Reporting an Accident to Insurance Companies

A lot usually happens in the aftermath of an auto accident, something that can leave many people overwhelmed. Before anything else, injured persons need to be taken to hospital. In the case of major accidents, law enforcement agencies will be involved in the reporting of the incident and investigations thereafter. In the midst of all this, many people do not know whether to report an accident or not, and others do not know when they should do the reporting. Here’s all you need to know as far as reporting an accident to an insurance company is concerned.

When to Report

First of all, one of the terms in most auto insurance policies is that the policy holder has to report all accidents. Failure to report an accident may lead to you losing some of your privileges, or the insurance company may penalize you. So, you are supposed to report any auto accident to your insurance company if it led to property damage or injury to any person. You should to do this whether you are the one who caused the accident or if the other party is responsible.

What if there were no injuries and minimal property damage? While some people sometimes opt to pay cash for damages to avoid involving the insurance companies, this strategy often backfires. Someone may find the damage to be more than they had estimated, or they may discover injuries later on and then start demanding more money. The situation may become messy and you may suffer some negative consequences. To avoid such a situation notify your insurance company no matter how minor the damage.

You should talk to your insurance company as soon as you can, though it has to be after dealing with urgent matters first. The urgent matters in this case are taking care of the injured and talking to law enforcement officers. If you were the one injured, report the incident as soon as your health allows you.

The only situation when you might not contact the insurance company is if the accident was very minor (no injuries and minimal property damage) and it happened within your property without a third party. For example, if you back up your car all the way to the fence scraping off some paint.

What Information to Report

If you are in a position to, ensure that you get the contact information of the other person involved in the accident and their insurance information. Again, where possible, take as many photos of the scene as you can making sure to capture different angles of the scene. This will help you prove your case should someone drive off without sorting the matter. If there are witnesses to the accident, you can also take their contact information.

Contact your insurance company via phone. You should report; location where accident occurred, date and time of accident, name and address of the other person and their insurance information. You can send the pictures at a later time or when requested. Avoid accepting liability on such calls and let the investigations come up with a report.

Reporting to the Other Person’s Insurance Company

In most cases you only contact your insurance company, while the other person contacts theirs. However, if the person is being uncooperative and unwilling to contact their insurance company, you can contact them. Please note that the purpose of the call is to merely inform them of the accident and not to narrate what happened. If you have a lawyer, it is a good idea to have him call them instead of you. is an online insurance referral site. While we match consumers with insurance carriers and agents across the US, we are not an insurance carrier or insurance agent. No insurance companies sponsor, endorse, or are in any way affiliated with We do not issue insurance quotes, contracts, or bind coverage ourselves, nor do we endorse or recommend any companies or specific types of insurance policies. We advise all consumers to compare rates and fees as they can vary between insurance providers and may also depend on the city and state you live in, among other factors. All trademarks, copyrights, and logos are property of their respective owners. All articles on this website are for information purposes only. Your access to this website is subject to its Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.