Can you claim auto insurance if it’s your fault? (Expert Claims Advice)

Your car insurance policy can help with the damages from a car accident even if you were at fault, so you should still make a claim. Read on to learn how to file an auto insurance claim if you're at fault.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 9, 2022

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Things to remember

  • Insurance is in place to protect you from losses, even if an accident is your fault
  • When you claim insurance if you are at fault both your losses and the other party’s losses will be covered
  • You will be required to provide information concerning the incident and all parties involved

If you have recently been in an accident, you might be wondering, “Can I make a claim if it was my fault?” This is often a point of confusion for many drivers. Unfortunately, not understanding how your insurance policy works could cost you a lot of money in the long run.

If you are at fault during an accident, you should definitely still file a claim with your insurance company. During an accident, your vehicle will most likely sustain damage, and you may sustain injuries as well. These expenses will need to be paid for. This is the reason you have an insurance policy in place. The coverage is intended to protect you from having to pay these types of costs out of pocket in the event of an accident.

This guide will help you understand how to file a car insurance claim if you’re at fault.

Should you file a car insurance claim if you’re at fault?

If you’ve caused an accident and your vehicle has sustained damage, you should file a claim with your insurance company if you have collision or full coverage, so you can have your car repaired. If you didn’t cause the accident, you would file a claim with the other driver’s insurance.

This compensation can help you to recover from your accident financially, and insurance companies do not usually drop you after a claim. 

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What happens after you’re at fault in an accident?

After an accident, the authorities and the insurance companies involved will take time to determine who was at fault in the wreck if there is contention around who filed the accident. Now, if it is clear that you caused the accident, you shouldn’t hesitate to go ahead and file an insurance claim with your insurance company 

The claims process will involve your insurance company reviewing the details of your crash and the amount of damage done. The insurance company will then use this information to help you better understand the options you have concerning your claim.

Depending on the policy you chose, there are different types of auto insurance coverage that may be included in it:

  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Glass coverage

Even when you are at fault during an accident, your insurance policy can benefit you financially if you have the above types of coverage. If you have only purchased the minimum car insurance required in your state, then you may not be able to have your losses covered following a wreck.

How To File an Auto Insurance Claim if You’re at Fault

You should not hesitate to call your insurance company following an accident. Contact your insurance representative first instead of the claims department, so you can receive the best guidance for your situation.

Your insurer will want to know all the details of the accident, so it’s helpful to be prepared. Immediately after the accident, take note of the following items.

Do Not Admit Fault

It is essential that you do not admit fault, but rather that you allow the authorities to prove who was at fault. Admitting fault is a big mistake that a lot of people make immediately following an accident.

Do Take Photos

Taking photos of the scene is also a good idea. This provides even more evidence to help the insurance company determine who is at fault. You should take photos of the damage to your vehicle, skid marks on the road, and any injuries you sustained during the wreck. 

If your insurance company offers an app to expedite claims, be sure to use this as well.

Do Exchange Information

It’s always a good idea to speak to the other party involved and exchange names, phone numbers, and insurance information. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their information as well. This will be helpful if you need to get back in touch for any reason.

Do Document Side Effects

You should also document any medical procedures and expenses that are a result of the accident. These records could be very useful if a lawsuit results from your accident.

When To Avoid Filing a Car Insurance Claim

There are some scenarios in which filing a claim should be avoided. This would include minor accidents that did not involve another party. If you can easily pay out of pocket to have your vehicle repaired, it may be better not to file a claim. Filing claims for minor damage could result in a rate increase.

If there was only damage to your own vehicle in a minor accident, you may want to avoid filing a claim.

If damage to someone else’s property was also minimal, then you may want to consider simply paying for the damage out of pocket rather than involving insurance companies.

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A Final Word on Making a Claim If You’re at Fault in an Accident

If you were at fault during a car accident that resulted in significant damage to your vehicle and other vehicles, do not hesitate to file a claim with your insurance company. 

Your insurance policy is in place to protect you from paying large expenses out of pocket in the event of an accident even if the accident is proven to be your fault. Filing a claim in a timely manner can save you money and ensure that you can get the necessary repairs done quickly.

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