Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Nov 3, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • An auto insurance policy is a legal contract between you and your insurance company
  • It is important to get a police report from every accident to avoid false claims
  • If anybody makes a claim on your auto insurance without you knowing, it’s counted as a fraud
  • For anybody to file a claim on your policy, they must know your insurer and your policy number

Car insurance helps policyholders to pay for damages caused by an accident in addition to health and monetary compensation in case of fatalities.

It is mandatory to have some minimum auto insurance coverage to drive on U.S. roads. However, you shouldn’t break a bank to acquire car insurance.

Always shop around and make numerous online quote comparisons to find a good coverage at affordable costs. Use our free comparison tool now by entering your zip code above.

A Claim on Your Insurance Without You Knowing

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Let’s say you are involved in a minor collision with another car at the shopping mall parking lot. He claims it’s your fault and makes an exorbitant quote on how much it would cost to repair the damage.

You oblige and give him your policy information and let him follow up with your insurer. Several weeks later you realize the person made unrealistic claims on your insurance.

This may be quite unfortunate but it does impact a lot on your claims history and your auto insurance rates can drastically increase. It’s important to report every accident and let the police give a report.

It is highly unlikely for anybody to make claim on your auto insurance without your information. In most cases, you must have shared your insurance information details like policy number with the claimant.

If you share such details with someone you’re involved with in an accident, they may choose to make claims without any further reference to you.

However, since the insurance cover is an agreement between two parties – the insurer and the insured – your insurance company should contact you to discuss the scenarios of the accident.

Most policies require you to play your part by promptly reporting the accident as opposed to waiting until you’re contacted. The insurer may see it as a way of accepting fault on your side.

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Get a Police Report and Report the Incidence Promptly to your Insurer

You should report every incidence promptly. If you feel you’re not at fault and the other party is making a fraudulent claim, make it clear to your insurer.

As to whether they fight it or pay it, it depends on the insurance company and the report given by the examiner. Some insurers will fight fraudulent claims tooth and nail even if it means years in court. Others will, however, pay the claims to avoid any troubles.

It’s also wise to get a police report no matter how tiny you think the incident is. Be wary of people willing to negotiate on the side and avoid police reports; it may cost you later.

The auto insurance company may seek to find more information to ascertain the legitimacy of the claim. Getting a police report couple with your statement will go a long way in helping them make a decision.

Additionally, they will get a statement from the other party and witnesses to the incident.

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Filing a Claim

Getting involved in an accident can be quite stressful, even if it’s a minor incident. You’ll want to immediately report the accident and decide as soon as possible whether you’re going to make a claim or not.

Ensure that you get the following information from the other motorist for a successful claim:

  • The driver’s license information
  • The license plate number and car registration information
  • The motorist’s insurance information which includes policy number and expiration date
  • Vehicle details including make, model, and year of manufacturer
  • Name and contact information of the driver
  • Names of passengers in the vehicle

It would be helpful to get names and contacts of any available witnesses. You can as well take photos of the cars at the scene of the accident and the surrounding environment.

As the insurance company analyzes the situation and processes the claim, you may need to ask the following questions:

  • Do I have dental coverage in my policy, and how much?
  • Should I get estimates to have my car repaired?
  • When will the insurance adjuster contact me?
  • Is there a time limit for providing additional accident information?
  • Is there a time limit for claim disputes?

Auto Insurance Coverage Types

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You should learn your policy and know what it covers and what it does not. You also get to know what the third parties can claim from your insurance cover. Here are the common coverage types you’ll get:

  • Liability Cover This is the minimum coverage that is mandatory in most states. It only covers damages caused to the third party and will not compensate for your own damages. Bodily injury liability will cover medical expenses or funeral expenses in case of a fatality.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Even with the strict legal measures put in place in most states, some motorists will still drive without insurance covers. Underinsured coverage tops up the gap left by the other party’s cover when their limits are exhausted.
  • Medical Payments/PIP  The Personal injury protection (PIP) is utilized by either party regardless of who is at fault. It caters for medical expenses, hiring daycare assistance, lost wages, and any other services you may desire when injured.
  • Collision If you get involved in an accident, the collision cover will come into play. It’s not mandatory to have, but it’s critical especially if you’re financing or leasing your vehicle. With collision coverage, you get to choose your appropriate coverage amount and deductibles.
  • Comprehensive This is similar to collision coverage since you can choose your deductibles and coverage amounts. Comprehensive insurance covers for incidences besides an accident. These include flooding, hitting wildlife, fires, vandalism, natural disasters, etc.
  • Rental Car Reimbursement After an accident, it may take long for the assessment and repair to be done. This leaves you without a car to move around. Rental car reimbursement covers the cost of renting a car for the duration your car is away.

Making a claim is the last thing that should be on your mind since none of us would wish to encounter an accident or loss of any kind. It can even be more shocking if someone claimed on your car insurance without your knowledge.

Knowing your policy coverage and the claim process will help you avoid such incidences that may impact your car insurance rates.

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