You are driving down the road. Someone swerves in front of the car you are following, causing them to slam on their breaks. Your reaction is to immediately apply the brakes, but you were a half a second too late. The next thing you know, you are completely stopped with minor damage to both cars.
Many people experience this in their lifetime. It is a frustrating predicament. Neither you nor the driver in front of you caused the accident, yet here you are, waiting for the police to arrive. Many in this dilemma would opt to figure it out without involving insurance, but this could be a mistake in the long run.
Why should I involve my insurance?
There are many reasons people would not want to include their insurance after a crash. Many of those reasons have to do with money, but it’s worth the money to avoid the risks that may come from failing to file a claim.
- Delayed symptoms: After an accident, adrenaline can affect judgment. Although you may have asked if anyone suffered an injury, injuries may not appear until later. Some symptoms can take up to a few days to appear. During a minor accident, these injuries may be forgotten about. If you or any drivers involved keep an open discussion with your insurer, you could be entitled to compensation to help pay for the symptoms that arise.
- Little to no insurance: The other driver may not have insurance or does not have full coverage. This can include property damage or personal liability coverage. In the case of a crash, this can cause you to pay for a lot of the damages yourself.
- Fraud: Drivers may say they are not injured, yet later file a fraudulent claim. This differs from a delayed symptom, although it can be difficult to differentiate between the two. This person has no symptoms from the accident itself; but he or she blames this accident for pre-existing conditions. Sometimes, people falsify their injuries for compensation. If this were to happen, telling your insurance your side of the story as soon as possible can help your case and protect you from paying for fraudulent injuries.
During a minor accident, it can be tempting to not report anything to your insurance. But failing to report a claim to avoid increased premiums can lead you to make a decision that leaves you at risk for future issues. Always cover yourself and let your insurer know about a collision as soon as possible to avoid a mess in the future.