Minor Now, Major Later: Why You Should Report Any Accidents To Your Insurance Agent Even If You Don't See Damage

It happens to most people at some point -- a car taps yours, your car taps someone else's, or your car gently bumps into something like a shopping cart at a low speed. If that's happened to you, you've likely been tempted to avoid filing an insurance claim if you think there's no damage. However, even if you don't proceed with a full claim, you should let your insurance company know that something happened. Two reasons, both involving other people taking advantage of you, make contacting your insurance company something you'll want to do.

Twisting the Story

If the accident involved another person hitting your car, your report to the insurance agency ensures that your version is on record in case the other person decides to pull a fast one. Just because the other person was at fault and there was no apparent damage to your car doesn't mean that there isn't damage to the other person's car -- and he or she might try to turn the story around and blame you.

Witnesses don't always pull over to help people who have been in minor accidents, and sometimes the police won't come out if no one has been injured. The result is usually a you-said-they-said situation regarding what happened. While putting your version on record might not stop the other person from trying something funny, it will at least signal to the insurance company that something might be off regarding the other person's story, and the company will investigate.

Hijacking the Damage

Just because you don't see any damage doesn't mean there actually isn't any. A minor fender-bender hit can result in very tiny changes to the alignment of the bumper, for example, that only adjusters and repair people can really see. Or, maybe you saw some minor damage like paint scratches and decided to ignore them.

Unfortunately that opens you up to another scam, where people blame you for damage to their cars, pointing to the damage on your car as so-called evidence. If you do not have on record what really caused the damage to your car, you could be in for a long fight as you try to prove that you did not do a hit and run on this other person's car.

By having a record of the damage or accident on file with your agent, you can point out that this damage occurred much earlier than this other person is claiming. That can blow their fake story out of the water and save you a lot of trouble.

If you'd like to know more about filing a report of an accident without actually completing a full claim involving repairs, contact an insurance agent now. Each company has their own procedures, and an agent like those at Jimmy Fisher State Farm Ins can help you work out a plan should you ever find yourself in this situation.