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How Long Do You Have To Report A Car Accident To Your Insurance (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Within 24 hours

Car Insurance providers usually accept reporting the accident within 24 hours of the accident. There are many conditions and circumstances due to which at times, it is not possible to report the accident within 24 hours. There are exceptions in these cases which can be reported even up to 2 weeks after. Most companies mention the period within which the accident and the damages must be reported.

In many cases of delay in reporting an accident and subsequent damage to the insurance company, the claim can be repudiated. Therefore it is necessary to report the mishap as soon as it is feasible and possible.

How Long Do You Have To Report A Car Accident To Your Insurance?

At any time, whether on the way to work or on a road trip, a road accident is something that is not anticipated. That being said, it is sometimes inevitable. The only thing you can do to improve the situation is swift and prompt action after. The first thing of course is to check if there is anyone in need of medical attention.

The next thing on the checklist should be to check vehicle damages and gather sufficient images to provide evidence for the same. Depending on your insurance coverage and the damages caused, you have approximately 24 hours to decide whether you want to claim your insurance or not.

In many cases, the damage done is considerable and calls for claiming the insurance, especially when another party is involved, who has suffered some damage. In these cases, it is important to promptly call your insurance provider to get some guidance on how you should proceed.

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In another case, wherein a minor accident leads to some paint scraping off the car door. The damage caused was not considered much. The car could be repaired with minimal cost. In such a condition there is no need to report the accident to the insurance company. But, this decision can depend on several factors, including the premium you pay. There is another important point to keep in mind, which is the no-claim bonus.

A third circumstance is due to an accident, a part of the door or headlight is damaged beyond repair and you will need to replace it. In this situation, it is essential to keep some evidence like pictures handy. Since most companies give 24 hours to even 48 hours to report an accident, you will have time to calculate whether your insurance claim will be worth it or not.

SituationTime
Minor Damage Accident 24 to 48 hours
Major Damage Accibentup to 2 weeks

Why Do You Have That Long To Report A Car Accident To Your Insurance?

Many times, an accident has major injuries and most people are not in a state of mind or body to report damages or the accident to the insurance company. 24 hours is normally mentioned in the policy documents provided by the insurance company. Exceptions to these cases vary from company to company and from country to country. It is very important to read all the documents and exceptions to the cases to get a fair idea of the conditions under which an extended period is given to report damages.

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Another important point is to use the given 24 hours to calculate the extent to which the damage has occurred and the cost of its repair. The amount the insurance company will reimburse is also a determining factor. In many cases, the insurance company gives you benefits for not claiming insurance during a set period. If possible, it is advised to refrain from claiming insurance for minor damages as the more the claims, the higher is the charge for subsequent years for renewing the insurance.

Conclusion

It is important to keep all these factors in mind before claiming insurance or reporting damages. In case you are not at fault, and the other party has to pay you, it is recommended to inform your insurance company if specified by them.
Besides the 24 hours or the period mentioned by our insurance provider, it is important to keep a note of the extended deadline that the company allows. Many companies demand proof of the damage as well as proof for reasons leading to delay in reporting the accident. It is recommended to keep all such documents and evidence handy.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01065313
  2. https://arxiv.org/abs/cmp-lg/9502032
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