A police report provides an official and detailed description of what happened in the accident. Police reports are required when it comes to injuries, significant damage, or extenuating circumstances. However, you can act as your own detail-oriented advocate in case of minor incidents. If you have a report, simply give your car insurance provider the name of the police department and the report number.
You can also tell your own insurance company about the accident in case you need to file a claim against your own policy because the at-fault driver had no insurance, was underinsured, or was denied liability by your insurance company. While the payment was meant to compensate you for the costs of repairing the car, your insurer doesn't require you to repair your vehicle. By requiring specific liability insurance for victims of an accident caused by you, they can receive financial help for injuries and property damage without seriously affecting their own financial well-being. Don't expect the at-fault driver to contact your insurance company; it's up to you to report the accident to the other driver's insurance company.
However, drivers who choose not to purchase auto insurance must show that they have sufficient funds to meet the state's financial responsibility requirements (PDF) in the event that they cause an accident. The amount of your policy's auto insurance deductible indicates how much you pay out of pocket for a covered claim, while your coverage limits represent the maximum dollar limit that your insurer could pay in a given category. Understanding how the claims process works, including reporting an accident, working with an insurance adjuster and repairing your car, if necessary, can make filing a claim easier and less stressful. If you have rental vehicle reimbursement coverage under your own policy, you will have coverage for a rental car regardless of fault, within the limits of your policy.
Keep in mind that while police officers sometimes determine fault, it can be a difficult and time-consuming task to prove to the insurance company that your insured driver caused the accident. Comprehensive car insurance and collision insurance are also common types of car insurance coverage, although no state requires them. If you are not insured by Progressive or are a Progressive customer without logging in to your account, you can report or view an existing claim here. The process for filing a car insurance claim with your insurance company is similar, whether you have a police report or not.
Car insurance is a rare product that you buy in the hope of never using it, but if you're involved in an accident or your vehicle is damaged, you may need to file a claim. That's why it's also important to know how much car insurance you need, so as not to jeopardize your personal assets in the event of an accident. For example, if you have reimbursement coverage for a rental car, you may be entitled to a rental vehicle while your car is being repaired.