How Should You Deal With Insurance Companies After an Accident?

How to deal with insurance companies after an accident really depends on whether you are talking about your own insurance company, or the other party’s insurance company. If it’s your own company, I would advise you cooperate. You have a contractual obligation to cooperate with your insurer. You need to report the accident. But if you are talking about dealing with the other party, it is a different situation.

Do I Need to Tell My Insurance Company I’ve Been in an Accident?

Yes. Generally, any insurance policy is going to require notification to your insurer. Immediately after the accident or as soon thereafter as practicable you should report the incident to your insurer, or else you risk voiding your coverage.

You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you failed to notify your insurer and you might have had coverage for uninsured or under insured motorist coverage, but then because you failed to put them on timely notice, you’d prejudice their ability to do an investigation, and then they just completely deny the claim leaving you holding the bill. However much the damages might end up being, even if you were injured by another person, it doesn’t matter if you caused the accident or not, your insurance contract will almost always require you to report the accident.

It’s always a good idea to review your policy so that you are aware of your obligations, but generally you have an obligation to cooperate with your own insurance company.  You may also have coverage on your policy for medical payments benefits, medpay, or personal injury protection payments. Those types of coverage, pretty much what’s known as no-fault coverage, they will usually be available to you if you have such coverage. You might fall outside of being able to obtain those benefits though if you fail to put your insurer on notice within a reasonable amount of time.

Do I Need to Talk to The Other Party’s Insurance Company After an Accident?

If the other party’s insurance company contacts you, you’re not under any obligation to make any statements to them—you don’t owe them anything.

If you are represented by counsel, tell them so. Say, “Look, I have an attorney. This is their name, this is their contact info, and I’d appreciate it if you only communicate through them,” and they’ll have to honor that.

If you’re not represented by counsel, it depends on what your thinking is about proceeding with the case. If you’re looking for an attorney, but haven’t retained one yet, just let them know that you don’t want to speak without an attorney. You can say something to the effect of “I’m not comfortable speaking with anyone right now because I’m in the process of looking for legal counsel. I will contact you or have my attorney do so as soon as I retain one.” This should be enough to get them to leave you alone for a few days to get your things in order and to retain an attorney.