If you have been in a car accident, you may be questioning whether you should tell your insurance company about it. Especially when the accident initially seems to have been minor, concerns about having to pay higher rates might cause you to wonder, “Should I even tell my insurance company at all?”
The answer is a resounding yes. If you have your own car insurance policy, which is required by law in the State of Illinois, make sure that you tell your insurance company about your car accident as soon as possible.
Preserving Insurance Policy Benefits
Promptly notifying your insurance company of a car accident is essential in order to preserve your full policy benefits, and you should make a report even if you initially believe that the accident caused no injuries or car damage. In many cases, the effects of a seemingly minor car accident – both in terms of damage to your car and personal injuries to you or your passengers – are not immediately apparent. If you later discover that you were injured or that your car was damaged, the delay in reporting the accident to your insurance company might lead to a loss of benefits that would otherwise have been available.
Reporting your car accident is essential for you to preserve your benefits under your own policy. Assuming that you have full coverage on your vehicle, you can initially rely upon your own insurance carrier to get your car repaired and to pay some of your medical bills. Also, in the event that the at-fault driver was uninsured, or did not carry enough insurance to cover your damages, you can still claim uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits through your own policy.
You should also be aware that many insurance policies contain a provision requiring accidents to be reported in a timely fashion. If your policy includes this type of language, any delay in notifying your insurance company of an accident may cause the insurance company to deny your claim on the grounds of noncompliance with the terms of the policy.
The bottom line is this: always report a car accident to your insurance company, no matter how insignificant the crash may seem at the time.
After I Tell My Insurance Company
The merits of reporting your car accident to your insurance company are clear. However, you may now be asking yourself, “What should I do after I tell my insurance company?” While notifying your insurance company about your accident is an essential first step, there are many other building blocks that you need to assemble for your personal injury claim.
Successful personal injury claims are about telling your story completely and compellingly. You must present as full an accounting of your loss as possible in order to ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve.
If you find that you need experienced legal assistance to help bring your personal injury claim to a satisfying conclusion, consider the Chicago car accident lawyers at GWC Injury Lawyers. GWC is Illinois’ largest Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firm, with more than $2 BILLION successfully recovered for our clients.