How long do you have to report a car accident to your insurance company? Find out here!

It can be a devastating experience to get involved in a car accident. If you have met with an accident before, you might know how long you have to report a car accident to your insurance company. But if you haven’t met with one before, you have to bear the extra pressure of informing your insurer about the accident.

After an accident, the time required to inform your insurer varies according to the state driving laws, which normally range from 1-10 yrs. At times, your insurer may require you to report the accident soon after they happen or often within 30 days.

 The time frame depends on the type of damages and the claim. For instance, if the time range for a potential claim is one week, it can differ if the accident involves injuries or other damages.

In the article, you will get to know:

  • How long do you have to report a car accident to your insurance company?
  • How long after an accident do you have to file a claim
  • Is it illegal to not report a car accident?

How long do you have to report a car accident to your insurance company?

One answer to support the question is that you should report a car accident to your insurer as early as you can. Even if you can manage to inform them from the scene, you should. Many insurers operate a 24-hours hotline and mobile applications for instant accident claims. If you get in an accident and don’t know whether to call your insurer for the emergency claim or not, read the policy once you get home and find out what your insurer covers.

Most of the time, insurers brief the policyholders to claim within the specified time duration after an accident, but generally, the details are not visible to all and are policy centered. If you don’t know where to find information about claims, ask your insurance agent to help you through.

On the other side, the time required to report a car accident to the Police or DMV also varies across jurisdictions. In cases where no insurance case is filed (probably in minor accidents), reporting is not likely required. However, states most of the time require a policyholder or a citizen to report accidents that involve injuries and damages costing more than $2,000.

While not all injuries and damages become apparent right after a minor accident. This is why it is best to report the accident immediately after it occurs. In case you become unable to inform your insurer right after the accident, the police report will help you file a claim to your auto insurer.

How long after an accident do you have to file a claim

You are eligible to file a lawsuit or claim depending on your state’s liability time frame, a.k.a statute of limitations.  Every state regulates its statute of limitations depending on the size of the damage and of course the severity of a bodily injury (ies).

You must be aware of your state’s statute of limitations because your insurance policy might state that you should report your accident immediately after the accident or under twenty-four hours when your vehicle got damaged. But if you couldn’t, you must not believe that these were the last words.

You should comply with the insurance policy instructions but also be informed about the statutes that do not hold you or other drivers involved in the accident from claiming the insurance company. This is because of the similar reasons mentioned above, as the injuries and damages are not apparent right after the accident.

Although, it should be kept in mind that the longer you wait to claim, the harder it will get with time to defend your rights. Insurance companies, however, most of the time delay claims in order to investigate whether the injury or damage stemmed from the covered accident or through any other occurrence. If the insurance company finds a legitimate reason to reject your claim, it’s probably that they deny providing coverage.

Is it illegal to not report a car accident?

If you are an at-fault driver, you must not run from the accident scene. It is your legal obligation to report your accident information to the DMV or police remaining at the site of the accident for a reasonable time. If nobody is injured in the accident, then you have no liability to inform the police.

Here are some time limits for different states to report a car accident. While the states where the reporting needs to be immediately done, you should report from the scene.

  • Alaska – 10 days
  • Alabama – 30 days
  • Arkansas – 30 days for two vehicles and 90 days to provide proof
  • Arizona – immediately
  • Colorado – Immediately
  • California – 10 days
  • Connecticut – Immediately
  • Florida – 10 days
  • Delaware – Immediately
  • Hawaii – Immediately
  • Georgia- Immediately
  • Illinois – 10 days
  • Idaho – Immediately
  • Iowa – Immediately
  • Indiana – Immediately
  • Kentucky – 10 days
  • Kansas – Immediately
  • Maine – Immediately
  • Louisiana – Immediately
  • Massachusetts – 5 days
  • Maryland – 15 days
  • Michigan – Immediately
  • Mississippi – Immediately
  • Minnesota – 10 days
  • Montana – Immediately
  • Nevada – Immediately
  • Nebraska – 10 days
  • New Jersey – Immediately
  • New Hampshire – 15 days
  • New York – 5 days
  • New Mexico – Immediately
  • North Dakota – Immediately
  • North Carolina – Immediately
  • Oklahoma Immediately
  • Ohio – 6 months
  • Oregon – 3 days
  • Rhode Island – 21 days
  • Pennsylvania – 5 days
  • South Dakota – Immediately
  • South Carolina – 15 days
  • Texas – 10 days
  • Tennessee – 20 days
  • Vermont – 5 days
  • Utah – Immediately
  • Washington – 4 days
  • Virginia – Immediately
  • West Virginia – 5 days
  • Wyoming – 10 days
  • Wisconsin – Immediately

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