This often happens: After a car accident with no injuries and negligible damage, the drivers involved agree to a settlement without engaging their respective insurance companies and downsizing the official police report. Unfortunately, many times this arrangement simply does not end well.
According to experts, the only way you can be assured that you will get compensation for damages is to file an insurance claim.
Take the following incident for a prime example of the above event.
I was thinking about my own business as I drove down the quiet, rural road located in my house. Suddenly, I realized that another vehicle crashed into the back of a crashed vehicle. I took my car out to see the damage. To my surprise, the other driver – who caused the accident – was my good friend and neighbor.
“Sorry,” John said with a sheepish smile.
“Don’t worry about the damage, I’ll personally look after it. Let’s not involve the police or insurance companies. In this way, there is no risk of insurance premiums rising, as often happens after a claim is made.”
At that time, it did not happen to me that there would be any problem with this arrangement. After all, John and I were friends, neighbors who met regularly.
“Sure,” I replied. “If it works best for you, I’ll go with it.”
Well, the story did not end when happiness was over. I fixed the back fender and sent my receipt to John, thinking that there would be nothing to worry about.
I was wrong.
It has been 60 days since this accident, and I have yet to receive a reunion from John, who has no shortage of excuses and promises that payment is coming …
The above scenario repeats time and time again after minor collisions.
Even if the other driver is your friend, neighbor, or an acquaintance, there is never a 100 percent assurance that you will see payment for the damage caused to him or her.
In an instance where the responsible driver does not honor his monetary commitment, the time has expired and it may be too late to offer sufficient confirmation regarding the loss and who is at fault.
In addition, the responsible driver may betray your trust and report the accident to his insurance carrier. He can either deceive and distort facts and actually lie about injury claims that were never present at the time of the accident. If this happens, your insurance company may have to pay larger payments. It can also initiate a lawsuit against you, as well as forcing you to pay the balance that the courts discharge your liability after your insurance company reaches the coverage limit of your policy. In the end, you will be in for an unpleasant premium increase.