What you’ll learn reading this article:
- Sometimes car insurance rates rise after an accident.
- Indiana has clear rules about having insurance and reporting car accidents.
- There are three important reasons to let your insurance company know about the accident, even if it was minor or it wasn’t your fault.
Here’s a hard lesson many people have to learn about auto insurance: Your insurance company could raise your rates after an accident, even if it wasn’t your fault.
It sure doesn’t seem fair, does it? You could be doing everything right and following the rules of the road, then get hit by a reckless driver and see your own insurance rates go up. It’s certainly a good reason to research insurance companies before choosing one.
Do I Have to Contact My Insurance Company After an Accident?
In the state of Indiana, if an accident involves injury, death, or property damage over $1,000, you must report it to the authorities and seek emergency medical assistance for anyone who is injured. Indiana also requires all drivers to have auto insurance.
You might be wondering if you even have to contact your insurance company after an accident. It depends. If it’s a small fender-bender you might not be required to report it to the police, but if your insurance company finds out about it, they could penalize you for failing to report it.
This sometimes happens when the other driver initially tells you they don’t plan to involve insurance and later changes their mind. Suddenly your insurance company is aware and sees that you haven’t notified them about what happened. Your rates go up as a result.
You Might Have to Prove Insurance to Keep Your License
The Indiana BMV requires drivers who have been in auto accidents to prove they have auto insurance. This means you’ll need to ask your auto insurance company to send proof directly to the BMV, which means your insurer will become aware of the accident at that point if you haven’t already told them about it.
Make sure you follow the law and provide proof as requested, or you risk losing your license. Failure to provide proof of insurance at the BMV’s request can cause you to have your license and registration suspended for one year.
Three Good Reasons to Involve Insurance After Your Accident
Although it can be frustrating to deal with your auto insurance company after an accident, we’d like to share three important reasons why it’s important to get your insurance company involved right away.
First, as we mentioned above, the state of Indiana could take your license away if you don’t work with the BMV and your insurance company to provide proof of coverage.
Second, look at it this way: You’ve been paying into your insurance for a long time. Now’s the time to use it! This is true whether or not it was your fault, and especially if the other driver is uninsured. Your insurance covers you at a crucial point in your life.
Third, insurance creates a path to recovering much-needed compensation for your injuries and other damages. In Indiana, you have the right to sue the other driver for your:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Either the other driver’s insurance or your own insurance can kick in to pay some or all of the compensation you are awarded. Of course, it can be difficult to hold an insurance company to their word and get them to actually cut you a check. They might even offer you an amount that’s insultingly low.
With the help of an Indianapolis car accident attorney, you can demand that the insurance company offers full compensation for your costs from the car accident. It’s the best way to put the accident behind you and start focusing on your recovery.
Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery – Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured physically or mentally by a person, product, or company, you need to know your legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours and can evaluate what your case may be worth. We will ensure that you are protected and compensated for your injuries and losses. Why pay up to 40% in attorney fees? Our fee is only 25%* and we fight to win your case or you pay no attorney fees at all. Don’t hesitate – one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away. Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free case review.
So a lot of times people are worried, hey, if I even say anything about being in an accident to my insurance company, even if it wasn’t my fault. Are my insurance rates going to go up? And the answer is, it depends. Some insurance companies they do penalize you for making a claim, even when you weren’t at fault for the accident. And so what I always tell people is, you got to do your research and find out which insurance companies will raise your rates and which ones won’t. And you should use that information when you’re making a decision about what insurance company to get.
So if you are in a car accident, if you don’t get issued a citation, then generally that’s not going to have an effect on your driving record in terms of points. The points come from when you’re issued a citation, and then you get found guilty, or you plead guilty to the citation. But if you’re in an accident and the BMV finds out about it, a lot of times, what they will do is send you a letter to verify that you did have insurance. So you want to make sure that you contact your insurance company, your insurance agent to have them send a letter to the BMV. Verifying they have insurance, so you don’t get your license suspended.
But the fact of the matter is if you’re paying for coverages like uninsured motorist, or underinsured motorist, or Med Pay payments. You’ve already paid that money, you deserve that compensation. You should use it.