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What if I hit a tree and there were no other parties involved in the accident?

by Jim

I swerved to miss a dog and hit a tree. There were no other parties involved and the dog ran away. Nobody was injured, including myself, so I just drove the car to the auto shop. Then I called my insurance company to report the accident. I thought a police report was only needed if other people were involved. As far as "leaving the scene of the accident" I had only hit a tree.

Will these decisions affect the outcome of my claim?

Thank you,


Hello Jim,

Most likely it will not affect, but it could. Mainly, you have to worry about two things.

1.Does your policy require you to file a report for one vehicle accidents? Most polices do not have such requirement, but if yours does, then the insurance company could give you a hard time. Please see: And,

2.A police report helps the insurance company with the investigation process, so sometimes it can make things easier to show and prove. They might have questions of why you did not call, but everything should be able to be verified.

Good Luck,

Comments for What if I hit a tree and there were no other parties involved in the accident?

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Nov 21, 2011
Often better off (w insurance) to kill the animal
by: Anonymous

I had a very similar incident in which I swerved to miss an animal at night that jetted out in front of me (cat I think) and I hit a neighbors brick mailbox. They asked what happened to the animal, which I swerved and missed hitting, to which the insurance company told me I would be much better off coverage wise if I had hit and killed the cat before incurring any damages.

Go figure!! How ethical is that for a documented policy...

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