Am I required to report an accident to my insurance company when settling out of pocket?

Let’s say you have a minor fender-bender that results in a few scratches or, if you’re lucky, no damage at all. You and the other party may agree to pay for the damages out of pocket and not get the insurers involved, but this may not be the right way to go for a number of reasons.

While it’s customary and even contractually required by most insurance companies, many people choose not to report minor accidents to their insurers for fear of such claims raising their premiums. Those involved in single-car accidents are most likely to simply put up with minor damage rather than file a claim, while two interested parties may agree to grin and bear it if there’s only very light damage and no injuries.

How reporting an accident affects your premiums depends on your level of fault. Those not at fault won’t see any increases in their rates, but at-fault drivers may see steep premium increases for years. It’s no wonder that many people try to forgo claims for minor or nonexistent damage. However, not reporting the incident to your insurer could land you in hot water.

For starters, the police may transmit a copy of the accident report to your insurer, which could cause steep premium increases or cancellation for failure to report. Not notifying your insurer could also put you at risk of a small claims lawsuit later on, especially if the other party develops injuries related to the accident.

No matter how minor the accident, it’s a good idea to report it to your insurance company. Get in touch with us and speak to an independent agent for expert help when it comes to the claims process and how it may affect your future car insurance rates.

What is collision and comprehensive on an auto insurance policy?

When you visit your independent agent in Hope Hills, NC to purchase auto insurance, you have several different types of coverage that you can buy. If you are only required to carry the minimum amount of coverage mandated by North Carolina law, you may want to buy a policy with coverage for bodily injury and property damage that you are liable for causing to another driver or their property.

Liability coverage does not cover property damage to your vehicle. If you want, or are required to carry coverage on your vehicle, you will need to buy an auto insurance policy that includes both collision and comprehensive coverage. If you get into an accident, or if your car is stolen, these two types of coverage will allow you to file a damage with your auto insurance company for your loss.

Collision coverage is just like it sounds. If you get into an accident with another vehicle or hit a stationary object like a pole or a brick wall, this coverage will pay to have your car repaired. Anything other types of incidents such as theft, vandalism, or a hail storm ruining your paint job, is covered by the comprehensive portion of your policy.

It is important to note that the added coverage will add to your annual insurance premium. You will pay more if you have an expensive car rather than one that is worth less. This coverage comes with a deductible, or the amount you are responsible for paying before the insurance company will pay on a claim. You can lower your overall premium by choosing a high deductible, but that will mean you assume more financial risk should you suffer a loss.

You usually need this type of added protection if you finance a vehicle or you have a fairly new vehicle that is still worth a substantial sum of money. Even if you are not required to carry such coverage, it may still be prudent to spend a little more and add it to your auto insurance policy.

If a minor child who does not have a driver’s license is involved in a fatal accident, while driving a friend’s car, can their parents’ insurance company be sued?

It is always tragic when a minor child is involved in a fatal accident. When that child does not have a driver’s license and is driving a car in Hope Hills, NC, it can be more difficult for grieving parents to understand. Depending on the reasons for the accident, parents may or may not be able to take the owner of the vehicle to court for wrongful death.

Cause of the Accident

In general, the cause of the accident will play a role in the legal actions that a parent can take. For example, if the teen was driving because another individual was sick or injured, then the situation may provide a good reason for that minor to be behind the wheel. On the other hand, taking a car out for fun may be nothing more than a foolish gamble.

Children with a Permit

Any time that a minor with a permit is driving, an adult should be in the front seat. If parents have given permission for their teen to drive a friend’s car while they are learning to drive, then they may not be able to make a claim for wrongful death.

Ultimately, a fatal accident is a tragedy that does not have any legal solution. Parents may not be able to make a claim of wrongful death or other charges if the teen was driving with their permission or in an emergency situation.

It is difficult to discover that a loved one has died in an accident, but it is more challenging when the individual involved was young and should not have been driving. Contact us to talk to an agent for more information about making a claim on an insurance policy.

If I’m a co-signer on a car loan for my son do I have to be listed on the insurance policy?

A friend, family member, or your child wants to finance their first car. The only problem they’re having is an inability to qualify for a loan without a co-signer. Your credit score is more than sufficient to help them out with their problem, but you’re wondering whether you need to be on your son’s auto insurance policy when you co-sign for the car.

The main factor in whether or not you should be listed on insurance or not is whether you are considered a co-signer or a co-borrower. A co-signer is simply responsible for financial matters related to the loan. If your son fails to meet his payment obligations on the auto loan, then your co-singing makes you financially responsible for the loan. It affects both your credit and your son’s.

Some financing companies require you to be listed as a co-borrower and co-owner on the loan. When you are a co-owner, you are placed on the car’s title. Because you are listed on the car’s title, you may be held legally responsible in the event of an accident. The way to cover your liability in the event of an accident is to get listed as an additional driver on your son’s car insurance.

Another factor to consider when co-signing on a loan is whether you are prepared to take financial responsibility if your son can’t meet his payment obligations. If this occurs, you either have to make the payments yourself, or receive a negative mark on your credit report. This has a long term impact on your own ability to get financing.