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When to report accidents to the insurance company

When someone in Iowa is involved in a car accident, reporting it to their insurance company may not be something they look forward to. Insurance rates sometimes go up after an accident, but reporting accidents is advised except in a few rare cases.

One circumstance that might allow for not reporting an accident is if the accident is minor and does not involve anyone else. If the cost of repairs is estimated to be less than the driver's insurance deductible, then not reporting it to their insurance company would make sense. However, if the accident involves another person's property, then it should be reported.

If someone is in an accident that is not their own fault, reporting it to their insurance company is advisable. If another driver is involved and believed to be at fault, a third-party claim can also be filed with that driver's insurance company.

It is usually best to report car accidents to the insurance company as soon as possible. If it is a single-vehicle accident that the driver is not sure they want to report, they could take some time to read through their insurance policy first to help them make a decision. Many insurance companies require reporting of any accident within a certain time period. It might take a call to a driver's insurance agent to find out if such a time limit exists.

If insurance companies fail to pay fair compensation, a civil lawsuit may be filed against the insurance company. For this, there is a definite statute of limitations on filing that varies by state.

Insurance companies sometimes make a settlement offer to someone who files a claim. When someone receives such an offer, they may assume that they have to accept it or get no compensation at all. This is not true. If a settlement offer is not satisfactory, the claimant has a right to refuse it and seek a higher amount in court.

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Hixson & Brown, P.C.
160 South 68th Street
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West Des Moines, IA 50266

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