If retained to represent you in a Skokie auto accident case, I will give you 5 reasons why you should report your accident to your own insurance company. Call today at 847-305-4105 for more information on this topic or continue reading.
Many Skokie auto accident victims have told me that they do not want to file a claim with their own auto insurance company after an accident as they are afraid their own rates are going to go up.
A rate increase is a possibility regardless of fault. However, I have found that the vast majority of clients involved in accidents where they were not at fault did not have their rates increased. In fact, I can’t think of a single one who reported an increase to me. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, I’m just not aware of it.
Am I Required to Report the Accident by Law?
In the state of Illinois there is no law that requires that you report a Skokie auto accident to your auto insurance company. However, you are required to report the accident to the Illinois Department of Transportation within ten days if your accident meets certain requirements (link).
Then why report your accident?
5 Reasons Why You Should Report Your Accident to Your own Insurance Company
- Contract Law
When you signed up for auto insurance you signed a contract with Allstate or State Farm or whoever you signed up with. Your auto insurance contract may require you to report any accident you are involved in to your insurance company. If you do not and your insurance company finds out about your Skokie auto accident, they could cancel your insurance policy.
- Medpay Insurance
Many auto insurance policies contain “medpay” or medical payments coverage. Medpay is something you can add to an auto policy and it will pay for the first $2,500 or $5,000 (or whatever you purchased) in medical expenses. Medpay has many advantages as there are no co-pays, no deductibles and you can get it regardless of fault.
You don’t necessarily have to file a claim with your auto insurance company to find out if you have medpay. Just call them up and ask whether you have it or not. If you do and you’ve got medical bills to pay, it may be a good idea to file a claim with your own insurance company, even if you were not at fault for the accident.
- Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM)
I have talked at length on this website about how many Illinois drivers do not have any auto insurance. In addition, a huge number of people who do have insurance only have the minimum insurance required by the state of Illinois.
If you are involved in a serious Skokie auto accident, the minimum limits of $25,000 are not going to cover your medical bills let alone compensate you for your pain and suffering.
As such, many people purchase UM/UIM of at least $100,000. That way, if you get hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you can go after your own auto insurance policy for compensation.
Again, you don’t have to file necessarily to find out how much insurance you have. If the driver who hit you has a minimum policy and you do too, there may be no reason to file. Call us at 847-305-4105 to discuss what you should do if you are faced with this situation.
- Collision coverage
After your accident, the auto insurance for the driver who hit you may need to investigate the accident before paying for your property damage. To “accept liability” or responsibility for the accident they may have to wait to see the police report. That can cause serious delays and most people need to get the car back quickly.
As such, if you have collision coverage on your vehicle, your own auto insurance company can inspect your vehicle and pay for the repairs. This will occur much quicker than using the third party’s insurance.
The downside is that you will have to pay your deductible. However, you should get it back. If you are not at fault for the accident, your own insurance company will “subrogate” against the defendant’s insurance company to get reimbursed for the money it cost to get your car fixed. You should get your deductible back when subrogation is completed.
- Time limit
Within your own auto insurance policy, there may be a time limit within which you have to report an accident. If you do not file within the specified time limit, your insurance company could deny your claim.
It’s not that far fetched. I have seen a couple cases usually involving sub-standard auto insurance carriers where an accident victim missed a timeline and consequently their claim was denied.
So these were the top 5 Reasons Why You Should Report Your Accident to Your own Insurance Company. But there are other reasons as well. If you would like a free consultation on this or any other legal topic, please feel free to reach out to me at 847-305-4105. If I can’t help you, I’ll find someone who can.