Car accidents that seem minor at the outset often result in later claims that cannot be easily noticed at the time of the accident. Regardless of how serious an accident is, you should call your insurance company to protect yourself. There is no need to file a claim with your insurance company, however if you get a little fender bender and are wondering if you should call your insurance company, here are some of the reasons you should.
A) Personal injury – while at the scene of an accident, it may initially appear that no one is injured. However, many who are involved in minor car accidents later discover that they are suffering from migraines, backaches or other body aches as a result of the injury. In these cases, if another person involved in the accident later files a claim with your insurer, they will be aware of the accident;
B) Protect yourself – even if it appears initially that a vehicle has suffered only minor damage, it can be misleading. Surface dings and dents can not only be expensive to repair, they can also hide bigger problems. Even a minor accident can cause a vehicle to go out of alignment. Those who have failed to contact their insurance company and advise them that they were involved in an accident may have a challenge filing a claim later;
C) 2nd party problems – in addition to the potential that another party in the fender bender may have masked medical problems, there is no way to determine at the scene exactly how much damage has been done to the vehicles involved. Failure to notify an insurance company about an accident can mean that the insurer will pay a claim without the needed information which could result in higher premiums.
Steps after a fender bender
Since most localities require that the police be notified of any accident, regardless of how minor, they should be contacted. Those involved in a fender bender should take photos if possible, obtain the name of witnesses if available and retrieve the appropriate information from any other driver involved.
Contact the insurer and provide them with any information and documentation that is available, even if there is no intention to file a claim. Remember, reporting the accident will not have an impact on policy premiums, but failing to report it may lead to financial issues if another driver files a claim with their insurer.
All too often, drivers who are involved in a minor accident feel that they have no obligation to file an insurance report. Some states require that a report be filed with the department of motor vehicles as well as the insurance company, whether a claim is filed or not. For most drivers, a fender bender will not have any adverse results, however, there is no point in taking any risks that could be prevented by reporting a little fender bender to your insurance company.