If you’ve been in a car accident, you don’t have to claim on your insurance but you do have to tell your insurer. Read what to do in the event of an accident, and why.
I've been in a car accident, do I have to claim on my insurance?

Bonus for going unclaimed

If you want to keep your no-claims discount and you decide to pay for the repairs yourself (or try to recover them from the other driver), you do not have to file a claim with your insurer. Instead, you can try to get the other driver to pay for them.

It is possible that the cost of losing your no-claims bonus will be greater than the cost of paying for the repairs yourself in some cases. If this is the case, you would be better off not submitting a claim.

Should You Notify Your Insurance Provider If You Have Been Involved in an Accident?

You are required to inform your insurer if you have been involved in a collision, as this is the law. You need to write a letter to your insurer and explain the situation to them as soon as possible.

However, you should make it quite clear that this is for “information only” and that you are not attempting to make a claim in any way.

Because of this, it ought to be impossible for your insurance to reach a settlement with the insurer of the other party without your knowledge.

The window of opportunity to alert your insurance

Even if you don’t intend to file a claim for your injuries, you are still required to notify your insurance company of the accident within a reasonable amount of time after it occurs, as this is a condition of your insurance policy.

Different policies have different standards for what constitutes an acceptable amount of time.

You need to examine the terms and conditions of your policy, but if it doesn’t indicate a timeline, you should work as quickly as you can to get it done.

If you do not comply with this requirement, your insurance provider may have the authority to withhold coverage in the future.

Right to request insurance details

If another person believes that you are to blame for an accident, they have the legal right to ask for information regarding your insurance coverage, even if no one was hurt in the incident.

This request need not be made immediately after the accident but might be made at a later time instead.

In the absence of a valid excuse, it is also a crime to omit to submit information about your insurance coverage.

Having sustained an injury at the time of the accident would qualify as a valid justification for your actions.

When I’ve been in a car accident, am I required to notify my insurance company?
There is no requirement for you to report the damage to your insurance provider if you want to keep your no-claims bonus and pay for the damages out of pocket.
You are required to inform your insurance provider that you have been involved in an accident. Should you fail to comply, your insurance provider may exercise their right to revoke your policy in the future.
If you are involved in an accident, you are required to stop and you must always report it; otherwise, you run the risk of being fined up to £5,000 and receiving penalty points on your licence.

How to file a claim with your insurance company when it wasn’t your fault in an accident

You have a few alternatives to choose from if you need to file an insurance claim following an accident that wasn’t your fault.

Accidents caused by automobiles: filing a claim

Accidents involving motor vehicles are both unpleasant and stressful, according to Ian Hawkins of Which? Legal. You should make an effort to stay informed about the problem as it evolves, and you should also make an effort to take the initiative to ensure that the insurance company will take efforts to address the matter to your satisfaction. Immediately following the occurrence of the incident or accident, some key items to keep in mind include the following:

Be sure that you have the contact information and vehicle information of the other driver or drivers.
See if there are any people who saw what happened and ask them about it.
If someone was wounded or if there was substantial damage to a vehicle, the accident should be reported to the police and emergency services; failing to do so might be considered a criminal offence.
Get in touch with your insurance company so you can confirm whether or not they will retrieve the vehicle.

Be mindful of both the steps you take to go forward with your claim and the conclusion you anticipate receiving from your insurance provider. This is a procedure that is evidence-based, but too many members of the public have the misconception that their insurance company is obligated to do what they say and what they require. This is not the case.

If there is insufficient proof, a good illustration of a situation in which an insurance company might advise a shared division of the obligation (50/50), the insurance company has the right to make their conclusions based on the evidence and what can be shown. It is crucial to look for high-quality counsel on the process and figure out how to handle any problems that arise.

Make use of a credit hire firm.

You can avoid having to pay the excess by utilising the services of a credit hire organisation.

While your vehicle is getting repaired, the credit hire firm will cover the expense of renting you another vehicle to use in the meanwhile.

Additionally, it pays for the cost of repairs and then submits a claim to the insurance company representing the other motorist for reimbursement.

However, even if you do not file a claim, your insurance company will still need to be informed about the accident.

You need to make sure that you read the terms and conditions of the credit hiring firm, especially the fine print, because there is sometimes a clause that states how much you will have to pay if you are misleading or if you do not cooperate with them.

Getting the insurance company to pay the excess

If you don’t want to go through a credit hire firm and the accident wasn’t your fault, you have the option of paying the excess yourself and then pursuing reimbursement from the insurance company of the other driver once the claim has been resolved.

Despite this, you should inquire with your insurer on the possibility of receiving assistance in filing a claim with the other insurer for reimbursement of the excess cost.

If you are still having difficulties getting your money back, you might have to file a claim in small claims court against the other motorist or their insurer.

What to do in the event of a collision

In accordance with section 170 of the Road Traffic Act of 1988, if you are the driver of a vehicle that is involved in an accident, you are required to remain at the scene for an appropriate amount of time.

You are required to reveal the following information to anyone who has a valid reason to inquire about it:

your licence plate number for the car.
a name and an address from you, as well as the name and address of the vehicle’s owner (if different)

If you do not exchange these facts at the scene of the accident, you are required to report the accident to a police station or to a police officer as soon as you can, and in any case within twenty-four hours after the incident.

What to do in the event of a car accident in a foreign country

Make contact with the authorities, but do not confess fault or sign any paperwork in addition to the European Accident Statement, often known as the “Constat Amiable.”

In the event that you are unable to operate your vehicle, you should get in touch with your insurer as soon as possible.

If you are able to drive, you do not need to notify your insurance company until you return to the United Kingdom as long as you do so within 14 days of the accident.

Learn more about how to make a claim for an automobile accident that occurred in another country.

Injury at an accident

If the collision resulted in the injury of another person, you are legally obligated to produce your insurance certificate to anyone who was present at the scene and had a good cause to view it.

If you don’t, you have an obligation to report the accident as quickly as you can, either at a police station or directly to a police officer. This needs to be done within the next 24 hours.

You are required to do these things not only in the event that you were directly involved in an accident that resulted in injuries, but also in the event that the presence of your vehicle was a factor.

In the event that you do not have your insurance certificate with you at the scene of the accident, you have the option of taking it to a police station of your choosing after you have filed a report regarding the occurrence.

You have till the seventh day after the accident to get this done.

It is not sufficient to report the accident to the police over the phone, and you cannot urge another person to report it on your behalf.

No matter who was at fault for the collision, you should carry out the procedures outlined above as quickly as possible after it occurred if you have any reservations about what happened.

Penalty points

If any of the aforementioned actions are not carried out, the offender may be guilty of two separate criminal offences: failure to stop and failing to report.

It is not impossible to be guilty of either one or both of these offences.

Each violation carries with it the potential for a punishment of up to 5,000 pounds and anything from five to ten points deducted from the driver’s licence.

If you are found guilty of each offence, the court has the authority to remove your driving privileges; however, this is more likely to occur if both offences were committed on the same occasion.