Step 7: Contact Your Insurance Company

Have the details of the collision on hand for your insurer. The more information they have, the better, and they may be able to arrange for a tow truck and a repair shop.

Use our checklists to take down the information you’ll need.

Short answer: Yes.

All automobile insurance policies state that you are required to report all accidents, usually between 48 to 72 hours, depending on the jurisdiction, regardless of the amount of damage. Even if you pay for the damages caused by the accident yourself, if the accident was 100% your fault or you were partially at fault, the accident will count against you. Insurance companies base their rates on “risk” regardless of who pays for the accident. If you are not at fault, the accident will not count against you and your insurance rate will not increase.

What if you don’t tell your insurance company? If there were damages caused by the accident and you didn’t report it, but the other driver did, their insurance company will contact your insurance company, so your own insurance company will find out about it. If you failed to report the accident to your insurance company, even if you were not at fault for the accident, the insurance company has the right to cancel your policy or not renew it.

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