: It rarely happens but could happen. You may be denied access to some benefits of a policy or be required to pay a higher amount for your coverage. Some decisions may be affected by authorities like the DMV on issues such as drunk driving.
What Should You Tell Your Insurance Provider After an Accident?
What you say after an accident may have an effect on the amount you get paid as compensation for the accident and the determination of the party at fault if you live in Alabama.
You need to tell your insurance provider about the details of the accident. Avoid sharing your opinions about who you think was at fault. Here are the details to share.
- When and where the accident happened: give the time, date, and exact location.
- The parties involved in the accident, including the number of passengers or occupants that were there
- Any property damage or injuries that either party may have sustained
Contact Stevenson Klotz After an Accident
You should contact us at Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers immediately after being involved in an accident. We will help protect your rights and argue your case to get fair compensation. Do not accept liability before giving us a call.
Accident Claim FAQs
Is contacting your insurance provider the same as filing a claim?
No, you are just notifying the insurance provider of the accident. There are procedures to follow when filing a claim.
Does contacting your insurance provider mean accepting liability?
No, you are just letting them know about the accident. Never accept liability in any circumstance.