what to do, what to do...
October 6, 2011 4:25 PM   Subscribe

I got rear ended a couple of hours ago. Called the cops. Should I call my insurance?

I was waiting at the red light, got rear ended. Decided to call the cops given a couple of bad experiences in other accidents. Once interviewed by the cop, the other driver admitted fault, and a report was written.

My car is old, and apart from a few scratches, is pretty much fine.I have a bit of neck pain, but I'm pretty much OK. We exchanged insurance info.

Should I report this to my insurance company? Our payments went up after my wife got in an accident that was officially not her fault, and I don't want that to happen again.
posted by Marduk to Work & Money (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
yes yes yes! Call them as soon as you can, preferably with the police-report info.
posted by easily confused at 4:31 PM on October 6, 2011

I will! Can you tell me why it's so important? Also, I don't have the police report, they take forever to be filed here. I only have her insurance info.
posted by Marduk at 4:33 PM on October 6, 2011

What happens if your neck pain gets worse and you rack up some medical bills?
posted by J. Wilson at 4:33 PM on October 6, 2011

You should call your insurance company and speak to your insurance agent. He will give you your options, and whatever is recommended. Unless he is just looking to raise your cost, he will probably tell you it's best to file the claim on the other guy's insurance.

Actually, since you are experiencing, you should get this checked out in case you case an injury. But definitely file a claim. If you have medical bills because of this, you will need it covered.

When I was in a minor collision that was not my fault (the guy didn't admit fault, but he changed lanes into the back passenger door and rear wheel well of my car), I filed under his insurance. This covered all the expenses for my car to be repaired. Nothing showed up on my insurance.

The 3 options my insurance agent gave me are as follows:
1) File a claim under my insurance. I would have had to pay the $1,000 deductible, but they would have paid for me to rent a car while mine was in the shop.
2) File a claim under my insurance while trying to get his insurance to cough up the dough. I would have had to pay the deductible, but if the claim eventually went through his insurance, I would have received back the full amount I paid.
3) File a claim under the other guy's insurance. This didn't involve my insurance company at all, but paid in full for the repairs.
posted by DoubleLune at 4:35 PM on October 6, 2011

Yes yes yes. You never know if that little bit of neck pain will turn into something more. You also don't know if there's more extensive damage to your car that you can't see. It never hurts to call them. Not sure what's up with your rates increasing for accidents that aren't your fault -- my insurance has always told me my rates aren't affected if the other person is 100% at fault.
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 4:36 PM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]

Call your insurance co. - there's no risk to you in doing so now. The other guy has admitted fault, so your premiums will not go up.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:36 PM on October 6, 2011

Also re: the police report -- the officer should have given you a copy at the scene of the accident. You should call the station and ask for the report number. This is mainly needed for when you file a claim.

Also take you car to a shop to get a free appraisal. You will need this in any case when you file a claim.
posted by DoubleLune at 4:37 PM on October 6, 2011

You should call your insurance company and speak to your insurance agent.

Sadly, my insurance agent sucks, but they are cheap. Last time I talked to them they gave me the phone number of the other driver's agent (which I already had) and I never heard from them again...
posted by Marduk at 4:37 PM on October 6, 2011

You should also see a doctor to make sure you treat yourself properly. Not only can this help to head off complications with whiplash, but it also starts a paper trail.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 4:39 PM on October 6, 2011

your insurance company should have a 24/7 claims service line, so call that number and file a claim or a report with your insurance company. see if the third party (i.e. the other driver) is willing to settle this privately and without insurance which might save him money anyways. i say this because your vehicle is old and only has a few scratches so it might be in your better interest to settle this privately while still filing the report. make sure to tell the claims representative that you want this listed as a report and not a claim.
posted by sincerely-s at 4:49 PM on October 6, 2011

Besides getting a doctor to check your neck, you might also consider getting your car checked: there may be hidden damage to the frame, for instance.

And as others say, you need to make the police report and the report to your insurance co. so you can make the OTHER guy's insurance pay if necessary!
posted by easily confused at 4:50 PM on October 6, 2011

So, in summary:

I should now call my insurance company and "report" de accident. Then I should call their insurance company. Tomorrow I should hit the doctor's and take the car to a shop.

posted by Marduk at 5:09 PM on October 6, 2011

What an insurance agent told me: filing a claim is filing a claim. In other words, even if it is the other person's fault and your insurance company eventually settles with the other insurance company, it still counts as a claim and may affect your rates. (Which depends on other things like how many other claims you've had.)

The alternative is to call the other person's insurance company and file a claim with them on your own. This is definitely risky territory, but if you KNOW you don't have any medical claims to make and you just want $x to fix your bumper, it can probably work out. Be prepared to have to pester them to get them to pay out.
posted by gjc at 5:12 PM on October 6, 2011

You do have medical claims to make. Disagreeing strongly with gjc here, don't try this on your own. This is what you pay your own insurance co. for, and I seriously doubt it's going to jack up your own rates if it's not your fault. nthing that necks are nothing to fool around with. You'll enjoy a nice round of physical therapy, massage, etc. courtesy of the other person's insurance. Or potentially live with years of dealing with an arthritic neck. *speaks from experience*
posted by beagle at 5:16 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

The thing is I don't think my car needs any fixing, at all. The scratches are like more stripes to a tiger (the car is pretty old), and my neck doesn't feel so painful that I feel I should see a doctor.
posted by Marduk at 5:16 PM on October 6, 2011

OK, I'll go to the doctor.
posted by Marduk at 5:18 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Call your insurance co. - there's no risk to you in doing so now. The other guy has admitted fault, so your premiums will not go up.
Incorrect. Insurance companies can and do raise rates for accidents when others admit completely liability.

At this point, the accident happened, a police report was made and a copy will make it's way to DMV. Now it's just a few steps away from the insurance company databases. You know, the ones they all share with drivers histories so they can see how many accidents you get into to set your rates. Read up on the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange for more.

This accident happened and there's no hiding it from insurance companies now.

You don't mention it, but your profile puts you in VA, which is a fault state. If you're in a different state than indicated currently, you may be in a no-fault state. I'm not 100% sure how it works in VA, but in many states, a responding law enforcement officer cannot merely assign fault however he/she sees fit, especially to an accident to which they were not a witness.
posted by Brian Puccio at 6:02 PM on October 6, 2011

I have been rear-ended and hit in other ways by other drivers several times. In each and every case I have called the insurance company of the person who hit me, and have filed a claim through them. If you have a police report, you should have that person's policy info. They were at fault, so they pay. I have never contacted my insurance company about any of my accidents, and I have always been paid by the other companies. Your insurance company would only get involved if the other driver did not have insurance, and you had coverage for accidents with uninsured motorists. My experience covers three states (TX, MA &TN) and a variety of insurance companies, and the process has pretty much always been the same.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 10:27 PM on October 6, 2011

IME it boils down to (potentially) saving money vs convenience. You could save money on your *insurance* rate by filing the claim yourself with the other insurance company. However, you will have to jump through that company's hoops. On the other hand, if you go through your insurance company, they will (usually) be more responsive to making things right, plus you don't have to worry about dealing with the other company.

I think a large part of the decision could depend on which insurance company do you trust more, yours or the other guys?
posted by forforf at 6:41 AM on October 7, 2011

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