Can someone claim on your auto insurance without you knowing?

While someone can attempt to make a claim on your auto insurance without you knowing, the good news is your insurance company will tell you if someone is making the effort to do so. Often, it's called a third-party claim.

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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 10, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • When someone files a car insurance claim with your car insurance company after an accident, the claim is called a third-party auto insurance claim
  • Third-party auto insurance claims are the most common type of car insurance claims in the United States
  • It’s highly unlikely that someone will file a claim on your auto insurance policy without you knowing

Getting into a car accident can be incredibly stressful, and it can be worse if you’re worried that another party is planning on making a claim against your car insurance. Perhaps not as stressful as needing to settle a claim without insurance whatsoever, but that doesn’t happen as often. The good news is that you are always kept informed throughout the claims process and won’t be surprised.

Understanding why it’s unlikely for someone to claim on your auto insurance without you knowing begins with understanding how liability insurance works. 

It Is Extremely Unlikely Someone Will Claim On Your Auto Insurance Without Your Knowledge 

The first thing to remember is that in most cases you need to provide your insurance details after a collision. That means you already know that someone has your insurance information and intends to use it. You are also obligated to inform your insurance company of the incident. Hopefully, you’re lucky and your insurance provider offers accident forgiveness with your policy. The bottom line is that your insurance company is trusting you to let them know whenever you’ve been in an accident. Going off a baseless claim from someone else isn’t a smart move on their part. 

The other thing to remember is that your insurance company will virtually always tell you about any claims that are made on your policy. Car insurance companies are for-profit organizations with the goal of making money, meaning they won’t pay an auto insurance claim unless they have to. 

They won’t simply pay out on a claim based on the word of another driver, even if that driver has a police report. After all, insurance companies don’t necessarily accept blame as it is declared by a police report. Unless they make a series of internal blunders, your insurance company will always contact you about a claim. 

You may also decide to settle your accident without going through insurance during the roadside discussions, but the other driver may decide to pursue a claim afterward. They will need you to provide your insurance information to do so, and your insurer will let you know immediately if that happens. 

The very rare case in which you might be blindsided by a claim is if someone has given you information falsely after a crash they have. This requires someone else to have your vehicle and insurance details though, and again, your insurance company will reach out to you before anything else happens.

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What is a third-party auto insurance claim?

A third-party car insurance claim is any claim made against your car insurance policy by anybody else other than you (the policyholder). If you get into a major or minor car accident with another driver and they feel like they have a valid claim, they can file a claim with your auto insurance company.

Unless you live in Virginia or New Hampshire, you’ll have to have liability insurance coverage to drive in the US. If you’re found to be at fault in an accident involving another driver, you’ll be responsible for paying for bodily injuries or damages to their car.

The other driver must file a claim with your auto insurance company in order for that to happen, and that claim is a third-party claim. 

What happens when someone files a third-party claim?

Before someone files a third-party claim with your auto insurance company, that person will usually call their own insurance company. They will give their company the facts about the accident, and provide a police report showing that you were at fault. 

Their insurance company may direct the other driver to take their claim directly to your insurance company, but in most instances, the companies will work with each other. 

Your auto insurance company will take everything into account, including witness statements, the police report, and whatever other information you or the other driver provide.

Your insurance company’s decision about who’s at fault may or may not match with the police department’s determination of fault. If that turns out to be the case, the other driver will be asked to file a claim against his or her insurance company.

However, they’ll still pay the claim if it determines that you really were responsible for the damage.

Insurance Claims Without Your Knowledge: The Bottom Line 

As you learned earlier, the chances of someone claiming on your auto insurance policy without telling you are almost zero.

Regardless, it’s always best to make sure you have the proper car insurance coverage in place so that no matter what happens, you can have peace of mind knowing you’re covered for a variety of circumstances.

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