Does an accident go on your record if no Police Report is filed?
August 7, 2011 9:08 PM   Subscribe

Does an accident go on your record if no Police Report is filed?

I was in a minor accident on a major highway during a bad storm...a driver cut me off and slowed down when he got in front of me, causing me to hit the breaks and swerve in order to avoid ramming the car. I lost control of the car and spun out..slammed onto the left shoulder of the highway. Called my insurance for roadside assistance, they said I should call the cops--then get back to them. I called the cops, firefighters showed up, ambulance shows up, they both leave after calling a towing company. Towing company gets there, they can't tow me until a police report is filed. Waited for an hour or so with the tow truck guy, cops never show. He calls his supervisor, supervisor says "let's just get him off the road and to the shop..we'll take care things with his insurance as far as the police report goes since we're a certified shop under them(geico)" ...So they load up the car, he puts me on the phone with claims on the way to the shop...explains the police thing since they were backlogged because of the storm (there was actually a bmw flipped about a mile ahead of me with 3 people pinned)..Geico goes ahead and process the claim, they had an Onsite adjuster at the shop and he sent over the quote for the repairs all within an hour of me getting to the shop. All without the police report.

So does this accident go on my record with the dmv ? Geico declared this an at-fault collision since I lost control, my rates will surely go up. Will this accident pop up if I decide to switch companies?
posted by Jokesta to Law & Government (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Auto insurance companies use a database called CLUE that includes any claims you make. It doesn't matter what records your state does or doesn't keep, your claim will be in the database. Also, regardless of CLUE, your next insurance company will ask about claims made at your previous insurer. If you lie to them, your policy will be invalidated due to fraud.
posted by saeculorum at 9:22 PM on August 7, 2011 [5 favorites]

I'm actually not sure about the answer to your question, it's an interesting one. However, you can get a copy of your DMV report (for free even, maybe?) and check yourself!
posted by katypickle at 9:37 PM on August 7, 2011


I used to work at an insurance company. As saeculorum noted, they look not only at police records but also your insurance claims history. So if you file a claim, or another party files a claim against you (or another driver on your policy), that will all show up.

The accident might not show up on the report immediately, which makes some people try to get insurance from a new company soon after an accident like this -- the accident doesn't show up on the reports, so they still get the lower rates at first. But, like saeculorum noted, that is fraud and it is illegal, because you certify when you sign the insurance application that the history that they have noted for you is complete and up to date. Some people get away with it for a few months or something, but then they are hit with cancellations or retroactively raised premiums or whatever, and can end up owing the insurance company even more money even if the policy is cancelled. As we customer service reps would have to explain in these cases, when the policyholders inevitably called in to complain, the application contract that they signed and the price that they were given was based on faulty information, which they certified to be true. We wouldn't generally out-and-out accuse them of deliberately trying to cheat us, because that would be bad customer service, but we would let them know in no uncertain terms that they'd been found out. In some cases, I think the premiums might only have been raised back to what they would have been if the driving record info had been complete from the getgo; in other cases there might have been additional penalties attached. (In other words, I don't recommend trying this approach.)
posted by jef at 1:23 AM on August 8, 2011

The accident is not on any state record, perhaps, but if your insurance company paid out the claim, they certainly know about the accident so it is on your record with them.
posted by Doohickie at 10:53 AM on August 8, 2011

« Older Help me be less ignorant about cars.   |   Help me find blackout/lined curtains without... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.