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Most drivers will experience an auto accident at least once in their lives. When these incidents happen, it’s important to file a claim with your insurance company to cover damages. Wait too long and you could end up paying for repairs yourself. In many cases, it’s a good idea to file a police report. But you may not always have one. Here’s how to file your car insurance claim without a police report.
Do You Need a Police Report?
Again, in most cases, it’s a good idea to file a police report. But there are some instances in which the police will not file a report. If an accident occurs on private property, they will not file a report. It is up to you to speak with the owner of the property to obtain the necessary information to file a claim. If the accident occurs on a road, there will likely be a police report. This includes highways, city roads, backstreets, and country roads.
Here’s the thing: you may not actually need a police report in either case. Typically, there are only a few instances when an insurance company will require a police report. These cases include:
- Accidents resulting in extensive or serious damage to vehicles or property
- Accidents resulting in serious bodily injury
- Accidents during which a crime was committed
- Cases where the other driver fled the scene
Other than these special circumstances, you will typically not need a police report to file an insurance claim. It’s best to check with your agent about your specific situation, though.
How to File an Insurance Claim
Though you may not need a police report, there are some very important pieces of information you will need in order to file an insurance claim. These are the steps you should take to file your claim:
- Speak to the other driver at the scene. Don’t simply go your separate ways – you need to get the other driver’s contact information. Make sure you ask them about their insurance and jot down their license plate number. They should be asking you for the same information.
- Take photos of the scene and the damage to your car. Don’t just describe it – show your insurer the damage.
- Immediately write down every detail you can remember. Don’t assume that you’ll remember everything later. Write it down while the details are fresh and don’t leave anything out. Make note of the date, time, and location of the accident, and the weather and road conditions at the time of the accident.
- Come to an agreement with the other driver. Before anyone leaves, make sure you are on the same page. If they wish to file a report anyway and you leave, you are fleeing the scene. Only leave the scene when you are both in agreement that a report is not necessary.
- Contact your agent about filing a claim. If there are forms to download and print, do it as soon as you get home.
- Stay in touch with your agent and provide any additional information that may be required by your insurer.
Car Accidents Can Be Traumatic, But Filing Your Claim Doesn’t Have to Be
An auto accident is scary and confusing, even if there’s minor damage and no injuries. It’s important to know what to do before an accident occurs. This will prevent you from panicking and making hasty decisions in the moment. Know the situations when you need a police report, and how to file a claim without it, so your claim can be processed as smoothly and quickly as possible. This will result in peace of mind for all involved.