Got in an accident with a car that wasn't mine a few years ago - what does it mean for my insurance now?
June 24, 2012 3:00 PM   Subscribe

2.5 years ago I rear-ended someone while driving a university vehicle on university insurance (in TN). Next month I'm buying a used car from a friend. Need help figuring out what this means for insurance.

When I go to sites like Geico to get a rate quote, they ask about accidents in the last x number of years, and then they ask details like fault (I've read that I'm automatically at fault since I rear-ended him, but never received any info on this from police or university) and expense of damage (again, received no info on this, though there was no damage to the car I was driving, and a blown out rear windshield and small dent on the back of the car I hit).

My question: how do I find out these details? Surely they're on record somewhere? And I assume I have to report this when getting insurance even though it was not my vehicle or my insurance?

The whole episode was very surreal because the university was totally indifferent and just sorta shrugged about it all and did nothing to me. I assume there's some price to pay now?
posted by pdq to Law & Government (7 answers total)
Response by poster: Additional info:
-I used (but was not the owner of) a car for six months four years ago. I have never purchased insurance besides that, and I have never owned a car besides that.
posted by pdq at 3:03 PM on June 24, 2012

I would answer truthfully, report minor damage, no citation (?) and call it at that.
Even though it might be tempting to not report this it could jeopardize/nullify your coverage with your insurer as you will be asked to affirm the truth of your statements. If not on the quote on the actually policy for sure. Enjoy your new car.
posted by rmhsinc at 3:11 PM on June 24, 2012

Did you exchange insurance information? If so, and they put in a claim against your insurance, you should be able to find this out from the insurance company you had at the time.
posted by DoubleLune at 3:13 PM on June 24, 2012

This sounds like a question for a human insurance agent, and not just a website. They can help you find out this information, or help you figure out what to do. Could you find a local office, or at least call someone on the phone?
posted by apricot at 3:18 PM on June 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Were you personally ticketed for it?

Even if you don't remember, they'll automatically pull any violations on your driving record and price accordingly. If you were driving a university-insured vehicle, chances are this won't show on any claims related to you, only any infractions that might have occurred. Being that it was 2.5 years ago, they may not even show up.

I've had minor things (speeding tickets) that I'd completely forgotten about that showed when I changed insurance. It's really no big deal, especially if you're applying online. Worst case, they'll charge you more for having an accident on your record.

I'd try Progressive and Safe Auto (if you're just getting the minimum).
posted by chrisfromthelc at 3:19 PM on June 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Get online quotes, proceeding as if the accident had never happened.

If their report-checking system finds it and attributes it to you, go "oh well," and acknowledge your rate will be a little higher.

If not, hooray!
posted by kavasa at 5:07 PM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Cop to the accident. You don't want to commit fraud.

I highly recommend going to an insurance broker, someone who represents a number of different companies. A broker can explain everything to you and help you get the right kind of insurance (cheap is good, but understanding what you have and why you have it is better.)

I didn't do this, but I've had State Farm for over twenty years. I will say this. A guy with Progressive rear ended me and they were awesome!

I'm still angry at Allstate for cancelling our condo insurance in 1994 after Hurricane Andrew, so eff them!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:26 AM on June 25, 2012

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