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Just involved in my first car accident, other guy hasn't claimed yet

Less than 24 hours ago I backed up out of a cross walk and didn't notice that a Lyft Driver had just pulled up and I tapped his bumper.

We exchanged contact information, insurance info, and took photos. Neither of us called the cops (I probably should have but I was a little frazzled since it was my first accident). He claims I caused a scratch on his bumper from the incident and he told me he would file a claim.

I have Progressive insurance and I know that their policy states that they should be informed any time a collision occurs.

My question is, should I wait for him to claim first? What if he decides "maybe that guy didn't actually scratch the bumper and I went over a speed bump too fast earlier" or if he decides he'd rather settle it out-of-pocket first? What should I tell my insurance company?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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level 1

Report it and tell your insurance company the truth. Then you don't need to worry about it anymore.

level 2
Original Poster2 points · 6 months ago

Sounds good, thanks for the advice. Do I admit fault to my insurance or should I just be very factual?

level 1

What state are you in?

level 2
Original Poster2 points · 6 months ago

Washington state

level 3

Generally, the risk of not reporting claims is that your insurer could deny coverage for your claim on the basis of breaching a policy condition requiring immediate/timely notice of the loss.

Case law in Washington provides that an insurer may not rely on late notice to deny coverage to a person unless the insurer can prove "actual and substantial prejudice" has occurred. Basically, they have to prove that by the time they were put on notice, their ability to investigate and handle the claim has been significantly impaired in a material way that cannot be overcome.

Honestly, I don't think you have much to worry about if you decide not to turn it in first.

level 4
Original Poster1 point · 6 months ago

Awesome, that's great to know. It was a pretty minor incident and my first accident so I ended up notifying my insurance. I guess this will be a lesson learned (both driving and insurance-wise).

Thanks for all your help.

level 1

Claims Adjuster here. Report the loss as incident only if you have no damage. If you took photos provide them to Progressive. If they guy decides to file then you only pay for the damages you caused. If he gets in an at fault accident 6 months from now and files with your insurance without you filing a claim it will be harder to prove the actual damages.

level 2
Auto Adjuster - my posts are my opinion only.
-1 points · 6 months ago

If the damage was as minor as you say with a scrape I'm not sure I'd even report it but wait for them to. They might not even bother.

level 3

Progressive auto policy requires you to report all losses. Hard to get used to adjusters recommending something like this.

level 4
2 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Every auto policy says that. But as an adjuster, it doesn't matter. The department of insurance won't let us enforce that clause unless it actually affects our ability to handle the claim. Which is extremely rare.

I get claims filed by the other party all the time. I have never denied a liability claim because the insured didn't report it in time. Hell I have a claim on my desk right now that happen in 2014 but wasn't reported until last week. We're covering it.

level 5

That’s not the only reason for that language. Claims frequency and fault affect risk and the company has a right to know about the accident, regardless of fault. Basic underwriting.

level 6

Of course they want him to report as soon as possible, they'd like to figure the increased risk into the premiums ASAP.

But they generally can't penalize him for not reporting, and they can't backdate the rate increase to the date of loss. Why should OP help his insurance company raise his rates sooner?

level 7

Because he agreed to the policy when he signed his app. This shouldnt even be an argument or debate.

level 8

What the department of insurance says overrules what the policy says. And the department of insurance says that clause is unenforceable in most cases.

level 1

You can either report it and tell progressive the truth just to get your statement on file ahead of time or wait until the other driver/insurance company reports it. It’s up to you at this point, so whichever you feel is more appropriate

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 6 months ago

Gotcha, thank you. Would you recommend admitting fault to Progressive or just being factual?

level 3

I’d just be factual and leave assigning fault to the adjuster

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