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Do I need to report my motorcycle accident?

by Martin


I had a motorcycle accident where the other driver was ticketed and I wasn't. There was damage to my bike, but not to her car. She said she would not be filing a claim. Do I need to report this to my insurance? (It's Geico). Am I *required* to? Will they find out about it anyway? If I do have to report it, will they raise my rates even if I don't make any claim? Will I lose my accident-free discount?

Is filling a claim that will total the bike even worth filing, given the higher rates that would kick in?

Help & Thank You!


Hi Martin,

This is the dilemma of insurance. We have written articles regarding the subject. Visit:

Regarding your question about requiring to file, you do have an affirmative duty (outlined in the policy) to report the accident. This duty says that you must file within a reasonable time or you lose your coverage. It is a difficult situation, because filing can raise your rates, and not filling can leave you with no coverage.

The decision is up to you. IF you think that you can be at fault in any way (or that someone will claim that you are), then you probably should file. Think about it, you do not want to be in the middle of a frivolous or ludicrous lawsuit without coverage. However, if you know that you did nothing wrong and there is no way (can't never be 100% sure) you should probably give them a call.

If you are still wondering, talk to your agent about the impact on your rates. They can point you in a better position.

Good Luck,

Follow up Question:

Your response blurs the distinction between filing a claim and reporting the accident. I am under the impression those aren't necessarily the same thing.


Hi Martin,

Technically speaking you are correct, filing a claim and reporting an accident are two different things. Reporting an accident is simply calling the insurance company and telling them about what happened, filling a claim means you want to be paid for damages.

However, insurance companies deal with underwriting department that specializes in "risk evaluation." Their job is to record with all information available to them any and all data regarding your driving, record or anything that can affect the way the see you as "risk".

If you report a claim, but not file, the effect is virtually the same. This information goes into the underwriting department and they will take that into account when looking at your rates (your original concern when asking this question). For all practical purposes regarding rates, they are the same thing.

A possible work around: your agent. This one difficult because it depends who your agent is. You can have a "captured agent" (the one that only works for one insurance company).

This agent works for the insurance company and if you tell them about the accident, they the accident was reported. If the agent works or sells insurance policies for many insurance companies, then the agent works for you!

Any communication that goes between you and the agent will not dimmed to be knowledge of the insurance company. You can tell your agent and see if they report that to the insurance company or not (sometimes they do not report the accident because they believe it is a minor things, this goes for both captured and independent agents).

I hope this clears up my previous answer.

Good Luck,

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